Monday, August 8, 2011

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

I am loving our new grain mill.....and making lots of things with freshly ground hard white wheat.  It is just so satisfying to know the nutrition level of the bread products we're eating is significantly better than before, not to mention absolutely delicious.
When Grant asked for Spicy Turkey Burgers this week, I decided to try out homemade hamburger buns.  Believe it or not, I had never really considered making our own buns before.  But as I stood in the bread aisle of Wal-Mart analyzing the ingredient list of the only 100% whole wheat buns available and saw that the list was at least a couple of inches long and included who knows what, I thought, "For heaven's sake, I can do better than that."  So I did.

These are lovely - nice texture, slightly chewy, full of homemade goodness.  The whole family enjoyed them, although the girls were a bit disappointed when they came in from playing outside and thought from the bread smell we were having homemade pizza......but they sure didn't complain when they were eating the burgers!

The original recipe included directions for using an egg wash and topping with sesame seeds, which would make them look more like hamburger buns, but I don't really prefer sesame seeds on buns anyways, so I omitted that step.

Recipe: (adapted from Annie's Eats)

1 c. warm water
3 T. milk
1 T. instant yeast (or 1 packet)
2-1/2 T. sugar
1-1/2 t. salt
1 large egg
3 c. white whole wheat flour (can use bread flour if desired)
3 T. gluten (omit if using bread flour)
1/2 t. lecithin (omit if using bread flour)
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
2-1/2 T. butter, softened

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and egg.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the flours, plus gluten and lecithin if using, and mix until incorporated.  Mix in the butter.  Knead for about 6-8 minutes.  The dough may be somewhat tacky, but don't add too much extra flour which could create tough buns.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts.  Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart.  Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 30 minutes or so, until puffed up and nearly doubled.

Set a large pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. with a rack in the center.  Bake the buns about 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

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