Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Buns

On my days off this week, I decided to replenish the buns in our freezer by making a batch. We use buns mostly for veggie burgers, and they are so much better (and cheaper!) when made by hand.  The recipe is slightly altered from one that I found on The Fresh Loaf. Here is my version:

2 cups white flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons regular yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups warm water

Start by activating your yeast. Mix yeast, sugar, and water in the bottom of a large bowl, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. It should look all foamy when it is done, like this:

Mix together the white flour, 1 1/2 cups of the whole wheat, and the salt in a separate bowl. Slightly beat the eggs, then add the olive oil. Mix the wet and dry ingredients into the yeast mixture, stirring until a dough starts to form and pull away from the sides. Dump the dough onto your countertop, and knead for about 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. The dough should be tacky, but not overly sticky.

Dough before kneading

Dough after kneading

Next, clean out your bowl and coat it in a thin layer of oil. Put dough into the bowl and flip it upside down to grease the top of it. Cover it in a clean tea towel and put it somewhere warm to rise for an hour. 

Dough greased and ready to rise

Dough rising

My warm place is my oven. While I am kneading, I turn my oven on to the lowest setting (150 F) for a few minutes. I then turn it off and turn on the light. I put the bread into the warm oven and keep the light on as it rises. After the first hour of rising, the dough should be doubled in size:

after first rise

Punch down the dough, knead it a couple of times, and put it back in your warm area to rise for a second hour. It will double once again. After the second hour is over, punch down the dough again, knead it a couple times, and divide it into 8 or 12 pieces, depending on the size of bun desired. I did 8, as we tend to make our burger patties large. Flatten each piece into a small disc and shape into buns by folding the edges into the center:

Fold in the edges 4 times

The bottom left is what all of your buns should look like after shaping

Flip all of your buns upside down, so the smooth part is on top (prevents seals from splitting while rising), and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover with the towel again, and let rise for 35-60 minutes. Mine rose really quickly, so they only needed another 35 minutes. 

final rise

Preheat your oven to 450 F (remember to take out the buns if you were rising them in the oven!). Flip over the buns so that the creases are on top. Bake at 450 F for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown, and hollow sounding when tapped. 

hot from the oven!

Allow them to cool completely, and either freeze them immediately, or keep on the counter for 3-4 days, if they last that long! Mine don't look exactly like kaiser buns, but they are homemade and delicious, which is all that matters to me! Happy Baking!


1 comment:

  1. Bread that rises. What a concept...They look yummy!