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not that kind of girl

Recipe: slider buns

My brain just registered that the Superbowl is this weekend. I knew something was up when I began to see lots of Superbowl party foods posted around the food blogosphere. I’m slow on the uptake sometimes, but I have been really busy getting my photo gallery up. I had a vague awareness that the Superbowl was coming *waves hand in the distance* sometime. Oh, I’m not fooling anyone – I don’t follow football. We don’t own a TV. Can’t stand watching sports, really… I much prefer to play sports.

But I love Superbowl Sunday, because it means hiking trails and ski slopes are empty. Everyone is happy! Aside from keeping the masses glued to the television, I love the Superbowl because it means parties with lots of finger foods. I have a mild obsession with food in miniature and individual servings. One of the great things about urb is that I’ve been shoved out of my comfort zone into the world of bread and yeast. That’s partly due to the Daring Bakers and partly due to my envious ogling of silders in our lovely food blogging community.

i can do this

I found a recipe from CHOW and tried my hand at it. My hand, by the way, tends to be heavy when it comes to bread. As in, I overknead bread. That may be a habit of mine because I love to knead my clay when I throw pottery and bread dough is sooo much easier and fluffier to knead – it’s addictive.

cooling the milk and shortening

Every time I’ve made yeast bread it has come out tasting fantastic but with a density/texture a tad heavier than I was hoping for. I should go and park myself over at Wild Yeast and learn a thing or two. But I was very excited to get around to this item on my “want to make” list at last.

mix the dough

One ingredient I didn’t have the time to hunt around for was non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. I only had the hydrogenated kind in my cupboard. I imagine NHVS is easy to find down in Boulder. The recipe says not to substitute for the whole milk or the NHVS as those impact the fluffiness. Wups.

after the rise: cutting the dough into small pieces

I cut 20 pieces from the dough to make buns about 2-inches in diameter, shaping them into nice little rounds and patting them down on the baking sheet. Next time I’ll pat them down a little more and they were a bit on the tall side. Or maybe tall wouldn’t matter if they were super soft?

pressing the dough down

While the buns rose a second time, I prepared some organic ground beef with simple seasonings of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I made my burger patties about 3 inches in diameter in anticipation of shrinkage on the grill. When the buns were ready, they were baked until golden. Smelled great!

oooh little!

I sliced cherry tomatoes, cornichons, and used baby greens on the sliders. The miniature burgers were so cute and satisfyingly delicious. Just a bit much on the bread side for me, which is why I want to try these again to achieve a fluffier slider bun.

little bites with big flavor

Slider Buns
[print recipe]
from CHOW

1 1/4 cups whole milk
6 tbsps non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 (1/4 oz.) packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsps)

Bring milk to a simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan. As soon as milk simmers, remove from heat and stir in shortening until melted. Set aside to cool slightly (to about 105°F to 115°F). Add warm milk mixture and remaining ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix on lowest speed until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium low and mix until dough is smooth and springy, about 4 minutes. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, add dough, and turn to coat in oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and turn onto a clean surface. Divide dough into 18 (1-1/2-ounce) pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth, round bun (keep the rest covered with the towel as you work). Slightly flatten bun and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat to make 18 buns. Set buns aside in a warm area until slightly risen and puffy (they will not double in size), about 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange the rack in the middle. When buns have risen, bake in the oven until they are golden brown, crusty, and have an internal temperature of 190°F, about 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a rack, and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

45 nibbles at “not that kind of girl”

  1. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy says:

    Those are the prettiest little buns I’ve ever seen! They’re just perfect! Well done! You need to get your hands on a copy of Artisan Bread in Five. I’ve made things I never thought possible with it! The best brioche ever, and it’s foolproof.

  2. Amy says:

    Too cute! Ugh, I wish I could cook this weekend but I have to study. :(

  3. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    I love mini foods. I think it gives ya a great excuse to have 3 or 4 or 9 or 12 of something, lol. The buns look terrific. We are gearing up here for the Supebowl. I have been thinking about what bread to bake for my Super Hero Sandwich. Now I’m tempted to go mini!

  4. kamaile says:

    I’ve never had a slider. I’ll have to remedy that. They’re so cute! I love the speared pickle atop your burgers.

  5. sharon says:

    Ooh, I’m also a fan of the mini foods and these are adorable!

  6. Manggy says:

    Omigosh! It’s going to be my first Superbowl!!! What’ll probably happen is that I’ll ask a few questions about what the heck is going on, then completely lose interest till 10:00 when The Office special comes on. Hee hee. I’ll just be in the corner enjoying some of your sliders :)

  7. Manisha says:

    I am so glad these are not wings! I was at Costco today and they had wings, wings and more wings out for tasting.

    And, you got cute buns :-D

  8. Chiara says:

    Oooooh cuuuuuute! :) Haha Manisha’s comment is funny :)

  9. Lezel Safi says:

    But they are so darn cute!

