This recipe started with my Grandmother who used to bake them by the dozens for the campers at Legendary Lodge in Montana's Swan Valley. My Mother made them and I've worked to make them better. These are soft, delicious and sturdy enough to hold up to any good burger plus all the fixin's! You can make them smaller for sliders or even shape into hot dog buns if you like! HINT: The best bakers use a scale to weigh ingredients!
1To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, and mix to make a soft dough. Knead dough for about 8 minutes on medium speed of the Kitchen Aid using the dough hook. Dough should pass the window pane test.
2Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for an hour, until it's almost doubled in size.
3Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, remove all the big air bubbles with your fingertips, and divide it into 16 pieces - about 2.5 ounces each. I like to divide the dough in half, then half again, and half again.. and so on until you have 16 pieces. If you have a scale, take the time to weigh out the balls.. you don't have to be perfect but close enough.
4For burger buns, roll each piece into a tight ball, cover and let rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly spray with Pam. Using a floured hand, gently flatten them out and place them about 1.5 inches apart. Put 8 buns on a pan - using two pans. For Hot Dog buns, roll each piece out into a log.. about 8 inches long. Place them on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
5Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F. Let it get nice and hot, about 15 minutes preheating. If you want to top the buns with seeds, etc, mix 1 egg with 1 TBS water and brush each bun with the wash. Sprinkle on your favorite topping just before the buns go into the oven.
6Bake the buns, one pan at a time for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for about 6 minutes more. Cool on a wire rack.
7Remove them from the oven and brush with melted butter if you haven't prepared them with an egg wash and topping in Step Five.