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Hamburger Buns

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The Buns:

The Glaze: The Topping:

Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup then sweeping off any excess.

Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make a soft, smooth dough. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1–2 hours.

Flour your hands and gently deflate the dough, pulling it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into four pieces—to make smaller buns you can divide the dough into six, eight, or even twleve pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Flatten each dough ball with the palm of your hand until it's 2–3" across depending on what you want.

Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover them and let them rise until they're noticeably puffy, about an hour. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 375F.

Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter. To make seeded buns, brush the egg/water mixture right over the melted butter; it'll make the seeds adhere. Sprinkle the buns with the seeds of your choice.

Bake the buns for 15–18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven and brush them with the remaining melted butter; this will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust. If you've made seeded buns apply the melted butter carefully, to avoid brushing the seeds off the buns.

Cool the buns on a rack before storing them in an air-tight container. Use as a base for burgers or any favorite sandwich filling.

Store leftover buns, well-wrapped, at room temperature for a few days or freeze them for longer storage.