Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Hamburger Buns

The other night we decided to have hamburgers for dinner. I thought this would be the perfect time to use my new bread making skills and make the buns. I found a recipe by King Arthur Flour that had great reviews, so I thought I would give it a try.

You can find the original recipe here at Beautiful Burger Buns.

I started by proofing the yeast. I always do this step first because if your yeast doesn’t work it’s a lot easier to find out now than two hours later.

Next I mixed together the butter, egg, and some water in the bowl of a stand mixer.

When the butter and egg were well mixed I added the sugar, salt, and a little bit of flour. I mixed until the flour was well incorporated.

Then I dumped the yeast mixture into the bowl and mixed that in well.

After that I started to add the remainder of the flour, ½ cup at a time. Here is the first one . . .

Second . . .

Third . . .

After the third ½ cup the dough was getting very stiff and dry so I decided to add some more water to keep things moist.

Forth . . .

Fifth! After all the flour had been added the dough looked smooth and had formed a nice ball.

I finished kneading the dough by hand to make sure everything was homogenous and elastic.

I love to see the before and after pictures of the dough rising. I think the science behind rising dough is quite amazing and you can see how it works in The Whole Picture

After the dough was done rising, the recipe says to divide it into eight equal pieces. Since I don’t have a kitchen scale, I just eye balled it. 

Forming the dough into smooth balls for the buns was harder than I expected. I really had to manipulate the dough to smooth them out. They started out pretty rough

but ended up smooth in the end. I found that pulling the top around the sides seemed to work well.

You can see here how not all of my buns were the same size.

After I smashed them down they turned out ok. The recipe said to press the dough down more in the middle. I wasn’t sure about this but they seem to cook up more in the middle so this was an important step.
Butter, Butter, Butter! These little buns got lots of butter coverage. And thank goodness, I’m sure all the butter coverage made them so delicious.

These buns turned out better than I expected. They were very light and fluffy. All the butter made them very moist and delicious as well. The buns were very large though. I think the next time I make them I will try to do smaller one.

I thought I had taken a picture of the finished product but I can’t find it. I guess you will just have to make them and see how they turn out for yourself.

King Arthur Hamburger Buns


1 ¼ to 1 ¾ cup warm water
2 tablespoons melted butter plus more for brushing
1 large egg
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast


Add the yeast and a pinch of sugar to a bowl. Add ½ cup warm water and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.

Add ¾ cup water, 2 tablespoons butter, and egg to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat together on low until all incorporated.

Add 1 cup of flour, the sugar, and salt to the bowl. Mix until the flour is well incorporated.

Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and mix well.

Begin to add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing until each ½ cup of flour is fully incorporated in the dough before adding more. More water should be added ¼ cup at a time if needed to keep the dough moist and elastic.

Place the dough in a large container and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight equal pieced. Use a kitchen scale if available.

Roll each piece of dough between your hands until smooth. Then flatten each dough ball into a 3 inch diameter. Flatten the middle of the dough slightly more to create a dimple.

Brush each piece of dough with melted butter, then cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until double in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Before placing the dough into the over to make, brush the tops again with the melted butter.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops of the buns are golden. Brush the tops of the buns one more time with melted butter right when they come out of the oven.

Allow to cool before slicing and serving.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pie Crust

The rules for making pie crust are exactly opposite of those for making bread. For example, all the ingredients need to be as cold as possible. Also, you want to try and knead the dough as little as possible because you don’t want any gluten forming.

After all the things I’ve learned about how to make good bread, it was fun to make pie crust and to try and do the exact opposite. So, I decided to share it with you guys to see what you think.

This recipe comes to us from this cookbook, which is my new favorite. I got it for my birthday and have loved it ever since.

Here are the ingredients that you will need:

1 cup butter
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vinegar
½ teaspoon salt

Start by cutting some butter up into small cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer.

Then dump the flour on top of the butter.

Use your hands to make sure each tiny square of butter is well coated with flour and that no butter squares are stuck together, and then place the bowl in the freezer.

Meanwhile, pour the vinegar into a large measuring cup and dissolve the salt in it. Then place the measuring cup in the freezer and let everything chill for about 10 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the freezer and using the paddle attachment mix the butter and flour together until it resembles coarse cornmeal.  

When the mixture reaches the coarse meal stage, keep the mixer on and slowly pour in the vinegar mixture.

Keep mixing until the dough forms a ball. It should only take a few minutes and you don’t want to over mix this part.

Dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide the dough mass into two sections and then press each section into a disc shape. Try not to knead the dough.

Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before use. Or place in the freezer for use at a later time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

White Bread

I have been LOVING what the dry milk and potatoes does to the bread. The fluffiness and moister they provide reminds me of good ol’ white bread. So that is exactly what I decided to try next.

SIDE NOTE: White flour is white because of the addition of a bleaching agent but it is really just refined flour. Refined flour has the germ and bran removed from the kernel and can be bleached or unbleached.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cinnamon Challah Bread

I was really in the mood for French toast the other day and remembered, from making challah bread before, Honey Wheat Challah Bread, that it was perfect bread for French toast. So, I created my own version in the hopes that it would be perfect for breakfast.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

BREAD SCIENCE: Hydration Station

I've been experimented with my own bread recipes later and I keep having dough that just won't rise. This can be a frustrating experience, especially after waiting a few hours! After a lot of trial and error, I finally figured out what was happening to my dough . . . or should I say what was not happening. I discovered that water or moisture is a key ingredient to bread dough. Why you ask? Well hang on to your hats ‘cause I'm gonna tell ya.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Orange Cranberry Bread

Since the last bread recipe I tired turned out so delicious, Whole Wheat Bread, I thought this would be a great recipe to experiment with. And experiment I did!

The first idea I wanted to try was combining oranges and cranberries. What goes together better? Maybe peanut butter and banana, but that is a whole other conversation.

Monday, June 25, 2012

BAKING BUDDIES: Dani’s Breadsticks

Whenever I tell people I have a bread-baking blog the first thing they say is “I have the best bread recipe!” Whether these people are regular bread bakers or not, everyone has their favorite recipe. So, I thought I would start featuring some of these. Maybe one of these recipes will become your new favorite, go-to bread recipe.