We all like to rush out at the first sign that there might be some sunshine, dust down the barbecue and savour the smells and flavours of outdoor cooking. In the UK, each sunny day may be the last for some time, so we have to make the most of it!
One part of the barbecue that seems neglected is the burger bap. We seem to sacrifice quality for ease, and happily put our lovingly carbonised sausage or burger into a flavourless, soggy bread bun. This recipe is quick and easy (it even uses fast-acting yeast!), produces buns with just the softness needed for bbq burger baps, thanks to the use of milk and butter, and gives you more flavour and satisfaction than the supermarket offerings. They even freeze well! Go on, all you need now is a bag of charcoal...
Makes around 15 baps
Mix the milk and water, add the dried yeast and sugar. Leave in a warm place, covered, until bubbling away.
Then add the melted butter and the dry ingredients, mixing until it forms a dough. Tip the dough onto the worksurface, scraping any scraps out of the bowl. Knead for just a short time, until the dough becomes soft and elastic, then return the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth until almost doubled in volume.
Give the dough a quick, light knead, then pat it out to about 15mm (1/2 inch) thick. Either use a dough divider to cut 15 square buns, or use a 3" crumpet ring to cut round baps from the dough. Place the buns onto a greased baking sheet, cover and leave until risen again to about double the height. Brush the baps with a little more melted butter (and top with sesame seeds if desired) and bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes.
* a little mustard powder will add flavour, while a small amount of Diax diastatic malt powder will help the dough to colour quickly and give a tender crumb.