Bread making & Hamburger Buns

I bake a lot of bread. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! Throughout the past year we have been making some changes in the way we eat. Trying to eat healthier, trying to get away from pre-made, boxed and lots of preservative types of foods. It has been a long road and we are no where close to being perfect yet. But, we have switched over almost entirely in the bread dept. I make all of our bread. From sandwich, bagels, french bread, cinnamon raisin, English muffin, artisan, ciabatta, flour tortillas and more. At first it seemed like a lot of work and/or a bit intimidating. But, learning how to freeze bread and having a Kitchen-aid mixer have definitely helped.

Baking bread is something that I really feel is an art. It takes patience, some kitchen skills, and a little bit of luck at first. I do think that once you get the hang of it and learn the process and love the process you are unstoppable. And not only will you be able to make just about any kind of bread you want, you will save money and cut out a lot of preservatives in your families diet.

Today I am going to share my hamburger bun recipe. I found a recipe that was pretty good. Then I changed it to make a wheat version and adapted the baking to process to make a better bun. The wheat level can be adjusted as you would like. I recommend no more that 50%. You can also make these with white flour if you prefer.

Hamburger Buns
Ingredients:

1 Cup Milk (whole or 2%)

1/2 Cup water

1/4 Cup butter

3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup wheat flour

1 package instant yeast

2 Tbsp white sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

Directions:

1. In small sauce pan heat milk, water and butter until about 120 degrees. Set aside to cool. 

2. In large bowl mix together 1 1/2 c all purpose flour, yeast, sugar and salt When the milk mixture has cooled down you can dump it in. You want it to be warm to touch but not hot. If it is to hot you will kill your yeast. Add egg and mix well. Add the remaining flours 1/2 c at a time starting with the whole wheat. When the dough has pulled together knead it for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic like. The dough should be wet but should not stick to your hands. 

3. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled in size.

4. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into smooth balls and place onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly, cover and let rise about 30-35 minutes

5. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. For a shinier but you can apply an egg white wash before baking. But, I find the buns brown pretty nicely without this step.

6. Enjoy! Leftover buns freeze great!