  10. Pearl says:

    oh my goodness! you are like, a talent in a bottle!

  11. Rosa says:

    These burgers are cute and very tempting! So perfect. too…

    Enjoy the empty slopes!



  12. Passionate Eater says:

    Sigh, if I was at a Super Bowl party, I would deem those sliders too precious to eat. I love your tip about beef shrinkage–I will keep that in mind for my own burgers.

  13. farmerpam says:

    What’s a superbowl? :) We too are tv-less. Kids beg for one so we can be “normal”. HA-like that would ever happen even with one! I’m working on an Asian menu for tonight thanks to you, you rock stranger friend.

  14. bestrower says:

    Jen–if your rolls are not as fluffy as they should be, it’s possible that the dough is not rising to its full potential. In your first picture, it looks as if you have placed the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl before adding the liquid. Salt can impede the action of yeast when they come into direct contact with each other, so try this: mix your dry ingredients sans salt, add 100-degree liquid and mix together on a low speed for about 5 minutes. At this point the dough can look somewhat shaggy, but everything should be moistened. Now cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 20 minutes. Next, sprinkle the salt over the dough and mix again for about 5 minutes–or if you like kneading by hand, now’s the time to do it! Whether by machine or hand, though, it’s not necessary to over-knead. In fact, it’s actually better not to overwork the dough. Just make sure everything is well-incorporated. Now place the dough in an oiled rectangular container and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. In 20 minutes, stretch the dough into a longer rectangle and fold gently into thirds. Use a light hand–your goal is not to deflate it. In the first hour of the rise, you can stretch and fold like this another time or two, every 20 minutes. This process makes the dough velvety smooth and luscious to touch. When the directions say “punch down,” don’t take that literally. Just dumping the dough onto the counter and handling it to cut and shape it will deflate it enough. Of course, you don’t have to treat the dough delicately, but you don’t have to maul it, either! It takes so much less handling than many recipes have you believe. I learned this approach to yeast doughs at the French Culinary Institute, but I think Peter Reinhart (Breadbaker’s Apprentice, etc.) brings the same sensibility to making bread, and I like it. Maybe you will, too!

  15. Veggie Wedgie says:

    These look so pretty and cute!

  16. Mollie says:

    So cute! I love mini food too, and burgers… mmmmmm. I should make my own slider buns. The hubs has been bugging me about doing sliders but the right bun is hard to find so I should really try my hand at making my own. So cute!

    For Superbowl, I will have the house to myself, the hubs off to a party with a crock pot full of pulled pork, and I will have a chance to put everything together for our taxes to send to the accountant on Monday. I know how to party. :)

  17. Culinarywannabe says:

    Adorable! And you were kidding about not owning a tv, right??

  18. charlane says:

    oh yum!! and beautifully presented

  19. Kitt says:

    Cute buns, indeed! Looks like you have no need of a certain silly kitchen gadget, either.

  20. Fiona says:

    I like the photo of you patting the buns. Very affectionate.

  21. mary says:

    I am wondering if you’ve ever posted photos of your kitchen? I think it would be fun to have a “tour” of the kitchen :)

  22. Chiot's Run says:

    We always make mini burgers for super bowl. This year we’re kicking it up with bison burgers and venison burgers (I always make my own buns as well).

  23. MODman says:

    Oh for crying out loud! You live higher in elevation than I do (about a thousand feet) and your bread turns out beautiful. This is totally not fair! (Now that I have seen this I need to run over to SmashBurger).

  24. Memoria says:

    These miniature burgers look so cute!!!!

  25. renaye says:

    ur buns look so cute!! they look so surreal to be eaten!

  26. Mrs Ergül says:

    Oh no! These are absolutely adorable! They look professional, us usual! You’re cool Jen!

  27. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    It looks to me like you did everything perfectly! One would never guess that you were not squarely within your comfort zone here. For a fluffier bun next time, try adding a bit more liquid (water). Happy skiing today.

  28. Kathy says:

    One word: mouthwatering

  29. Tartelette says:

    I have a pot of chili on just for the SuperBowl which made Billy crack up since we don’t watch football :) I am now kneading some focaccia…weird pairing but I have just been craving it!!
    Love those sliders! Can I come over…NOW….or are they all gone?

  30. Melissa says:

    Oh my god, those sliders hahah, how awesome are you?? Great job on the buns, Jen.

    I do won a TV, two in fact, but we barely watch them. If we do, it’s NBA or movies or Discovery/History/Science Channel, stuff like that.

    We feel like the only people sometimes who don’t watch the Super Bowl. Guess not! :)

  31. chelc says:

    What wonderful looking burgers and such a beautiful restaurant!

    Jen, I just wanted you to know that I tried your quiche recipe to rave reviews. Thanks for sharing!

  32. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    The whole slider craze took off long after I left North America so I have to admit that I am a little out of the loop when it comes to these. But it’s a neat idea. Bite sized burgers, sigh, just what my hips needed! Wish I had thought of these in time for my son’s birthday party. I think they would have been a real hit.

