Apr
14

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The Best Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Shifting from producing loaves of bread with a tried and true recipe to hamburger buns (or dinner rolls for that matter) is as simple as can be.  Fundamentally we are only reshaping the dough and then baking it in the oven rather than allowing the bread machine pan to define the shape and the machine to do the baking for us.

The taste of summer -  a burger with all the fixings piled high on a toasted whole wheat bun

The taste of summer – a burger with all the fixings piled high on a toasted whole wheat bun

Whole wheat buns are a great combination with burgers – instead of squishing into thin disk of wheat paste they hold their shape without being too dense and add a heartiness to a burger that just isn’t there with store bought fare.  Baking your own not only provides unrivaled freshness but also allows you to determine the size of the buns… Baby buns for the wee folks, mama buns or even the papa buns that hold the largest burgers.

The process is so easy that you can’t go wrong and after you’ve had these you won’t want to return to store bought fare so get some fresh whole wheat flour and get baking.

Here we are using the standard Baler-Twine bread recipe, but setting the machine on the dough cycle instead of the bread cycle.  If your machine’s dough cycle stops after the first rise reset it to the dough cycle and let the machine kneed the dough again before shutting it off and removing the dough.

Click title post for the full recipe.


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“Baler-twine” whole wheat bread

Some items are inherently useful and end up serving all manner of roles, duct tape is one and for those closer to farm operations baler twine is another.

The whole wheat bread recipe is just that in my household  – the go-to staple that forms the basis of so many other yeast risen baked goods.  Given how versatile this recipe is, and in homage to the farmers that produce so much of our food I’ve named it my “baler-twine whole wheat bread”.

Sliced "baler twine" whole wheat bread

Sliced “baler twine” whole wheat bread

The reason it’s become so popular in our household is that you give nothing up in comparison to commercial breads.  It rises just as nicely as white bread which I am sure is one of the features which has made it so popular with everyone.

The effective leavening I am sure is attributable to a few factors, including the inclusion of eggs and vinegar, the reduction in salt and the increase in sugar – which both encourage yeast production and make up for the reduction in the relative proportion of gluten in the whole extraction flour compared to white flours.

The other factor here is without a doubt the fineness of the flour grind.  As discussed previously if you want to produce fine grade baking you can’t start by using coarse flour.  So make sure that whether you are using a Homestead grain mill you’ve built for yourself or a mill you’ve purchased you put the extra effort and time into ensuring the flour you are baking with is ground exceptionally fine.

Closeup of "baler twine" whole wheat bread - note the fine structure

Closeup of “baler twine” whole wheat bread – note the fine structure

While you can certainly use this recipe to make bread by hand I always use a bread machine.  The only other item – beyond the fineness of the flour grind to take note of is the need to have the dough achieve a comparatively moist consistency at the beginning of the cycle relative to white breads since the whole grain flour takes longer to absorb the moisture.

Give this recipe a whirl and I think you’ll find that not only will you not feel the need to go back to store bought or homemade white breads but that your family and friends won’t want you to either.

Click on the post title for the recipe.

 

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Whole Wheat Hot Crossed Buns

Like so many seasonal or holiday baked goods hot crossed buns can be prepared any time of the year.  It’s not like the bakery gremlins are going to jump out from behind the wheat barrel and confiscate “unseasonal” baking.  But, all the same, there is something to be said about allowing traditions and the flow of the seasons to prompt us to mix up our culinary repertoire.

Let Easter (or now) serve as the reason to mix up your baking by preparing a batch of hot crossed buns.  If you can make buns you can make hot crossed buns – the only difference is the addition of a few spices to our standard whole wheat yeast bread recipe along with a cup of raisins added just before the dough is kneaded for the second time.  When the buns have cooled they get a tiny bit of icing.  That’s it.  Simple, easy, fast and a delicious difference.   Make a batch and the bakery gremlins who make these disappear will end up being your family members.

Click on the title for the recipe details


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Simple whole grain whole wheat bread recipe

This has been my pretty much my standard do it all whole wheat bread recipe for years.  While this bread has all the health benefits of fresh 100% extraction whole wheat flour you don’t need to sell it on that basis – it tastes good.

I don’t think many folks would accuse me of being too caught up with sticking to recipes.  In fact when developing and trialing ones to relay here I have to force myself to measure and record.  That is due in part to my experience that most baking is fairly forgiving.  The most critical element usually is ensuring the moisture level is correct.

If you are new to baking with whole grain flours be aware that they take longer to absorb liquid, and depending upon the moisture level in the grain you may need to adjust the volume of liquid in your recipe.   I always look to achieve what would for white flour be considered a bit too wet (but not soupy) a dough when the dough ball is first formed by the machine.  This seems to end up being just about the right amount of liquid to make a nice loaf.

Click on the title to get the full recipe.