During these isolation times, we need to explore and strengthen our baking skills. While many storebought pieces of bread are good. They contain too many unnecessary ingredients that are not healthy in the long run. Worse, they do not provide your body with a proper meal. They taste good, briefly!
Baking at home is fun albeit it takes a while longer than running to the store to get a few buns or a loaf of bread. But, the time and effort invested in your own bread are well worth it – and your kids (if you have kids of course) will have the opportunity to learn some of these basic skills.
I recently came across a great recipe for making some lovely buns. These buns can be used for breakfast, lunch, or of course burgers. I tweaked it a little, making them a little healthier, while still delivering awesome results.
Again, as mentioned in other posts, do not start making buns 10 minutes before eating or when you are putting the burgers on the grill. Baking is an art and you need to plan ahead.
Okay – let’s get back, so go through your cupboards and find the following ingredients
For the buns
- 1 bag of dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/4 cup of butter (melted)
- 4-5 cups of regular flour
For the topping
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Sesame seeds
This is where you gather the kids around and get them to help. Or if you are more of a solo artist, then the steps will work just fine too.
Use your regular kitchen mixer, with a dough hook. Alternatively, use your hands like in the old days.
- Pour in the yeast and sugar, and gently mix it with a fork
- Heat up the milk and water in a small bowl, in your microwave – no boiling, but warm to the touch. My mum always taught me that if you can put your pinky into the milk, without burning yourself, then it is perfect!
- Slowly add the warm milk and water to the yeast and sugar, and mix it around for a few seconds. You do not want to have lumps.
- Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast has been activated. You can tell when the mixture is frothy
- When you get to that point, add 3 cups of clour, and the melted butter, and start your mixer on low speed.
- Continue to add flour until the dough no longer sticks to your fingers. There’s no magic number of cups or grams, this is a touching game and you decide.
- Lift the dough out of the bowl, and sprinkle flour around the bowl, and place the dough back into the bowl.
- Cover your dough with a tea towel, and place it somewhere warm. OR, you could use my trick below, if you have nowhere to put it that’s warm.
- Let it sit undisturbed for at least 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
- Once doubled, punch the air out of the dough, and knead it by hand for 1-2 minutes.
- Prepare a baking tray, with some baking papers on top, and sprinkle with a little flour.
- Create little dough balls, about the size of a large lime, and place them on the baking tray. They will grow further, so make sure they are not too close – at least an inch apart.
- Cover with a towel, and let them rest for another 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven on at 400 F degrees
- While they are resting, beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork and add the water (just one tablespoon). Mix it well for about 1 minute.
- Uncover the buns and ‘wash’ the buns with the egg mixture.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top – as much as you like … or nothing at all
- Bake the buns for 10-13 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they should just be golden
To test, pick up one of the buns and gentle knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, then it is ready 🙂
Here’s a trick for raising bread.
When ready to cover your dough, heat your oven to 200 F degrees. As soon as it reaches 200 F degrees, turn it off and place the bowl inside the oven.
This will speed up the process slightly, and make sure you do not use a plastic bowl.
It is all about planning, and if you timed this right, you would have prepared all your burger toppings, while the dough was raising.
When you then start baking your buns, you can start grilling your patties of choice. We normally have beef, turkey, chicken, or black bean patties, but this is entirely your decision.
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