Use Your Discard to Make Your Own Sourdough Hamburger Buns
Okay, I'm probably nuts, but, yes, I do make hamburger buns using the sourdough process. The soft buns are easy to make, taste good, and, besides being great with burgers, are easy to slice and pop in the toaster for breakfast in lieu of boring toast. I get the buns started early in the morning, feed them more flour at mid-day, and bake them in the evening. I think the texture is better when you feed them at mid-day, but if that's too much of a pain, no problem. Just mix everything together in the morning, shape the buns, and let them rise all day on a baking sheet. They'll be fine until dinner time (unless your house is really warm, in which case you may need to bake them in the afternoon--sorry, but that's the nature of sourdough). I include a bit of dried dill in the dough for extra flavor and dust the tops of the buns with sesame seeds, but if you'd rather not, that's okay, too. Don't want to use all the buns for burgers? The buns are great toasted and smeared with peanut butter and strawberry preserves. And, I have to confess, I make my buns flatter than regular hamburger buns so that I can fit them in the toaster. So, if you want puffier, fatter, more traditional hamburger buns, use more dough for each bun and don't flatten them. Enjoy!
Soft Sourdough Hamburger Buns -- Makes 12 +
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of canola oil
1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat flour
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dill (optional)
1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds (optional)
Combine the sourdough starter/discard, water, and canola oil until blended. Stir in the white whole-wheat flour. Let the mixture sit, loosely covered with plastic wrap for about 4 hours. Add the all-purpose flour, salt, and dill, if you're using it, and stir everything well. Tear off small pieces of dough and form balls a little bigger than golf balls. Place the balls a couple of inches apart from each other on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or coated with non-stick cooking spray. Flatten the balls slightly, spritz them with non-stick spray, sprinkle them with sesame seeds, and spritz them again with the non-stick spray. Cover the dough balls loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise until they have about doubled in size--4-6 hours. Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until they've lightly browned.