I started this post and just realized I hadn’t finished this up yet! I made more buns yesterday so this is FRESH on my mind. I better finish it up before the idea SOURS. Okay, enough with the puns. 🙂
As with other sourdoughs, you have to plan ahead. I only feed my sourdough before I’m going to use it. My starter has been sitting in the fridge for 2 months since I last made anything with it. By feeding three, it was perfectly bubbly. This is an overnight recipe but can also be made in 1 day. Yesterday I used starter that had been fed the night before. I made my dough around 8:30 or 9 in the morning. I put the dough in my car to rise, since it was quite warm outside. Hello July weather. Even parked out of the sun, it probably was 85* to 90*. And that would be degrees, not snowflakes. 🙂 By 8:30 PM, they were ready to bake.
Recipe yields 6 big buns (perfect for 1/3lb. burgers) or 8 medium size buns (perfect for 1/4lb. burgers).
3 Cups Bread Flour
2 Teaspoons Salt
3 Tablespoons White Sugar
1/2 Cup Active Sourdough Starter
1 Cup Water
1 Egg Yolk
2 Teaspoons Milk
2 Teaspoons Sesame Seeds
Start the dough the night before.
In a stand mixer or in a large bowl mix the flour, salt, sugar, starter and water into a thick sticky dough. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it’s smooth and stretchy. It should be fairly sticky. Cover the dough and let the dough proof overnight.
The next morning.
Turn the proofed dough out onto a floured surface.
Gently roll and pat the dough into a log. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 equal portions. Working with one piece at a time form nice tight balls of dough. Start by folding the top down to the center. Working clockwise with your right hand fold all the sides into the center and push them down firmly while turning the dough counter clockwise with your left hand.
After 8 or so turns the dough should feel tight and rounded. Pinch the bottom of the bun and roll it gently in your hands to further shape it.
Stretch to flatten as best you can. I would avoid rolling them out as that squeezes out the bubbles. Bubbles (not air pockets) are good in sourdough. Place the bun on a floured baking sheet or baking stone. You can also use parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Once all the buns have been shaped cover them and let them proof again for 3-6 hours (the proofing time will totally depend on the climate, activity of the starter and so many other factors). You want the dough to rise to at least double if not triple its original size.
Preheat your oven to 375°. Mix the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush lightly coat the top of each bun with egg wash. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds. I put “everything bagel seasoning” on several of them.
Bake the buns for 25-30 minutes. Let them cool on the baking stone before pulling them apart. If they were baked on a baking sheet and do not touch they can be removed to a cooling rack to cool.
Slice and fill with something yummy. Here I had some pulled pork. I toasted the bun before making the sandwich. These are delicious! I never was a huge fan of homemade buns but these…. ! They have a slightly “chewy” texture, typical of sourdough breads. It reminds me of pretzel buns that were the rage for a while.
Happy baking (and eating)!