Potato Buns

I am going to preface this post with the confession that my oven runs crazy hot and things went somewhat awry during today’s bake.

We decided to barbeque burgers this evening for supper, however, they were pre-made burgers and that would make for a boring post. Open box, rip open plastic, slap on gas grill, flip over, add cheese, doctor bun, add toppings, eat. Accurate, but no fun!

So, since I never remember to buy buns….and had no room in the freezer anyway…I decided to make the buns. And then I decided to make potato buns. I believe I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com.

Simple ingredients, simple steps, uses some leftover potatoes – all good! Best laid plans and all that.

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup scalded milk, cooled or added to the mashed potatoes from the fridge which cools it quicker
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes
  • 5 TB unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. Let it bloom for 5 minutes or so.

In a big bowl, or the bowl for your mixer, mix the milk, potatoes, butter, sugar & salt.

Add the yeast mixture and the egg.

Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well. Or, if your mixer is like mine and doesn’t actually reach the bottom of the mixing bowl (bit of a fail there, Kitchenaid), dump in at least 3 cups of flour and hope some mixing happens. Add the fourth cup of flour gradually. Humidity affects dough hydration and flour absorption and you don’t want to add too much. We had a sunny, windy day and I used the full four cups and needed none to knead it with.

Knead the dough by hand for 7 minutes. I let my mixer go a minute or two and then kneaded by hand for a minute or two….until it was smooth. Also, it smelled phenomenal.

Grease it up and let it rise somewhere warm for about an hour – until it doubles in size.

Punch it down and shape it into a ball. Let it rest for 10 minutes or so. I actually skipped this step and it worked fine.

Grease 2 baking sheets and shape the dough into the required number of balls. The original recipe called for 24 – I made 18 two ounce buns.

Let rise until the dough springs back when you touch the side…..or until they are puffy and bigger.

This is where I went wrong…..the called for temperature is 400F. When I did this, and I absolutely know better, the bottoms burned….big time! Halfway through their baking time and they were smoking….I said very bad words. I said very, VERY bad words when I realized the burgers were on the barbeque and there was no time to make & bake more…not even the quick ones I make all the time. And then I decided I was not throwing out my hard work (well, the mixer’s hard work) and those ingredients, so I got inventive. I want to say clever, but I don’t know that’s the accurate description of what I did. I don’t know that inventive is the right word, either, but it will do the job.

They were thinking about getting golden brown on the top and then….disaster!

I turned the temperature down on my oven to 375F and cut the bottoms off the buns. Yes, yes I did! I cut those bottoms right off & cursed my oven with every slice. I put the buns back in the oven and finished baking them for another 6 minutes.

Every time I think of this or see this picture, I get mad all over again. I hate that oven with a fiery passion….apparently, it may be mutual.

Our burgers looked a little confused since I sliced enough off that we just used two tops for each one, but they tasted good, held up well to the toppings and such and I didn’t waste the ingredients.

One top!

Another day and a better mood, I might have dumped them entirely and started over again, but that didn’t happen and it worked out pretty well.

Second top! There’s pickle slices in there, but they’re shy.

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