CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
CLASSIC BLUEBERRY PIE

DAMN GOOD ITTY BITTY SLIDER BUNS

Cute little, golden brown, buttery crusted buns with just enough poof and just enough bite, that simply beg to be slidered!

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♪♫  I like little buns, and I cannot lie.

Yay, for me!  I no longer have slider bun envy.  These babies turned out exactly as I had hoped, and the recipe has been officially inducted in my Keeper file.

And they're easy peasy!  Mix, mix, dough.  Rise.  Roll.  Cut cute little circles of dough and line them up like soldiers of soft goodness on a baking sheet. Admire. Rise.  Brush with butter.  Bake.  Smile.  Grin.  Brush with more butter.  Admire.  Happiness is......

You know what else?  These little buns would be good with anything in them, or on them. I tried one hot from the oven with a bit of cold butter and a wee puddle of golden syrup.  Oh, oh!  This could be dangerous.

But, back to today's agenda. I made these buns for sliders, so slide I did!

Whilst scooting about online looking at all things 'slider' I came across this blurb on Serious Eats Burger Lab:

"Invented in Wichita, Kansas, in 1916 by Walter Anderson (who five years later founded White Castle), sliders were at one time the predominant form of burger on the planet.  Weighing in at under two ounces, the diminutive sandwiches are made by slowly steam-griddling thin, all-beef patties on a bed of onions.

The aromatic steam from the onions wafts through and around the beef and buns, which are placed directly on top of the patty as it cooks.  When fully steamed through, the buns become mere wisps of moist pillowy bread - the physical manifestation of sweet, pungent onion vapor.  Topped with melty American cheese and a couple of slices of pickle, it's the cheeseburger in one of it's purest, most noble forms and as a genre, is completely unimprovable."

Who knew, right?

I didn't stay true to those historic preparations when I made my sliders, but still hit a high luscious factor.  I sliced open each slider bun, lightly buttered both sides, then grilled them in a non-stick pan, 'til just lightly golden and toasty.  Then I slid a quick-fried skinny burger, topped with melty cheese, some fried onions and dill pickle chips, into the bun, and ........Voila....

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 FOR THE MINI MEAT:

I formed the burgers ahead of time and just kept in the fridge until I was ready to fry. 

Also a bit ahead of time, I fried thinly sliced Vidalia sweet onions, til golden and toasty edged, in a little bit of butter and olive oil.

I used a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter to cut little burgers out of ground beef, patted flat (just under 1/2-inch thick), on a sheet of parchment paper, and seasoned them only with salt and pepper.  They were fried in a tich of oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  They cook quickly.  I alternated topping burgers with cheddar or swiss.  Then threw a couple of tablespoons of water into the pan (to rev up some steam), quickly covered the pan and within about 1 minute, uncovered an array of gloriously melty cheese topped burgs, that begged to be slid into an itty bitty bun.

[Photo credit to King Arthur Flour Blog - Flourish]

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Next time I make Damn Good Itty Bitty Slider Buns methinks I shall tear them open and tuck some thin slices of warm, brown-sugar-mustardy-crusted-slow-baked ham, inside. 

 

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Adapted from King Arthur Flour - Flourish post by P.J. Hamel
and one of my fave stops Jo Cooks, for The Last Wonton

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DAMN GOOD ITTY BITTY SLIDER BUNS - Makes 24-30

3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon instant (breadmaker) yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing

Add all ingredients to the bowl of your mixer (excluding the 4 tablespoons of melted butter for brushing).  Using the dough hook attachment, mix everything together on medium low for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic and the sides of the bowl are clean.  The dough should be a bit soft and a bit sticky.  If the dough is too hard or dry add a bit more lukewarm water and be patient while it incorporates into the dough.  If dough is too sticky add just a bit more flour.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease.

Gently deflate the dough and plop onto lightly floured surface and roll it out so that it's about 1/3-inch thick.  Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut the slider buns.  I got 30 buns - but others who have made a very similar recipe get 24 buns. 

Place the cutout slider buns evenly onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between them.  Cover the buns and let rise for 1 to 2 hours (I lean towards 2 hours).  Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 375F.  Brush buns with melted butter and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove from oven, brush with additional butter.  Resistance is futile!


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 "Breadmaking is one of the most hypnotic businesses,
like a dance from some ancient ceremony.   It leaves you
filled with one of the world's sweetest smells........
there is no chiropratic treatment, no Yoga exercise,
no hour of meditation, in a music-throbbing chapel that
will  leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this
homely ceremony of making bread"

~ M.F.K Fisher, The Art of Eating

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