Good luck to all of the competitors in Burger Love 2013!
Courtesy of Mel Moreland, Pastry Chef at Daniel Brenan Brickhouse
8 ounces warm water
10g yeast (instant or dry active)
4 ounces milk
40g brown sugar
24g butter, melted
500g bread flour
15-20g wheat bran
21g sodium hydroxide
1 egg, beaten
coarse sea salt and sesame seeds, as needed
If using dry active yeast, allow it to bloom in the warm water until nice and foamy. Combine the remaining ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the dough hook attachment. Knead on medium-low speed for about 7-8 minutes (or by hand until the dough passes the window pane test).
Place the dough in a well oiled bowl and let it rise for about 45 minutes to an hour (or until doubled in size). Knock it down and portion it out into 8-10 buns. Shape, cover and allow the buns to rise for another 45min-1 hour (or until doubled again).
Prepare your sodium hyroxide solution by dissolving it in the water. Once the buns are fully risen, it’s time for a little dunk in the NaOH bath. Depending on the size of your bowl, you can probably do this 2-3 buns at a time. Place them in the solution tops down (as that is what you are aiming to brown, the bottom really doesn’t have to look that pretty). Soak them for about 1 minute or until you can tell that the dough is yellowing. Remove and repeat until all the buns have been bathed, so to speak.
Slice an “x” in the top of each bun and brush them all with egg wash. Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds and coarse sea salt. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes. Cool and enjoy! You can bag up any leftovers and they will keep for about a day. If they start to get stale, you can pop them in the oven prior to serving to rejuvenate them a bit.