I’ve been searching for the perfect burger bun for a while now. Or rather – I’ve been thinking about the qualities a perfect burger bun should have. More to the point – this bun also needs to stand up to juicier stuff like pulled pork as well as accommodating a decent burger.
The bun needs to be soft and light but not fall apart half way through eating. It needs to be fluffy but not condense into a glue-like paste when you put it in your mouth. There needs to be sweetness but not overly so (on this point I know many folk would recommend a brioche bun for a burger but I think it’s just a tad too rich and buttery. Only a tad though).
So – with a little guidance from Pitt Cue Co. and various online sources, I can quite confidently say that potato rolls are the way to go. Perfect in flavour, structure and appearance.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 500g Strong white flour
- 1 or 2 large Maris Piper potatoes – at least 200g.
- 10g dried yeast
- 20g sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 more for a glaze
- 100g butter
- 150ml warm milk
- Sea salt.
The potatoes need baking first. Clean them and place them in an oven at 200c on a baking tray for 1 hour. Cut them in half and scoop out the insides. Add 25g of butter and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
20 minutes before you take the potatoes out of the oven, the sugar and water go into a bowl with 100ml of warm water.
Now measure 150g of the potato into a bowl. Add the milk and the sugar/water mixture and then crack in one of the eggs. Give it a good mix and add the flour and a good pinch of salt. Begin to mix the dough while gradually adding the butter in small cubes. Do this in the bowl with a spatula. When the mixture comes together move to a clean, floured surface.
Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Form into a ball and place into a buttered bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place and allow to rise until doubled in size – about an hour.
Remove the dough and briefly knead it again.
Divide into 12 pieces – each piece should quite comfortably fit into the palm of your hand. Form a ball shape by cupping each piece with you hand over the dough on a floured surface and move your hand around in a circular motion, allowing the dough to rotate in your hand.
Place the dough balls on a buttered baking tray and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.
Bake the rolls in a preheated oven at 190c for 15 minutes. While the rolls are baking, make a glaze with the yolk of the remaining egg and a tablespoon of milk. When the 15 minutes is up, remove the rolls from the oven and brush with the glaze. Sprinkle some salt on the top and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Allow to cool on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before eating.
When you do use them for a burger, toast them on the inside (i.e. the cut side) first. This adds texture and also helps prevent a soggy bun.