In this new blog franchise, editors and test kitchen professionals will take on the DIY side of being a home cook to answer the question, "Is it really worth it?" In this update, editorial team member Hannah Klinger tackles making hamburger buns at home--just in time for National Hamburger Month.
No, not really. They’re about as labor intensive as any from-scratch bread, meaning a very sticky dough, lots of kneading, and a couple hours rising time. Also, homemade buns like to spread…a lot. Next time I could try baking in a large muffin tin, but this might prevent an all over sheen from the egg wash.
Texture is number one when it comes to buns: They should be soft, almost pillowy. Manufacturers have a magic formula for achieving this (Refined flour? Steamed Buns?), but my homemade buns were too dense and chewy. A brioche dough might be a solution, but I’d rather save my calories for the patty.
So if you’ve got the time and the gumption, go for it. But if you’d rather save a little time and sanity, stick to store bought.
Fun fact: In China, McDonalds hamburgers are advertised with much larger buns and just a sliver of meat. McDonalds found that Chinese customers preferred more bread (akin to steamed buns, or baos, a popular snack) and cared little about the filling.