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The most important ingredient to an out of this world cheeseburger is the bun. The bun makes the burger! I have had a few burgers in my life, that were completely ruined by a shoddy bun, but not anymore! Now, when I get invited to a summer BBQ, my friends are always asking me to bring my buns. No. Not THOSE buns! My homemade hamburger buns! They are extremely easy to make, have minimal ingredients, and take very little time or effort with the use of a Kitchenaid stand mixer. These buns even have a secret ingredient that helps give them just the right burger bun texture your are looking for! You'll never buy grocery store buns again, after you learn how easy it is to make your own.
Most grocery store bread contain suspect ingredients
I used to buy all my bread at the grocery store. It was just easier that way, but bread is supposed to be healthy, right? If you go to the bread aisle in your local grocery store, you’ll see a plethora of “whole grains”, “whole wheat”, “Multi-grains”, and “High in fiber”. The word choices that go into the marketing of foods is genius. These bread companies claim to be complete in nutrition when actually, the hard facts on the label prove otherwise. When you are looking at labels, there are a few ingredients that shouldn't be in your bread, and you should avoid:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup – This stuff has been labeled as “just corn” by the strong media campaign the corn industry has led, but scientific studies have proven to be the complete opposite. HFCS is directly linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, mercury exposure (it’s used in processing and studies have found that it is often loaded with alarmingly high levels of mercury), and recently they have found that it is linked to ADD/ADHD. (Children who were fed a diet that included high amounts of HFCS acted like a diagnosed ADHD child, but when the HFCS was removed from the diet, they’re behavior returned to normal.)
- Caramel Color – There are FOUR different kinds of caramel coloring. I always thought that it was made with caramel or like caramel, but in actuality caramel coloring is made by heating sugars with AMMONIA and sulfites to high temperatures. Government studies have proven this to cause thyroid, liver, and lung cancer in mice. This stuff is so scary that even the CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) has appealed to the FDA to eliminate it from our food supply and/or place a warning label on the products that contain it.
- Calcium Propionate – The CSPI says that calcium propinate is used to prevent mold growth in bread products but that there are a few risks associated with ingesting it. It is said to cause stomach ulcers and even has the potential to permanently damage your stomach lining. Livestrong.com says: “A study in the “Journal of Paediatric Child Health” in 2002 reported that although calcium propionate may have little to no side effects on the average person,chronic exposure, especially in children, might induce a myriad of behavioral changes. A controlled group of children fed a strict diet without any food additives was compared to a group that was given traditional bread each day. The clinical trial revealed that “irritability, restlessness, inattention and sleep disturbance in some children may be caused by a preservative in healthy foods consumed daily.” These behavioral changes appear to be reversible when the preservative is removed from the child’s diet”
- Azodicarbonamide – A bleaching agent that is banned in most of the UK and Australia, Azodicarbonamide is (of course) deemed safe in the US. The UK’s Health and Safety Executive has stated that it is a respiratory sensitizer (a possible cause for asthma) and that they feel that the products containing it should be labeled with “may cause sensitization by inhalation.”
Nearly all store-bought bread has corn or soy in iy, which means more than likely they contain GMO’s (90% of soy and 80% of corn is genetically engineered!!!). Not only that, unless you are buying 100% whole wheat bread, most likely it will contain enriched flour. When they process the flour, they remove the outer husks (bran and germ) which is where all the good for you stuff is, so they try to put nutrients back into the flour by enriching it; but our bodies are not able to process it in the same way.
Make your own bread and you'll never go back
I remember when I first started making bread, at 16. I had used some bad yeast and a breadmaker, turning my bread into one dense brick of a loaf. Even though I was a beginner, that didn't stop my mom from giving me the nickname Ellie May. Today, I am a lot better at baking bread, but the recipes that I use really don't need much expertise to get the end result either! Once you taste your first taste of homemade bread, you will not ever want to go back. You might resign yourself to buying a bag of store bought bread every once in awhile, but every bite will remind you that your homemade bread is FAR tastier. If you are like me and want your bread to be organic, buying bread can be pretty pricey. It can be much cheaper to make your own organic bread, including hamburger buns!
Homemade Hamburger Buns
These homemade hamburger buns are fantastic for all of your bun needs! We love to eat hamburgers, BBQ pulled pork, sloppy joes, and more with these buns! The secret ingredient to this recipe, is the mashed potatoes! The starch from the potatoes gives these buns a better/firmer texture, helps them to rise faster, and also helps to extend the shelf-life of the bun too! If you don't have any leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge you can always bake a potato and mash it, or do what I do and use mashed potato flakes! When I have no more homemade mashed potato flakes on hand I like to use Bob's Red Mill Mashed Potato Flakes.
- 4 cups organic unbleached white flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm filtered water (for the yeast)`
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (in a pinch, I like to use Bob's Redmill Creamy Mashed Potato Flakes, I combine 1/2 cup flakes with 1/2 cup hot water and stir with a spoon! You can also use a mashed baked potato w/out the skin)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm filtered water
- 4 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1 egg, beaten (to brush the buns with!)
- sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- In a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer without the dough hook installed, add the flour and make a little valley in the middle. In a separate small bowl, combine 1/4 cup lukewarm water with yeast, stir with a fork until combined. Pour yeast mixture into the flour valley and let sit until foamy. (Waiting to check if your yeast foams is called “proofing” and is an old timey method of making sure your yeast is still good!)
- After proofing the yeast, install your dough hook into your stand mixer and turn your mixer onto the lowest setting. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl while it is mixing. Once the ingredients are combined and the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, turn your mixer to the second setting to knead the dough for 5 minutes, until the dough becomes firm and elastic.
- With one hand hold the dough, while you grease the mixing bowl with coconut oil. Return the dough to the greased bowl, cover with a towel, and allow to rise to double its size. The time on this can vary depending on the heat in your home and even your elevation. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an 1 1/2 hours for the dough to double in size!
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and weigh it using your kitchen scale. I prefer to use oz. but you can choose to use grams if you like. Divide the weight by 12 and weigh out each of your buns. Mine always end up being around 3 oz. each, to give you an idea.
- Place your 12 buns on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cover with a towel to rise again, letting them double in size.
- While your buns are rising, preheat the oven to 375F.
- Once buns have risen, lightly baste them with the beaten egg and then garnish with sesame or poppy seeds!
- Bake buns for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool 5 minutes and enjoy with all your favorite bun filled foods! We love burgers and sloppy joes with these!
TIP – You can store these buns in the freezer, in a freezer safe bag. When you want to use them, just preheat the oven to 350 and heat the buns in the oven for a couple minutes, until warm.