Crafting the right hamburger bun is tough. You’re not on the lookout for the utmost softness as a result of the bun will erode beneath a stack of meat, veggies, and condiments. But you don’t need to eat a burger supported by two inflexible crackers, both. As a substitute, you desire a smooth and squishy bun however nonetheless sturdy in all the suitable locations. 

And that’s the problem: Make a bun that’s virtually a paradox. It should mix the perfect of two opposed qualities, outperforming the Platonic perfect of each. It’s like a mosaic of traits that’s nonsensical till you view (or, on this case, eat) it entire.

…you desire a bun that’s smooth and squishy however nonetheless sturdy in all the suitable locations.

These milk bread hamburger buns take inspiration from Japanese milk bread (shokupan): They’ve a little bit of sugar, a number of milk, and use the tangzhong method to amplify the softness and shelf life.

Additional, Japanese milk bread makes for unbelievable toast, and these buns act very equally as soon as they’re grilled—the superficial layer uncovered to the grill’s warmth crisps up right into a sturdy, anti-soggy platform for something from hamburgers to sloppy joes to fish sandwiches.

Interior crumb of the fluffy sourdough milk bread bunsInterior crumb of the fluffy sourdough milk bread buns
These milk bread hamburger buns have a decent and really fluffy—but sturdy—inside. I particularly love the semi-crackled floor on these buns.

Milk Bread Hamburger Buns versus Tender Potato Buns

I usually declare that my Tender Sourdough Potato Buns are my greatest hamburger buns. And I’ve to say, they’re downright unbelievable. However these milk bread hamburger buns hit somewhat in another way. I labeled them “fluffy” as a result of they’re like little clouds buoying your hamburger to the following stage. The place the potato buns are smooth, substantial, and a bit dense, these are smooth, mild, and plush.

Actually, each buns are pretty and can serve you effectively on the subsequent cookout. However these milk bread buns are just like the lighter cousin to the potato buns.

What’s the Distinction Between a Candy Liquid Levain and a Candy Stiff Levain?

A candy preferment, or a sourdough starter or levain with a small quantity of sugar added, emphasizes yeast exercise (versus bacterial exercise) for much less sourness and extra quantity within the last product.  Each candy liquid and candy stiff levain will produce the specified end result.

Sourdough sweet levain for hamburger bunsSourdough sweet levain for hamburger buns
The liquid candy levain for these milk bread hamburger buns is prepared after 12 hours of fermentation. The levain must be very ripe, and it’s okay if it’s fallen somewhat within the jar.

Technically, lowering the hydration of the candy levain to make it stiffer can result in an much more mild-tasting end result (lowering bacterial exercise additional). However, I discover mixing the levain very laborious. After testing each candy levain varieties, I’ve discovered {that a} candy liquid model is simply as efficient in emphasizing yeast exercise for max quantity and lowered sourness whereas nonetheless being extremely straightforward to combine with a spatula. 

This recipe for milk bread hamburger buns makes use of a candy levain to cut back sourness within the last bun—however not totally (although, gosh, it’s shut). Any slight perceptible sourness solely brings further taste to the ultimate buns, IMO—although I don’t detect any.

For extra info on the why and the way behind making a candy levain, see the preferment part in my cookbook.

Flour Choice

As with my Japanese milk bread loaf, I take advantage of 100% high-protein white bread flour for these milk bread hamburger buns to realize most quantity and minimal sourness. The flour’s excessive gluten content material helps assist the fats (milk and butter) within the dough. Moreover, as a result of this bread flour is closely sifted (low ash content), the lowered quantity of bran and germ reduces dough acidification throughout fermentation.

I used King Arthur Artisan Bread flour, however any high-protein white flour will work effectively with this recipe.

Sourdough milk bread hamburger buns baking scheduleSourdough milk bread hamburger buns baking schedule

Baking Schedule

These sourdough milk bread hamburger buns are revamped the course of a single day (except for the in a single day levain). This most well-liked fermentation schedule ensures the mildest taste profile doable. It additionally makes for a handy schedule: Combine the candy levain the night time earlier than, combine the dough within the morning, and have hamburger buns prepared for the night.

In the event you’re trying to cold-proof (retard) these buns so you may bake them early within the day for lunch, that may undoubtedly work (see the FAQ on the finish of this submit). Nonetheless, I desire to comply with the baking schedule as outlined and bake them the day the dough is blended. Then, let the buns cool in a single day and use them the following day (they get even higher with correct cooling).

