Tuna Buns with Homemade Buns and Crispy Onions

While I was getting my lalunch prepared on Sunday, I started on the homemade buns that would be the base for the Tuna Buns (which I was going to make on Sunday, but with the filling lalunch I went with something lighter: a bacon, grape and feta cheese salad with romaine lettuce and Greek dressing). I ended up making the Tuna Buns last night. Growing up this meal was a classic. With a large family of 5 kids, we were always trying to make the most of what we had. So when the hotdog and hamburger buns got just a little too hard to eat, they were perfect for this baked dish. When I told Andrew about this recipe and what we called it, he found it pretty hilarious and said that Mr. Tuna Buns would make a great name for a cat. I think I agree; now we just need a cat.

Homemade Buns:

Instead of the usual slightly hard hot dog and hamburger buns we used growing up, I decided to try out making some homemade ones, which I had never done before. I found this great recipe online: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/beautiful-burger-buns-recipe

Ingredients:
¾ to 1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
3 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast

Topping:
3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:
1.)  Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – to make a soft, smooth dough.

2.)  Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it is nearly double in bulk.

3.)  Gently deflate the dough, and divide in into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.

risen buns

4.)  Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter

5.)  Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.

6.)  Cool the buns on a rack

baked buns

Yields 8 large buns

Since I only had active-dry yeast, I found a nice substitution guide online between active-dry and the instant yeast that the recipe calls for: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/faqs/baking/yeast Because of the water and sugar it takes to activate the active-dry yeast, I had to deduct that from the amount that the recipe called for. In addition, I used olive oil instead of butter in the recipe, but still coated it with butter. I ended up forming 9 buns, and will freeze half to use at a later time. Check out the website for a lot of other great variations on the recipe, like adding seeds to the top of the buns and coating with egg whites instead of butter.

 

The Tuna Buns recipe (as I currently make it) is as follows:

Ingredients:
6-12 buns (as many as needed depending on size and amount of stuff you want to put on top)
6 oz. can of tuna
1 can cream of ??? soup (where the ??? could be any that you desire, my favorites: celery or broccoli, but mushroom and any other would work as well)
1 to 2 cups crispy onions (depending on the size/number of buns)

Directions:
1.) Cut buns in half and layout on baking sheet

2.) Mix tuna and soup together and spread mixture over buns. Sprinkle with crispy onions.

ready to bake tuna buns

3.) Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes

baked tuna buns

They turned out just as I remember, and I have plenty leftover in the fridge for dinner tonight. Just back in the oven again for a reheat and they will be ready to eat!

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