Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Homemade Whole Grain Buns

The inspiration for these buns actually came from 2 places.  
The recipe came from Shar's Kitchen Center, although I slightly modified it for my taste. 

If you are new to their store and purchase something, mention you heard about them from me, and we both get entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card.  Win-Win for both of us! The contest drawing will be at the end of September and another one in October so you have time to find something fabulous at their store, which I guarantee you will!

The other was a science fair project from my kiddo's school last year.  
Science Fair, really?  Yep.  
One student did a comparison between a local Fresh Burger place, Joe's Farm Grill, and a McDonald's meal. 
 He put a hamburger and fries, no condiments, inside a sealed glass jar and 
left them out on the counter for 1 month.  
The results?  The Joe's Grill burger was pretty much a gelatenous mess.  
The McDonald's? Nearly exactly like it was the day you bought it.  

I realized how much preservatives go into their food and I swore never again.  
And really store bought buns are pretty much the same.  Try it. 
 Buy a bag of buns and leave them in your pantry for a month and see what happens.  
 I promise you'll be surprised that they look exactly the same.  
So after going to Shar's class, I will forever after be making my own buns for Burgers, Hoagies, and Dogs.  
You can shape the dough into whatever you want.  
Plus they are whole grain and packed with super yummy-ness! 
So let's get baking!

Whole Grain Italian Herb Hamburger Buns

In a Bosch mixer with dough hook, combine the following:
3 cups warm water
1/2 cup canola or olive oil
1/3 cup honey or agave

The recipe says:
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup buttermilk powder

I didn't have either so I added:
1/4 cup powdered milk

2 cups high gluten flour (optional)
3 cups fresh ground Whole Wheat Flour
(My favorite blend is 1 cup each of Hard white wheat, Hard Red Wheat, Soft White Wheat, Kamut, and 1/2 cup quinoa but really it's up to you)
2 Tbsp dough enhancer
2 Tbsp SAF Instant Yeast
1-2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
(I added 1 Tbsp dried Basil and 1 Tbsp herbs de provence)
1/4 cup toasted dried onion flakes
Optional:  1/2 cup blend of popped amaranth, flax, sesame seeds, 9 grain, millet, & or Sunflower seeds)

Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
Cover and let sponge for 10-15 minutes.

After it has Sponged, add:
1 Tbsp salt
2 eggs (optional for lighter texture)

Continue to add enough fresh ground whole wheat flour to clean the sides of bowl.  Dough should be soft, not sticky.  Knead for 6 minutes more to develop gluten.

Optional: near the end of the kneading add 1 cup coursely grated cheddar cheese.  
I left it out and they were still super yummy.

I picked up these baguette pans at Shar's and was anxious to try them. It gave the buns those fun little polka-dots on the bottom of the crust.  Almost like store-bought, but a bazillion times better for you.

Shape dough into smaller than you think bun sized pieces.
Brush with egg wash - 1 egg plus 2 Tbsp water.
Let rise til double in bulk.

Preheat oven to 350 and bake buns for 15-20 minutes.

I ended up with more dough than would fit on my baguette pans so I used some parchment paper.  They still turned out fabulous.

Beautiful Whole Grain-ey Goodness!

 For Dogs and Hoagies, these buns can't be beat!

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