Monday, July 13, 2009

Recipe :: Burger Buns

I know some people for whom wheat is basically poison. Poor buggers. If you are blessed with the ability to chow down on gluten loaded fresh white bread and would like a sturdy yet soft white roll upon which to place a burger of your own division, this bun is your go-to hot bakery item.

What goes in:

600g bread flour
200ml warm water
200ml milk
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
4 TBS vegetable oil
1-2 tsp salt*
1/4 tsp baking powder

What you do with it:

OK. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, start with the mixer bowl. If you don't, just grab a big bowl. Whack in the flour and make a well in the center. Into the well, add your yeast, sugar and warm water. Wait five minutes or so until the yeast starts to foam.

I guess this step isn't necessary with instant yeast but I like to make sure right at the start that the yeast is working.

When the foam is off and running, add in the salt, baking powder, oil and milk and start to mix your dough. If you're using a mixer, start with the paddle until it comes together and then switch to the dough hook. If you're working by hand, well aren't you just awesome?

Once the dough has come together, you want to work it until it's smooth and elastic. It seems like a vague instruction but there is a point where you can just feel it's done. Try it. You'll see. It's about ten minutes of vigorous hand kneading, less with a mixer.

This mix might seem a bit wet to you, as it did to me. I had to add in about 1/2 cup more flour while kneading so that it wasn't overly sticky.

Once your kneading is done, stick it in a clean, oiled bowl and yeah, leave it in a warm area for an hour or so (more if it's cooooold) until it's doubled in size. Your house will smell amazing. It smells a bit like doughnuts. You will get hungry before the bread is ready. Plan ahead, have snacks.

Once the dough has risen you have to deflate all that hard work and start again. Squish out all the air, knead it a little and divide into 8 equal portions. Baker nerds will weigh each ball to make sure everything is even. You don't have to. S'okay. Roll those suckers into balls and then flatten into a disc. Pop them onto a greased baking tray and let them rest again an hour or until doubled. Yeah. Again. Give the tops a little brush with milk and sprinkle with poppy, sesame or even nigella seed or nothing at all, whatever takes your fancy.

Then pop them into a pre-heated oven. A hot one. It's supposed to be 200c/400f but my oven dial is so old, the markings have worn off so I just wing it. It was fine. Don't ask about the lamb roast though. Your buns should be brown and lovely after 12 minutes or so. Your BREAD buns.

You will want to eat them straight away but leave them for 20 minutes at least to cool down before you split those suckers open and stuff them with fillings.

Fillings like this maybe? I made lamb patties with garlic and oregano and a minted yoghurt with fried red onions, tomato and spinach. They were good. Really good.