Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hamburger Buns


Every now and then we get on a hamburger kick.  Lately we've been on one because I got tired of trying to find new beef recipes, and burgers always taste good, so...it's a pretty simple equation from there.

Rob's always in charge of frying up the burgers, but I trade off by making the buns.  We don't eat burgers consistently enough to justify buying the buns, and besides that, they're easy to make and obviously much cheaper.  And-- this is where we get to use the new sprouted wheat that's residing in the freezer.  Hurrah!  So far I've found that sprouted wheat behaves the same-- for the most part.  As a thickener, you'll need to use a little more of it (or a little less liquid).  Sometimes it takes a little longer to bake.  But overall, you can use it 1:1.

INGREDIENTS
1 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
1 T. sugar
2 T. melted butter
1 egg
1 1/4 t. salt
3 1/2 c. flour

If you're a novice to the world of baking yeast products, there's really only two tricks to the trade.  "Warm water" means about 100-110 degrees, and you can easily judge this by holding your hand under the faucet.  When the water just barely stings, it's a good temp.  If it's not that hot, it'll still work, just not as quickly. 

The other trick is letting the yeast, water, and sugar sit together for about 15 minutes to get the yeast going seriously.  You don't have to do this, but I've made it a habit.  That way, it doesn't matter if I have instant yeast or regular yeast on hand-- either one works.  

Side note: the sugar in bread recipes is generally for the yeast to feed on.  It really doesn't take much.  If the recipe isn't a sweet one, and you'd prefer less sugar, use less sugar.  It'll be fine. A squirt of honey will work just as well.

I use my Kitchenaid for all bread products. I don't have a breadmaker because I simply don't like them, but I don't see any harm in doing that either. I suppose purists feel that using machines to make bread is a cop out, but I don't.  I'm much more likely to make the products at home- therefore saving money- if I use the Kitchenaid, so I do.  :-) Whatever works for your kitchen is the best option.

Okay, so first things first: add the water, sugar and yeast together in your mixing bowl.  Let this sit for about fifteen minutes.  It's a great time frame to empty the dishwasher or switch loads of laundry.


Then add the rest of the ingredients:


Use the bread hook and turn it on to speed 2- apparently it's not good to go higher than that on a Kitchenaid when making bread dough.  I suppose it strains the engine since it ends up so stiff.

I've found that if you leave the dough mixing long enough, it will clean off the sides and incorporate all the loose stuff it leaves behind.  Sometimes I get impatient and scrape the sides to hurry the process along, but if  you're distracted and just need it to do the work all by itself, it can.  Just let it go a little longer.


Hurrah, dough!  Spray the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth and let set for about an hour, until it doubles.
   

Then divvy it into eight pieces.  I use my kitchen scale, 'cause I'm crazy that way.

Shape the dough into balls and place on a pan, then flatten them out a bit.  Let them rise for 30-60 minutes, until they look like burger buns.


Bake @375 for about 15 minutes, then brush the tops with butter.  When you're ready to use them for dinner, cut them open, smear them with more butter, and broil them for about 4 minutes, until they're tan and crispy.  It adds a whole level of awesome to the burger.


Then load 'em up!  This was a particularly delightful rendition of hamburgers, because we had tomatoes from the garden, as well as bacon-cheese-potato wedges on the side, also from the garden.

This recipe is easily doubled, and you can freeze either the uncooked dough or the buns themselves to save on future time issues. Dough thaws surprisingly quickly, and if you thaw it at room temp it rises at the same time, so all you'll have to do is shape it and rise the buns before baking.  Easy!

4 comments :

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I'm going to try it sometime this week. I hate buying hamburger buns. We usually only use a couple out of the package then the rest mold before we have burgers again. A huge waste. I've wanted to try making my own, but never took the time to find a decent recipe. So thanks for posting yours!

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    Replies
    1. Oh yay! It's delightful to have a blog that's of use to somebody. :-D

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  2. Looks so good! I also waste a lot of buns. I'll have to try this too!

    Betty Figarelle

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  3. Oh. My. Word. Those look good! I think I'm going to decide that I can eat bread made with sprouted grain flour. :-)

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