It all started with a plan to have Sloppy Joes for supper.
For those not familiar, a Sloppy Joe is a mixture of ground beef in a tomato based sauce served in a hamburger bun. You can serve it sandwich style, which can be very messy, with the filling oozing out over everything, or as an open-face sandwich eaten with knife and fork. I prefer the open-face option, but that brings another problem. Since hamburger buns have a rounded top, the part served on the top half of the bun tends to topple and dump the filling. The solution, obviously, is a burger bun which is flat on both top and bottom. Hence, the Flat Top Burger Bun:
Flat Top Burger Buns - Makes 8 - 3 oz buns or 12 - 2oz buns
|7||fl. oz||Warm Water||207||ml|
|1||tbsp||Powdered Skim Milk||8||g|
|2-4||tbsp||Melted Butter (divided)||56||g|
|3||cups||All Purpose Flour||358||g|
|Sesame Seeds (optional)|
- Set aside the sesame seeds, if using, for later. If sesame seeds are not being used, melt the larger amount of butter and set aside half (see step 8)
- Place all of the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil, in order into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sprinkling the yeast over the flour. Mix on low speed until all of the flour is blended in, about 1 minute, then increase speed to medium and mix 4 to 5 minutes more until a smooth dough is formed. You may need to add a little more water or flour to get the desired consistency.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and shape into a ball. Drizzle the olive oil into the mixer bowl and put the dough back in. Turn the dough over and around by hand until coated with oil.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
- Prepare a baking sheet either by lightly oiling or covering with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, gently deflate and divide into 8 - 3 ounce pieces or 12 - 2 ounce pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet. When all of the pieces are done, go back and gently press them into disks, about ¾" (2 cm) thick. Cover and let rise about 1 - 1½ hour, or until puffy.
- While the buns are rising, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- When the dough is done rising, either spritz with water and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds, or brush the tops with reserved butter.
- Cover with a second piece of parchment and place a baking sheet on top, or lightly oil the bottom of a second baking sheet and place on top. Weight the second baking sheet with about 1 to 2 pounds (½ to 1 kg, see note).
- Bake for 15 minutes, and then remove the top baking sheet and the second piece of parchment, if used, then bake about 7 - 10 minutes more until nicely browned on top.
- Lightly brush with butter and cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes.
Note - to weight the top baking sheet use something that can safely go in a hot oven, such as a small cast-iron frying pan, or a cake pan partially filled with water. Do not use canned goods as they may explode.
When done, the 3 ounce buns should measure about 4½" (11 cm) across, while the 2 ounces one will be about 3¾" (9 cm).
As well as being good for Sloppy Joes, because of their shape these buns are good for panini, packed lunches, or Eggs Benedict. A 1½ ounce version could even be used for sliders.
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