Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cheese Burger Buns

We have just returned from a nine day trip to Montana and Wyoming.  Gorgeous. Mind boggling. Peaceful. Inspiring. A photographer's paradise.

 To say that Yellowstone National Park is huge is an understatement! Our rental car logged in over 1200 miles, touring through Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons.

My husband shot a lot of video, and my camera capture a few hundred images of geysers, lakes, mountains, wildlife and thermal pools.  It will take a while for us to edit and organize images from our trip.
Craig and I were so impressed with the friendliness of the locals. Every shopkeeper, food server, or park employee greeted us with a friendly smile.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect, averaging 75 degrees.  Those of you who live in Montana or Wyoming-- you do live in one of the most scenic areas in our country.  I'm not so sure I could handle your winters, since I've never lived in snow country.  I do thank you for your warm hospitality, and a lifetime of memories!

My vacation continues until July 22nd, and I'm looking forward to sharing with you a few recipes that I'm back logged on sharing with you.  Since July 4th is two days away, I thought I'd start with homemade hamburger buns. 

Craig and I love to grill outdoors.  Burgers are still high on my list of favorite barbecue dinners.  We finally bought a new gas grill, for the times we don't have to patience to wait for briquettes to turn that perfect temperature.

Homemade hamburger buns aren't very difficult to make.  They have a much better texture than most commercially made hamburger buns.  "Brand X" buns feel gummy, to me.  I like a bun that is dense enough to hold up against ketchup, mustard and/or barbecue sauce.  Don't you?

This recipes comes from one of my favorite recipe websites, "King Arthur Flour".  I admit that I have an addiction to shopping on this website.  I had an unopened bag of their Vermont Cheese Powder, and I was thrilled to see a recipe that I could make with this.  NOTE: It's not a requirement to use this particular cheese powder. The recipe includes how to adapt this to freshly grated cheese.

The only change I made, in their recipe, was to use Rapid-Rise Yeast instead of Instant Yeast.  I have both types of yeast (of course), but I find that Rapid-Rise yeast lives up to its name.  I wanted homemade buns in just a little over an hour.  The egg-based bread dough was super easy to make.  My bread machine broke, years ago.  I never replaced it, because my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer does a great job of mixing and kneading dough.

The dough doubled in about 45 minutes-- I helped that process to speed up, by placing the dough in a slightly pre-warmed oven.  I turned my oven to WARM for 3-4 minutes, then turn it off.

I pressed the dough into a flattened it, and cut it into eight pieces.  I then shaped them into balls...

...flatted them a bit, covered them and let them double for about 30 minutes.  I am using King Arthur Flour's hamburger pan, but you can easily shape these on top of a parchment lined baking sheet.

These rolls baked in about 15 minutes.  They smelled so good, with that aroma of cheddar cheese.

We fired up the new gas grill, and used some homemade barbecue sauce to flavor the burgers.There was no need to add cheese, since the flavor was in the buns. 

The texture of these buns were perfect-- they had a beautiful crumb, and a nice balance of fluffy and tender bread.

I'm a fan of mustard and ketchup with my burgers. Once in a while, I like a good barbecue sauce as my only sauce.  I'll share this sauce, soon, because I made it for a brisket that we slow-grilled a couple of weeks ago.

Sure, I'll still buy burger buns when I don't have 1-1/2 hours to spare, making my own.  But they won't taste nearly as good as baking your own.  If you love cheese, then you'll enjoy this Cheeseburger Bun.   The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour, so you can't go wrong.

I'm glad to be back home, and I'm ready to get back to my own cooking.  While it's a treat to take a break from cooking and washing dishes-- I got tired of eating out for nine days, and eating food that wasn't exactly memorable.  Sorry, West Yellowstone, but the choice of good eats isn't that great.  I still love you, though!

You can view a printable recipe card at the end of this post.

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Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

What a fun trip! And these buns, yum. I love making homemade buns but I end up eating them all.

Joanne said...

I was wondering where you had run off to! Sounds like such a lovely trip! And perfect buns, to boot. :P

Kate said...

Welcome home! We are headed there in September; I can hardly wait. Homemade burger have so much energy! Bet they are delicious.

Big Dude said...

Your burger buns look perfect. Sounds like a fun trip and we have one planned for that area later on.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Perfect timing, Debby. I just bought some KA's Vermont Cheese Powder and was trying to decide on a recipe. I love your pictures and am so happy you had a great vacation (despite the trip back home). Happy 4th.

Brenda Z said...

Welcome back Debby! Glad to hear you had a nice trip, I've never been to Wyoming but sure do love Montana- so scenic! I will definitely have to try these buns next time I make burgers! Ironically, I am drafting a post using KA's 'Beautiful Burger Buns'. Glad to have you back!

Deb said...

Perfect timing! We're having burgers on the 4th and I am planning on making the buns. I like the King Arthur pan as I always have a difficult time pefectly shaping the rolls prior to baking. The photos fom your vacation are dreamy,so glad you are enjoying time off!

bellini said...

It has been many years since I travelled to Yellowstone National park and white water rafted on the river, but I look forward to more photos Debbie. Enjoy your holidays!

Christine said...

Wondered where you disappeared to. What a wonderful trip and in great weather! Your hamburger with homemade buns looks delicious!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

We visited big sky country several years ago and what a fabulous place it is. What a nice place to vacation.

My mother used to make homemade hamburger buns. They are beyond good, but a labor of love.

Monica H said...

What a great looking burger! I've always wanted to go to Yellowstone. I can't wait to see more of your pictures.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

so glad you are having such a great vacation - wonderful pitures. the buns look SO delicious - I love the Vermont Cheese Powder :)
Mary x

Maureen, Milwaukee said...

I've never really wanted to try making my own hamburger buns until I read your description - am saving this recipe. Your photos from your trip are amazing. Hope we'll see more!

Roz said...

My husband and I adore Montana and Wyoming area, especially in summer to escape the southern heat. You're right, it is a photographer's wonderland. The buns sound great with the Vermont cheese addition, and like you, ketchup and mustard is all I need along with a good tomato and fresh pickles! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!