Silicon Valley is one of those shows that's amazing and you are always reminded as soon as it's back and you can't wait for next week's episode. I love this episode from the first season, where awkwardness and tensions are high and we still don't know the characters and world so well. Eccentricities are common amongst the people in the world, and this scene with Peter Gregory and everything on the menu from Burger King was so memorable, I thought I had to celebrate the return of the new season of the show with the real subject of that scene. They seem kind of random on their own, but who doesn't keep a few buns on reserve in the freezer for burger night or one of those nights that you just have to go with a frozen veggie burger. I already had all the ingredients for these, so on one of those days, why not go with something homemade?
Sesame Seed-Topped Hamburger Buns
inspired by Silicon Valley season 1, episode 3
makes 12 slider sized buns
- 2 tbsp yeast
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Prepare a baking sheet or two with parchment paper or cooking spray.
Whisk yeast into warm water until dissolved in a large bowl. Mix in sugar and oil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in egg, flour and salt. Stir with wooden spoon until just combined.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead 3-5 minutes with hands until it's elastic and only slightly sticky. Divide into 12 small slider buns or 6-8 larger hamburger buns. Shape the pieces into smooth balls and place them on prepared baking sheets at least 3 inches apart. Cover with a tea towel or greased plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Make egg wash by combining yolk and milk. After 10 minutes, uncover the buns and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake 10-15 minutes, turning once about halfway through. If you made bigger buns, they'll need a longer time to cook. Remove from oven when golden brown. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
Just a note: These didn't turn out as light and fluffy as they should have for me. They were pretty dense and not quite golden, and after overthinking for a few hours, it could be for one of several reasons. First, I used active dry yeast, and there's a chance that it didn't quite activate correctly. I learned this week that packaged yeasts are interchangeable, and the first time I used instant yeast a few weeks ago on this flatbread, it worked the first time, so I think from here on out, I'm going to major in instant and drop the class in active dry yeast. The yeast seemed active and the rolls rose in the 10 minutes I left them so I don't think that was the problem. Another issue could have been over-kneading the dough. I kneaded it for longer than the 3-5 minutes suggested because it didn't lose its stickiness for a while, and it could have made it too tough. Something that crossed my mind was that I didn't let them cook long enough to really rise, but the bottoms were golden so I don't think it was that. The last thing I suspect could be the problem is that I halved the recipe so I wasn't left with so many buns, and I think the proportions might have been thrown off a bit making for a less than successful final product. Learn from my mistakes!
recipe from Girl Vs. Dough.
[made while watching Seinfeld (season 4).]