This recipe from Allrecipes (source) gives complete instructions for making the dough in the traditional way. I use my bread machine because it does a magnificent job of proofing the dough. I have made them as the recipe is written and they have come out very well too. It is just soooo much easier with the bread maker that I will give those instructions here. They taste so good that I even went to my local second hand store and bought another bread maker so I could make a double batch for parties!
Hamburger Buns1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter - melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teas. salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
Heat milk and water in a glass measuring cup on 50% power 30 to 45 seconds until it is warm (about 100 degrees). Add the melted butter and egg. Stir egg with a fork. Add next 3 dry ingredients then make a well in the flour and put yeast in it. Select dough setting on bread maker and start. Now you can watch tv or curl up with a good book! See isn't this hard?
When dough is ready, (my bread machine takes an hour and a half) remove dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into the size you want. I make 14 dough balls out of each batch and these make large buns. If you want to be picky you can weigh them as I did here. Each one weighed close to 2.7 oz. They came out very uniform and nice but this step isn't normally needed.
Place dough on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and leave a couple of inches on each side of them. I put mine 3 across and three down to give them plenty of room.
Make them smooth and round by pushing the dough up through your fingers. Stretch the dough on top of the ball until it is perfectly formed. This helps them look good and rise better too.
Flatten dough with palm of hand. Don't be worried about pushing them down. They will be too thick if you don't push down enough.
You want them to be no taller than your finger.
This is how they look after you press them down. There is still plenty of room for them to grow as they rise. Cover with a dish towel. Let rise for about 30 minutes. I like them to be touching when I bake them.
When dough has risen and buns are the size you want, bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Can you smell the of baking bread right now? Divine!
See? Perfect, light, hamburger buns!
This is how I like mine to look but you can take them out whenever you like.
To make Hot Dog Buns: Shape each ball of dough into a 6x4 inch rectangle. Starting with the 6" side, roll up, and pinch edges and ends to seal. Let rise and bake the same as the hamburger buns. You can get about 16 hot dog buns out of one batch.
p.s. These buns freeze well. Freeze in a non-frost free freezer if possible and they will taste just as good for 4-6 weeks!
p.p.s. If you want to make Dollar Rolls - you know the ones that are only a couple of inches across and are fun for showers and parties? Use .8 oz of dough and cook for 6 minutes. Even though these rolls are tiny compared to hamburger buns, the stores charge a lot for them, sometimes $2.50 to $3.00 a dozen. These will save you a ton of money by making them yourself. And they couldn't be more delicious!