Sometimes I wonder if Shane misses the pre-food blogging days when we used to just cook our food and eat it.  Now, every time I make a new recipe for dinner, Shane asks “you’re going to put this on your blog, right?”  Often, the answer is a resounding yes.  I’m excited about the dish and can’t wait to share, even if that means delaying dinner for a few minutes so I can set up and try to achieve a good shot.  The only problem is that I’m still very much a novice photographer so sometimes I take 50 pictures before I get one I like.  As you might imagine, dinner isn’t terribly warm by that point.  The solution is usually for us just to eat dinner while it’s hot and save leftovers that I can photograph later.  Leftovers weren’t an option when I made these burgers, but Shane convinced me to take a few pictures anyway.  In the interest of saving time, I threw them on a plate on the deck railing next to the grill, snapped a pic and called it a day.  Not something I would normally do, but I’m trying to learn to be ok with shortcuts sometimes…a warm, juicy burger is worth it 🙂    

This is probably only the second time I’ve made homemade hamburger rolls so I haven’t tried a ton of recipes, but frankly, I’m not sure I need to.  These were just about perfect.  They’re sturdy enough for burgers yet still soft and light with just a touch of sweetness.  I joked on Twitter yesterday that I was too lazy to go to the store to buy hamburger rolls for dinner, so instead I was going to make them and that’s just what I did.  These were so easy I really do think they took less effort than getting in the car and driving to the store.  Lightly toasted on the grill, they were leaps and bounds better than anything I could have bought anyway.

Homemade Hamburger Rolls
from King Arthur Flour

(I made this recipe using my stand mixer so those are the instructions I’m including but you could absolutely do this by hand or in a bread machine if you wanted.)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 – 1 cup warm water (about 110 F)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the butter, egg, flour, sugar, salt, yeast and 3/4 cup of the water.  Mix on low speed until a rough dough comes together.  Continue kneading on low speed until the dough is soft and smooth, about 5-7 minutes.  You may need to add some of the remaining 1/4 cup of water if the weather is particularly dry where you are.  There shouldn’t be dry bits of flour in the bottom of the bowl; if there are, slowly add a little bit of water at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but clings to the bottom. 

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray.  Add the dough to the bowl, turning to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently press to deflate.  Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (or 8 if you want really large rolls).  Shape each piece into a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.  Flatten the ball into a disk about 3 inches in diameter.  Repeat with all of the dough then cover and let the rolls rise for about an hour, or until they are noticeably puffy.  

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F.  Once they’ve risen, brush the tops of the rolls with half of the melted butter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden in color.  Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining butter.  Let cool.

Makes 12 rolls

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