I really like experimenting with breads, rolls and dough. It took me awhile to build the confidence to try bread baking at home and it showed in my work.
I seconded guessed myself every single time and was too literal with my recipes, when I should have been using my eyes and hands to guide me.
What resulted was deflated, under-proofed or over-proofed dough. Rolls and breads that were overworked and hard. It was so frustrating.
I gave up for a long time, even though I really had an interest and desire to make my own breads at home.
One day, I decided that baking bread was something I was going to do. No one was going to be able to teach me, other than myself, and this was going to be the time I learned how to do it.
I knew it would take time and I would have mixed results, but I was determined. When I made this choice, I felt a change within myself. It was as if the smallest bit of confidence and bravado was awakened and I was excited and ready to try again.
After I started trusting my instincts, my baking improved dramatically.
I would feel the dough in my hands to determine if it was ready to rest or needing to be worked longer. I depended on my eyes to tell me if the texture was correct or not. I started getting positive results pretty much immediately and I was beyond excited.
Homemade burger rolls were high on my home baking list. My husband and I don’t live near a bakery and the rolls in the markets I go to, do not impress me.
I started looked for a good roll recipe and found one in my Artisan Breads At Home book.
These rolls are simple to make, there are only three steps. You just need to carve out some time to allow the yeast to work, they take about 3 hours with proofing time.
A great thing is that you can wrap any leftover rolls in plastic wrap and freeze them for later use. When you are ready to use, simply remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature. I like toasting them slightly for added texture and taste.
These rolls are light and fluffy but still sturdy enough to hold up against a thick burger. I also really love the slightly sweet taste the honey gives to the dough. It’s natural and not overly sweet the way sugar can be at times. These rolls are a definite winner.
Homemade Burger Rolls
Adapted from Artisan Breads at Home
1 1/2 cups milk, 90 F
1/2 teaspoon malt powder or syrup
2 2/3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast, instant dry
2/3 cup milk, 80 F
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
1/3 cup soft butter
2 2/3 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon salt
Combine milk and malt powder into a bowl to begin making your sponge. Mix your flour and yeast together in a separate bowl before adding to the milk and malt. Mix everything together by hand for about two minutes to allow gluten to develop. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30 minutes or until doubled in size and springs back slightly when touched lightly.
After your sponge has doubled in size, you can begin on your final dough. Add the sponge, honey, milk and butter to a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on lowest speed for 1 minute to break up sponge. Add flour and salt to the mixture and attach a bread hook. Mix for 4 minutes on low speed, scraping down sides and flipping dough over twice. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing 4 minutes. Once again scraping down and flipping dough twice during this time. The dough will feel tacky and have full gluten development.
Put dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to double in size. The dough will ferment in 45-60 minutes and will spring back slightly when touched.
On a lightly floured surface divide into 12 4.5 oz burger rolls or 24 2 oz slider or dinner rolls. Roll each piece into a ball and place seam-side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Burger rolls 2×3 and slider rolls 3×4.
Lightly brush rolls with egg wash and, for burger rolls, lightly flatten rounds with fingers.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for 30-45 minutes. If making burger rolls, after 20 minutes, uncover and lightly flatten rolls again with some egg wash on fingers. Recover with plastic wrap and allow to continue fermenting.
20 minutes before rolls are ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 F.
Right before baking, brush with egg wash again.
After placing trays in oven, reduce heat to 400 F. Bake for 14 minutes. Rotate trays and baking additional 4-8 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.