Milk Bread Hamburger Buns Recipe

For tips about calculating baker’s percentages or modifying this method (like making solely 5 buns as a substitute of 10), see my information to utilizing baker’s percentages.

Vitals

Complete dough weight 1,450 grams
Prefermented flour 13.5%
Levain in last dough 40.6%
Hydration 29.0% (doesn’t embrace the milk)
Yield 10 x 135g buns

Complete Components

Desired dough temperature: 76°F (24°C) (see my submit on the significance of dough temperature).

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Proportion
617g Excessive-protein white bread flour (King Arthur Bread Flour, 12.7% protein) 90.0%
69g Tangzhong: Excessive-protein white bread flour 10.0%
274g Tangzhong: Complete milk 40.0%
69g Complete milk 10.0%
123g Unsalted butter 18.0%
48g Superfine white sugar (or granulated sugar) 7.0%
199g Water 29.0%
14g High-quality sea salt 2.1%
37g Ripe sourdough starter, 100% hydration 5.4%

Further Substances

1 egg and 1 tablespoon entire milk for the egg wash (optionally available)

Uncooked sesame seeds, for topping (optionally available)

Hamburger made with sourdough milk bread hamburger buns.Hamburger made with sourdough milk bread hamburger buns.
Considered one of my favourite issues about these buns is how splendidly they coloration and crisp on the grill—see the grill marks on the underside bun, particularly the sting.

Milk Bread Hamburger Buns Technique

1. Put together the levain – 9:00 p.m. (the night time earlier than mixing)

Weight Ingredient Baker’s Proportion
93g Excessive-protein white bread flour 100.0%
28g Superfine white sugar 30.0%
83g Water 90.0%
37g Ripe sourdough starter, 100% hydration 40.0%

Combine the elements within the chart above in your favourite jar and go away them coated at a heat temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), to ripen for 12 to 14 hours. This can be a candy liquid levain and it’ll develop in quantity considerably. Make sure to use a tall jar so it doesn’t overflow.

2. Put together the tangzhong – 9:00 a.m. (the day of blending)

In a medium saucepan over medium-low warmth, mix the 69 grams high-protein white bread flour and 274 grams entire milk. Cook dinner, whisking constantly, till the combination thickens and turns into a paste (it ought to seem like mashed potatoes), 5 to 7 minutes. Take away the pan from the warmth and unfold the tangzhong on a small plate to expedite cooling. Put aside.

 3. Combine – 9:30 a.m.

Weight Ingredient
524g Excessive-protein white bread flour
342g (All*) Tangzhong (from Step 2)
69g Complete milk
20g Superfine white sugar
116g Water
14g High-quality sea salt
240g (All) Ripe levain (from Step 1)

*Be aware that it might be troublesome to scrape each little bit of the tangzhong out of the pan, and plus or minus 5g gained’t make an enormous distinction in the long run.

Like Japanese milk bread, these milk bread hamburger buns require intensive kneading to make sure the dough is easy and elastic and for the perfect construction and quantity.

I used my KitchenAid stand mixer to effectively combine and knead the dough. Nonetheless, it’s additionally doable to combine this dough by hand utilizing the slap and fold kneading method or folds in-the-bowl method. Simply you should definitely maintain again the butter till the dough is considerably strengthened, easy, and elastic.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the flour, tangzhong, milk, sugar, water, salt, and ripe levain. Combine on low pace (STIR on a KitchenAid) for 1 to 2 minutes till the elements come collectively, no dry bits stay, and the perimeters of the bowl are clear. This isn’t an excessively moist, slack, or sloppy dough, it needs to be cohesive. If the dough may be very dry, conservatively add a splash of water as wanted to moisten. Subsequent, combine on medium pace (2 on a KitchenAid) for 7 minutes till the dough smooths and begins to cling barely to the hook (it’s going to nonetheless be sticky and shaggy; see the picture under).

Mixing milk bread hamburger bun dough after the first phaseMixing milk bread hamburger bun dough after the first phase
The milk bread hamburger bun dough after the primary 7 minutes of blending. Be aware how shaggy the dough is but it’s cohesive and barely clinging to the dough hook.

Let the dough relaxation within the bowl for five minutes.

Return the mixer to medium pace and blend for 3 to 4 minutes till the dough positive aspects extra energy and clings once more to the dough hook. The dough will nonetheless be sticky to the contact and may be connected to the underside of the bowl, however the sides can be clear (see picture under).

Mixing the milk bread hamburger bun dough, just before adding butterMixing the milk bread hamburger bun dough, just before adding butter
After the second part of blending, the dough can be sturdy and clinging to the dough hook. Subsequent, we’ll add the butter.