  33. Sonya says:

    so sweet…i love it…Bravo :)

  34. jenyu says:

    Susan – Yes, after seeing it just about everywhere, I think I need to purchase that book (and I love Zoe’s blog too). Thanks for the tip!

    Amy – well, good luck studying and reward yourself afterward :)

    Lisa – ha ha, yup! Hope you all had fun.

    Kamaile – aren’t the cornichons cute? I like how they are miniature pickles.

    Sharon – next time I think I’ll make the burgers a little thicker (too much bread). But little is fun.

    Mark – I didn’t realize you were in the States for so long! I wish you could come out to visit (but you’d probably freeze your butt off).

    Manisha – ha ha! Naughty girl! ;)

    Chiara – Manisha is a riot. One of the many reasons I adore her.

    Lezel – :)

    Pearl – a bottle?! my goodness! :)

    Rosa – thanks, instead of enjoying the empty slopes, I nursed a cold, but I’m on the rebound!

    PE – yeah, they shrink about 20% or so, but as I mentioned above, next time I’ll make them fatter too, because I think there is too much bread to beef ratio.

    FarmerPam – cool, Asian menu! Hope you found something interesting (you should also check Steamy Kitchen and Rasa Malaysia and White on Rice Couple for awesome Asian food).

    Bestrower – I think I love you. Thank you for the tip! I will certainly give that a try next time. You are so unbelievably wonderful for bestowing this on me.

    VW – thanks!

    Mollie – yes, I have trouble finding the right slider buns (who makes them!?). Closest thing I can think of are King’s Hawaiian bread rolls. Ooooh, taxes. Girl, you are a wild one. I can tell.

    Culinarywannabe – ha ha! Nope, we don’t own a tv… even if we did we couldn’t get any reception up here and I don’t think cable is an option, so we’d have to subscribe to satellite… After all that money, we’d basically waste a lot of time watching junk. I’d much rather cuddle my puppy and go skiing :)

    Charlane – thank you :)

    Kitt – ha ha, yeah I saw that on your blog a while back and thought to myself, hey… But I have to be careful what I purchase these days as my kitchen is getting full.

    Fiona – I feel that way about bread dough because it’s so soft and plump, like a baby’s butt – without the poo. :)

    Mary – that’s coming – it will be a little while, but it’s coming!

    Chiot’s Run – great!

    MODman – dude, where do you live?

    Memoria – thanks.

    Renaye – too much fun, really.

    Mrs. E – thanks sweetie. They were so fun to make (somehow if it’s little, and you screw up, it doesn’t hurt as much…)

    Susan – thanks, hon. I bow to you bread experts! I have much to learn. xxoo

    Kathy – :)

    Tartelette – yes, next time I make sliders, let’s sit down together with your chili and sit around not watching football together – oh, and martinis!!

    Melissa – good on ya. I am so there. I wouldn’t mind a TV b/c I think Jeremy would really really like to a Wii, but… ever since our TV died in graduate school (oh, that was back in 2002) we’ve found that the time spent together instead of letting our brains rot is so much better!

    Chelc – awesome! Glad your guests enjoyed the quiche. But how can you go wrong when it’s quiche?! (yum!)

    Joanne – you think you’re out of the loop? I haven’t left North America and I’m just now getting around to making these… Maybe you can surprise your son and just make them for a fun treat? :)

    Sonya – thanks!

  35. Julie (fraises et tartines) says:

    Wow! These look amazing! Ever since I started buying grass fed beef, I’ve been wanting to make my own hamburger buns to complete the perfect hamburger. I will have to try these! I, like you, do not watch football. But I love the superbowl for the excuse to have people over and cook for them (plus, if I’m cooking, I don’t have to pay attention to the game).

  36. jenyu says:

    Julie – it’s true, if you are cooking then you definitely don’t have to watch :)

  37. Nancy says:

    I just know that when the recipe says “punch it down” I “punch it down” and it always works for me..I am more than impressed with your mini buns!

  38. peabody says:

    I like the pickle on top…nice touch.

  39. Ashley says:

    These are just too cute! They look delicious :)

  40. jenyu says:

    Nancy – yeah, the punch it down is something I really look forward to ;) Thanks!

    Peabody – thank you! I eat those first :)

    Ashley – hee hee, thanks!

  41. mycookinghut says:

    So cute!!

  42. jenyu says:

    MCH – thank you.

  43. walt says:

    I didn’t really notice that ANY of the above commenters actually MADE these. Just that they looked good or were cute. I just finished making them. Not bad but not great. I am looking for a recipe to make to go with Crab Cakes but I’ll pass on these. They are bad, they just aren’t anything to go ga-ga over.

  44. Rachel says:

    do you add water to the yeast before you add it to the mixture? or just add it in dry?

  45. jenyu says:

    Rachel – the first photo shows the dry yeast in the flour. So yes, add the yeast in dry.

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