The first thing we should discuss are the buns.
You could totally run down to the store and buy fresh buns - with extra flavor points if they're warm when you pick them up.
But - you can just as easily MAKE buns from scratch that are delicious and tender and hold up to the heavy-duty, juicy, awesome burgers and all the trimmings we're going to be topping them with.
Seriously. You won't be able to pack a burger patty with cheese, bacon, a fried egg, salsa verde, Pico de Gallo, and chipotle mayo on a flimsy bun.
But these ones will definitely stand up to the whole nine yards.
In a large mixing bowl (or in a stand mixer - I prefer doing it by hand) combine the flour
Sugar and yeast. Whisk that together.
Add in the butter (softened!) and cut into smallish pieces.
A lightly beaten egg.
And then stir in the buttermilk. You could absolutely use whole milk here. I did - and it's just as amazing as the buttermilk.
I try to stir the "dough" together as much as possible before turning it out. It'll be shaggy and not at all together. But don't worry.
Start kneading it together and then for an additional 6 - 8 minutes after it comes together. The dough should be soft and supple and slightly tacky - but if it's STICKY, sprinkle flour on the dough and knead it in.
Once the kneading is done, lightly grease a bowl and turn the dough over in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (or warmer) for at least two hours - or until double in size.
Once the dough has finished rising, divide into 4-ounce pieces and shape into discs. You could shape the pieces into balls and flatten slightly - but I just formed the pieces into rounds about 1/2 inch thick. (I should note here that the original recipe calls for 3-ounce pieces and makes 12 - but I make 4-ounce and get 11 buns or half the recipe and do 5 buns. Just personal preference)
Then let rise for another 60 - 90 minutes. I've even let it go for another 2 hours. Depending on the day.
I'm very busy! lol
After the second rise is complete, beat an egg with a tiny bit of water and brush on the tops of the "pre-buns" (cause they're not buns yet!) and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, or both if you're so inclined.
Then bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes until golden.
I've been told that making buns from scratch is super-time-consuming - but these require about 40 minutes (maybe?) of hands on time. Although it is spread out over a few hours.
Besides the fact that they are sturdy enough to handle everything you're going to pile on it (more to come on that later!), they are tender and soft and just wonderful.
I mean - I get it. Days are PACKED with stuff to do. Buying buns is more often the easiest way to deal with hamburgers. I promise you though - making them is totally worth it.
Try it for yourself! You might be surprised...
xoxo - Heather