Cut back the mixer pace to low pace and add the butter, one pat at a time, ready so as to add every till the earlier is absorbed. Use a spatula to scrape the perimeters of the bowl as wanted. As soon as all of the butter is added, about 4 to six minutes later, the dough can be in a cohesive ball within the mixing bowl with the perimeters largely clear.

Milk bread hamburger bun dough at the end of mixingMilk bread hamburger bun dough at the end of mixing
On the finish of blending the dough can be softer and barely sticky to the contact, however cohesive.

At this level, the dough can be very smooth to the contact and a bit sticky. Switch the dough to a bulk fermentation container and canopy.

4. Bulk Fermentation – 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (3 1/2 hours)

At a heat room temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), bulk fermentation ought to take about 3 ½ hours with no units of stretches and folds (the dough is sufficiently strengthened throughout mixing).

Let the dough relaxation, coated, in the course of bulk fermentation.

5. Divide and Form – 1:30 p.m.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flippantly flour your work floor, and utilizing a bowl scraper, gently scoop the dough out to the floured space. Flippantly flour the highest of the dough and divide it into 10 (135-gram) parts. You might need a small little bit of scrap dough left over.

Utilizing floured palms and a bench scraper, form the parts into tight balls. I like to make use of the bench scraper at a excessive angle to the work floor to assist form the dough. A excessive angle tightens the dough extra assertively.

6. Proof – 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Cowl the baking sheets with reusable plastic or these life-changing snap-on baking sheet covers (see picture above) and let the dough proof for two ½ hours.

7. Bake – 4:30 p.m. (preheat oven at 4:00 p.m.)

After 2 ½ hours the dough items ought to have hyped up, and really feel very mild and ethereal when poked.

Fully proofed milk bread hamburger buns.Fully proofed milk bread hamburger buns.
After about 2 1/2 hours the hamburger buns needs to be very mild to the contact and totally proofed.

In the event you’re used to utilizing the poke take a look at to find out when your bread dough is prepared for baking, this dough will really feel completely different. It’ll really feel extra like poking a marshmallow or balloon that’s not totally inflated. If the dough feels dense or tight, give it one other quarter-hour to proof, then verify once more.

Beneath, you may see how jiggly the dough is and the feel once I poke it to find out how effectively proofed it’s.

half-hour earlier than you need to bake, preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C), with racks within the higher and decrease third.

If making the egg wash, whisk collectively 1 entire egg and 1 tablespoon of entire milk in a small bowl till no lumps stay and the combination is frothy.

Uncover the baking sheets and, utilizing a pastry brush, brush on a good, skinny layer of the egg wash. Liberally sprinkle on sesame seeds if utilizing.

Place the baking sheets within the oven and bake for quarter-hour. Rotate the pans again to entrance and high to backside, then cut back the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C). Bake for five to 10 minutes till well-colored.

Fully baked sourdough milk bread hamburger buns.Fully baked sourdough milk bread hamburger buns.
Fantastically shiny, fluffy, and able to eat.

Take away the baking sheets to a heat-safe floor and funky for five minutes. Then, switch the buns to a cooling rack and allow them to cool fully earlier than slicing, about half-hour.

Print

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Description

These sourdough (naturally leavened) milk bread hamburger buns are smooth and fluffy but sturdy sufficient to carry your burger and all the specified toppings.


Levain

  • 93g high-protein white bread flour
  • 28g superfine white sugar
  • 83g water
  • 37g ripe sourdough starter

Tangzhong

  • 69g high-protein white bread flour
  • 274g entire milk

Fundamental Dough

  • 524g high-protein white bread flour
  • 342g (all) tangzhong
  • 69g entire milk
  • 20g superfine white sugar
  • 116g water
  • 14g high-quality sea salt
  • 240g (all) ripe levain

Topping

  • 1 egg and 1 tablespoon entire milk for egg wash (optionally available)
  • Uncooked sesame seeds (optionally available)

