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Nice Buns October 14, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, random stuff.
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You know what suffers when you bake most of your own bread?  I mean, yeah, there’s the whole fresh-baked bread thing, and don’t get me wrong – it’s a wonderful thing – warm, fresh bread.

But burgers. They suffer.  I mean, once you get into the groove of that bread-baking thing –  the yeast, the starter, the dough – who really wants to buy soft, cushy buns after that?

So you start taking your bread dough, and you divide it into sandwich-sized portions.

PhotobucketWhich, sadly, just isn’t quite right for burgers.  For cold cuts, yeah, but for burgers?  Not so much.

But you keep trying – you keep searching for The Perfect Roll.

Ciabatta dough?

No.  Too hole-y.

White bread?  Too crumbly.

Whole wheat?  Way too crumbly.

So you keep trying.

When at first you don’t succeed, and all that.  Yeah, right.

And you pay attention – you learn.

If you’re smart, you go to the masters – and who knows more about baking than King Arthur Flour?

PhotobucketAnd King Arthur has recipes – lots of recipes, and many of them for various bread products.

So why not start with their Onion Buns?  After all, there’s very little better for burgers than a fresh onion roll, is there?

No, I don’t think so either.

Over the course of the past few years, I’ve learned to pay attention to things – even more than I used to.  One thing I’ve found is that a softer, stickier dough will ultimately usually bake up into a softer, more tender bread (or roll).

A softer, stickier dough is also harder to work with – the inclination is to add more flour, which, of course, makes it less sticky, which results in a firmer, less tender loaf.

What to do, what to do?

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Well, fortunately, the stand mixer came with a dough hook – which is Just The Thing for kneading icky-sticky bread dough.    So I just dumped all the ingredients right in the work bowl, and first mixed, then kneaded until the dough came together into a sticky, tacky dough.

  • 6 to 8 ounces lukewarm water
  • 1 ounce butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 14 3/4 ounces All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 ounces sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon yeast

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Once it’s kneaded, I dump the soft, sticky dough into a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise until doubled – with the no-longer-summer weather upon us, that’s a couple of hours or so.

Then, once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly-greased counter, and pat or roll it into a 12×17-inch rectangle.

I figured out why the directions say 12×17 inches – do you know what else is that size?

A half-sheet pan, that’s what.  And by extension, the silicone mat the fits the bottom of the half-sheet pan.

“But,” I can hear you wondering, “why is that significant?”

PhotobucketWell, it’s a lot easier to use a silicone mat to measure 12-by-17 inches than a 7-inch ruler.  And did I make this recipe more than once before I figured that out?

All together now:  “DUH.”

So.  You’ve got your silicone mat-sized rectangle of roll dough, and you’ll want to spread a bunch of dried, minced onion, and, if you’re feeling extra fancy (which I was!), you could even mix in a little dried, minced garlic if you’ve got it.

I’m a wild woman, I am!

PhotobucketFrom there, you just kind of pretend you’re making cinnamon rolls, only with onions and garlic instead of cinnamon and butter.

Really!  Roll the dough into a, well, into a roll, divide it into eight even slices, and lay them out on the silpat- or parchment-lined (or well-greased) sheet pan.

And then, in the interest of having your rolls fit your actual burgers, you’ll want to mash them until they’re about 3 inches across.

And yes, I measured them.  I’m kind of nerdy like that.

PhotobucketOnce the rolls have been mashed, we cover and let them rise until they’re puffy – maybe another hour.  It’s getting warm in the kitchen by now, you know.

About that time, we preheat the oven to 375 – then brush the rolls with some beaten egg white.  That way the dried mince onion that we’re going to sprinkle on them will stick (or sesame seeds) (but I stuck with the onion-roll theme).

Hey, these are classy rolls!

So once the oven comes up to temperature, and the rolls are properly risen, egg-washed and onioned (or seeded), in they go, for 20-25 minutes, until they’re delightfully GBD.

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And once cooled, well, it’s burger time!

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Comments

1. mazco34 - October 14, 2010

Damn yeah. Toss on a grilled cheeseburger, some lettuce, a nice home grown tomato, some of that homemade mayonnaise, and that’s the perfect summertime lunch. Add in some chips and a Vlasic spear or two to make it even better.

Now I just have to get Cathy to make bread. It’s the only thing she won’t try.

Now THAT’S what I’m talking about!

And, um, Maz? Manly men bake bread too. Just, you know, saying. 😀

2. sjbraun - October 15, 2010

Those look store-bought! (which I consider a compliment, BTW). Aren’t you somewhat near the King Arthur plant? I have a friend who lived in New England for a few years and she visited KA headquarters several times – loved it.

Well, thank you! They were really very simple. I’ve got a couple more recipes to try yet, though.

The KA store is in Vermont – about 5 or 6 hours from us. A plus with The Boy in NH, though, was that it’s only about an hour from him. Unfortunately, that seems to not be working out so well for him, and he’s going to be giving up his apartment. 😦

Given a choice between visiting King Arthur or Hershey, I’d have to give it some serious thought, though. 😉

3. Alanna at Kitchen Parade - October 17, 2010

Beautiful buns! (Tee hee …)

Why, thanks for noticing, Alanna. 😀


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