These Nettle Seed Burger Buns are a really great twist on the classic burger bun that will elevate your homemade burgers to a whole new level. The secret ingredient? Nettle seeds! Known for their abundance of health benefits, nettle seeds add a delightful crunch and earthy essence to these buns.
Nettle seeds have long been cherished for their remarkable nutritional profile. These tiny powerhouses are a rich source of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, which we harvest in abundance from mid summer to early autumn here in the UK. They are known to support the immune system, promote healthy digestion, and even have potential anti-inflammatory properties – it’s safe to say that incorporating nettle seeds into your diet is a fantastic way to give you a natural boost!
To create these burger buns, we use a baking technique called the tangzhong method. Originating from Japan, tangzhong involves creating a roux-like mixture of flour and milk that is cooked together to form a thick paste. This mixture is then added to the dough, resulting in exceptionally soft, fluffy, and moist bread – which also helps the bread stay fresh longer.
25g Canadian white bread flour
120g whole milk
Tangzhong (see above)
200g cold milk
20g granulated sugar
7g instant dried yeast
30g dried milk powder
7g kosher salt
360g Canadian white bread flour
45g soft butter
Egg wash, made from one egg whisked with 1 tablespoon of water
5g nettle seeds
5g black sesame seeds, or other seed of your choice
Combine the milk and the flour in a heavy based saucepan. Place over a low medium heat and heat slowly whisking constantly until it thickens to a paste. Remove from the heat and place into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Pour the cold milk into the tangzhong paste and stir to combine, the mixture should feel warm to touch.
Add the sugar, yeast, dried milk powder, salt, egg and flour. Attach a dough hook and mix on a medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, it should start coming away from the edge of the bowl and will take around 12-15 minutes. If the dough is super sticky and doesn’t quite pull away add a tablespoon of flour to help it along.
Add the soft butter and for another five minutes until completely incorporated. The dough should at this point be smooth, glossy and elastic. Stop the mixer and stretch a portion of the dough to see if it stretches without tearing (window Pane test) If the dough tears continue to mix for a few more minutes.
Scrape the dough onto the worktop and tension the dough by using a dough scraper pull the dough into a tight ball. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and prove until doubled in size which may take one to two hours.
Divide the dough into 90g balls and form into buns by flattening the dough out a little and tucking the corners to create a loose ball shape. Place the dough ball seam side down and use your hand to gently work it into a tight ball.
Rest the buns for ten minutes and then roll again into a tight ball. Place the buns on a tray lined with non-stick paper with a good amount of space between them, you will probably need to use two trays. Cover the buns with lightly oiled cling film and allow to prove for another hour or until doubled in size.
Turn the oven on after 30 minutes and preheat to 185℃. Once proved, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle over the seeds. Press the seeds into the buns with the palm of your hand. Bake the buns for 16-18 minutes turning half way through to get a nice even colour.
Remove the buns from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
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