Sunday, October 2, 2011

Beer Buns

You don't get much better than good, fresh, homemade bread.  These buns are soft and perfect - and so wonderfully delicious!
It took me quite a few tries to get these buns the way I wanted them.  So many recipes just taste like homemade white bread - wrong flavor, wrong texture.  Finally, I happened upon a recipe that made the perfect base for my beer buns - a recipe by Dorel at
The beer adds a subtle something, but the actual flavor doesn't stand out.  I tried making the buns with Ale, regular Beer, and Hefeweizen, with the latter being the favorite.  This dough can be used to make soft sandwich rolls or hamburger buns, too.  But the hot dog buns are an excellent choice for sausages (with football and Oktoberfest in the air and all).  An ideal match!

Beer Buns
Adapted from

3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 packet instant yeast
1 1/4 cups beer, room temperature/warm
1/3 cup vegetable/canola oil

1.  Combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the powdered milk, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir to blend.

2.  Add the beer and oil to the dry ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon to form a shaggy dough.

3.  Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer.  Mix on medium for 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth, soft, and elastic (may stick to the bottom of the bowl, but should clear the sides).  Add more flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough is too wet.

4.  Form the dough into a ball.  Lightly oil the bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl and lightly oil the top.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place.  Let the dough rise until doubled - about 1 hour (more if the beer was cool).

5.  Gently deflate the dough.  Divide the dough into 12 portions.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

6.  Line a 9" X 13" baking dish with parchment paper.  Placing the dough close together is key - otherwise the buns will be too crusty.  

7.  Flatten each dough ball into a 4.5" X 4.5" square.  Tightly roll the dough.  Place the seam on the bottom.  Flatten the ends and tuck them under.  Gently push the dough with your fingers into a tight cylinder.  Roll the dough gently back and forth a couple of times to seal the seams.  Place the shaped buns into the prepared baking dish.  The buns should be very close together, but not quite touching.

8.  Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with oil.  Cover the baking dish and let the buns rise until doubled (45-60 minutes).

9.  Preheat the oven to 375°.  Remove the plastic from the dish.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the buns reach an internal temperature of 190°-200°.

10.  Remove the buns from the oven.  Let them cool in the dish for 5 minutes.  Transfer the buns, on the parchment paper, to a rack to cool completely.

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