  1. Put together the levain – 9:00 p.m. (the night time earlier than mixing)
    Combine the elements within the chart above in a tall jar, coated at a heat temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), to ripen for 12 to 14 hours. This levain will develop in quantity considerably. Make sure to use a tall jar so it doesn’t overflow.
  2. Put together the tangzhong – 9:10 a.m. (the day of blending)
    In a medium saucepan over medium-low warmth, mix the tangzhong elements. Cook dinner, whisking constantly, till the combination thickens and turns into a paste (it ought to seem like mashed potatoes), 5 to 7 minutes. Take away the pan from the warmth and unfold the tangzhong on a small plate to chill. Put aside.
  3. Combine – 9:30 a.m.
    To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add flour, tangzhong, milk, sugar, water, salt, and ripe levain. Combine on low pace (STIR on KitchenAid) for 1-2 minutes till mixed, with no dry bits remaining. If the dough is just too dry, add a splash of water. Combine on medium pace (2 on KitchenAid) for 7 minutes till easy. Let relaxation for five minutes. Combine once more on medium pace for 3-4 minutes till the dough positive aspects energy and clings to the hook. Cut back pace to low and add butter, one pat at a time, scraping the bowl as wanted. After 4-6 minutes, the dough will type a cohesive ball with clear sides. Switch the dough to a bulk fermentation container and canopy.
  4. Bulk Fermentation – 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (3 1/2 hours)
    At a heat room temperature, 74-76°F (23-24°C), bulk fermentation ought to take about 3 ½ hours with no units of stretches and folds (the dough is sufficiently strengthened throughout mixing). Let the dough relaxation, coated, in the course of bulk fermentation.
  5. Divide and Form – 1:30 p.m.
    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Flippantly flour your work floor, and utilizing a bowl scraper, gently scoop the dough out to the floured space. Flippantly flour the highest of the dough and divide it into 10 (135-gram) parts. You might need a small little bit of scrap dough left over. Utilizing floured palms and a bench scraper, form the parts into tight balls.
  6. Proof – 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    Cowl the baking sheets with reusable plastic or snap-on baking sheet covers and let the dough proof for two ½ hours. (See the video up on this submit for what the dough appears like when totally proofed.)
  7. Bake – 4:30 p.m. (preheat oven at 4:00 p.m.)
    half-hour earlier than baking, preheat oven to 450°F (232°C) with racks within the higher and decrease thirds. For the egg wash, whisk 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of milk till frothy. Uncover baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle sesame seeds if desired. Bake for quarter-hour. Rotate pans, cut back temperature to 425°F (220°C), and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes till well-colored. Take away the baking sheets to a heat-safe floor and funky for five minutes. Then, switch the buns to a cooling rack and allow them to cool fully earlier than slicing, about half-hour.

Notes

To make this recipe vegan, substitute the entire dairy milk for full-fat nut or oat milk and use a butter substitute (equivalent to Earth Steadiness Vegan Butter).

In the event you don’t have superfine white sugar (caster sugar), use your most interesting white sugar.

Milk Bread Hamburger Buns FAQs

Can I put together the tangzhong forward of time?

Sure, you may put together the tangzhong the night time earlier than mixing. After cooking the flour and milk, let it fully cool on the counter, switch to a coated container, and place it within the fridge.

Can I make these milk bread hamburger buns vegan?

Sure, substitute the dairy milk, each within the tangzhong and foremost dough, for any whole-fat nut or soy milk. Instead of the butter, use a vegan butter different equivalent to Earth Steadiness. Omit the egg wash fully, and as a substitute, brush the tops of the dough with extra nondairy milk earlier than baking.

Can I cut back the quantity of sugar in these hamburger buns?

I’d not cut back the sugar within the candy levain as a result of the desired quantity is required to make sure lowered bacterial exercise. Nonetheless, be at liberty to cut back the sugar in the principle dough, although it’s there primarily to make sure the ultimate buns are smooth and have good retaining high quality.

Can I refrigerate the milk bread hamburger bun dough in a single day?

Sure. After shaping the dough into balls and inserting them on the baking sheets, cowl the dough, let it proof for half-hour on the counter, then place the pans within the fridge. The subsequent day, take the trays out to complete proofing on the counter for 1 to three hours, till very puffy as directed in Step 7.

Can I take advantage of this bun for something apart from a hamburger?

These sourdough milk bread buns could be unbelievable for egg sandwiches, tuna or egg salad sandwiches, or sloppy joes.

My milk bread hamburger buns had giant bubbles type on high, what occurred?

This can be a telltale signal the dough is overproofed. Subsequent time, cut back the proofing time by 15 to half-hour. The dough ought to really feel very mild when poked, however not excessively gassed up or delicate. You may also see partially collapsed areas when the dough is overproofed.


What’s Subsequent?

Because you’re possible making these milk bread hamburger buns throughout the summer time, why not make a simple sourdough starter discard pie or galette to accommodate all that wonderful summer time produce and full your cookout?

Buon appetito!




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