It started out as any other Sunday. Jamie and I were planning out our meals for the week, and we were getting ready to spend another fabulous day in the kitchen. Then Jamie made a suggestion to make some home-made hamburgers for dinner. This was a great idea, since we haven’t had home-made burgers since Super Bowl Sunday when Jamie whipped up a batch of sliders.
We didn’t have any burger buns, so I decided to make some. After some searching, we stumbled across this recipe on Food.com.
It has been a while since I baked bread, so I was excited. As you know, the smell of bread baking is one of the most wonderful scents in the world.
Now, the buns turned out great, but it really was a bit of a comedy of errors to watch us prepare these. To start off, when I added the yeast to the water, it didn’t start to proof (or foam up). I was sitting there, staring at the bowl, wishing for some kind of activation to take place, but nothing was happening. I then remembered that Grandma always used to place her bowls on top of the pre-heated oven and would add a bit of sugar to her yeast and water mixture. Yep, that was what was needed, because as soon as I placed the bowl on the stove, stuff started to happen inside of the mixing bowl. I knew that we were now in business!
I then couldn’t roll out the dough long enough to be able to get 12 rolls. We ended up only getting 8 out of the original recipe. I was thankful that we didn’t try to cut the recipe in half (as was our initial intention).
Then came the big moment. The recipe called for me to drop the buns into a stock pot filled with boiling water and baking soda. I don’t know what this does to the buns, but the recipe called for it, so I was going to do it.
We got the pot of water boiling on the stove, and we dumped in the baking soda. Now, I don’t know about you, but at this moment I had wished that I paid a little more attention in my high school chemistry class. Do you know what baking soda does when it is added to a pot of boiling water? It boils over the pot and get boiling hot water everywhere. (click here for scientific explanation) Luckily both of us were by the stove, and neither one of us got hurt or burned. But definitely a word of precaution if you make this recipe – be very careful when you add the baking soda to the water.
Anyway, we boiled the rolls for a few seconds and then placed them on a greased baking sheet covered in Kosher Salt. We then topped the rolls with melted butter and more salt and popped them in the oven.
I was surprised at how little time it took for these to bake. The apartment smelled like a bakery and the buns looked amazing. They browned up just perfectly and those little diamonds of salt glimmered in the sunlight as we waited for the buns to cool so we could taste them.
Now, we used them as burger buns, but these are so good, they could be used as a delicious, dense dinner roll. I think the next dinner party will have mini pretzel rolls on the menu!
- 1 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 pkg active dry yeast (8 g)
- 2 tbsp warm milk
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- Melted butter (to brush on rolls)
- Kosher salt
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- In bowl of stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook) mix 1/3 cup warm water with package of yeast and 1 tsp of sugar. Place in warm place till yeast starts to foam.
- Add the remaining warm water with milk, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add in flour and mix until dough forms and starts to pull away from the mixing bowl.
- Remove dough from stand mixer and turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 2 minutes.
- Roll dough into a 18 inch roll and cut into 8 pieces. Cover dough with plastic wrap and damp cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Pat dough into rolls arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rolls rest for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and grease baking sheet. Sprinkle Kosher salt on pan.
In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda (BE CAREFUL!).
Drop rolls (two at a time) into the boiling water and boil for no more then 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove rolls with slotted spoon and place on prepared pan. Brush top of roll with melted butter and sprinkle with Kosher salt.
Repeat with remaining rolls.
Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rolls cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.
These rolls are salty, buttery and absolutely delicious! Enjoy!