Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Home-made Hamburger Buns

baked hamburger buns
Home-made hamburger buns are easy to make, and so much better (and cheaper!) than store-bought.  They are especially easy to make if you have a heavy duty mixer, like a Bosch or KitchenAid that will let you mix and knead a large quantity of dough at once.  I make enough dough for 32 hamburger buns, and store the buns in the freezer.  I use the same dough recipe that I use for rolls and bread.  It makes about 4 "batches", each batch can be made up into 8 hamburger or hotdog buns, or 12 rolls, or one loaf of bread (so 32 buns, 48 rolls, 4 loaves -- or any combo of them).

I am fortunate to have a wheat mill, so I order wheat berries in 50 lb bags and keep them in two 25 lb containers, like the one above.

I grind about 9 cups of wheat at a time.  Into the mill, which then shoots the ground flour into the flour canister.

The mill has several settings to determine coarseness or fineness of the grind, and I can grind corn, beans, or other grains.  You see the flour above.  I pretty much just use winter white wheat berries, which grinds into whole wheat of course (since it is the whole berry), but it bakes up more lightly and has a milder flavor than red wheat -- it is more like white flour, but has all the nutrition of whole wheat.  So all my baking uses 100% winter white wheat berries and I don't have to mix in "white" flour to get a good rise.

Here we go with the recipe (adapted from a recipe in the book "Hearth and Home" by Karey Swan.  The picture above is of mixing up 3 cups of warm water, 2 Tablespoons yeast, 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup honey, 3 cups of whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup of gluten (the gluten is optional).  Then you let it sponge (sit) for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
sponge with yeast bubbles after sitting

Add 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 room temperature eggs, and enough flour to clean the bowl.  For me, here in the humid southeast this can be anywhere from 3 1/2 cups to 4 1/2 cups of flour.  After 3 1/2 cups I add additional flour by the 1/4 cup.

This what it looks like when it "cleans the bowl".

See how clean the bowl is when I dump out the dough?

And there is the big glob of dough ready for a few turns by hand just to smooth it up.  Rather than using additional flour on the board or on my hands, I use a bit of oil on the board and on my hands.  This keeps you from kneading in too much flour and keeps your dough lighter.

This is what it looks like after a very brief kneading by hand -- just a few turns.  Now it's ready to divide into 4 parts.  Each part will make 6-8 hamburger buns (or 12 rolls or a loaf, or a pizza crust or two, or some cinnamon rolls, so you can make something for supper, breakfast, lunch all in one baking session).
shaping into buns

Shaped hamburger buns ready to go into the 375 degree oven, for about 10-15 minutes.

And here are the finished hamburger buns, ready to cool and use or go into the freezer.  The whole process takes only about an hour when you use instant yeast and you sponge the dough, as the dough does not have to sit and rise.


Storybook Woods said...

You busy girl. Yummy, nothing like homemade. Clarice

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

Fantastic! My son-in-law's mother makes homemade rolls the very same way - she coordinates a few families to purchase wheat berries. These look fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,