Archive for the 'Bread' Category

Cinnamon Rolls

Whenever I get a craving for cinnamon rolls, this is my go-to recipe.  I’ve tried several cinnamon roll recipes over the years, and the Pioneer Woman’s recipe is by far my favorite.  This may surprise you, but they are actually really easy to make!  You don’t even need a mixer.  The dough for these rolls is so soft and fluffy and the filling is sweet, buttery and deliciously cinnamon flavored.  I always make two pans and freeze one of them (unglazed of course).  You can just re-warm them in the oven straight from the freezer and they taste (almost) as good as the totally fresh batch, even after being frozen for a month or two.  These cinnamon rolls are the perfect thing to make for a special brunch or a weekend breakfast.  I have even been known to make them for dessert.  Any time of day is a good time for cinnamon rolls.  :)  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

(print recipe)

Ingredients

For the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 4 cups (Plus ½ cup extra, separated) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon (heaping) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (scant) baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon (heaping) salt
  • Melted butter (approximately ½ cup = 1 stick)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (approximately… sometimes I only use ½ cup)
  • Generous sprinkling of cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3-5 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1.  To make the cinnamon rolls: Mix the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a pan.  Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point—approx. 170 degrees F).  Turn off the heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to an hour.  (The mixture should be cooled to approximately 110-120 degrees F).  When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in the package of yeast.  Let this sit for a minute.  Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour and stir the mixture together.  Cover and let rise for at least an hour.
  2. After rising for at least an hour, add ½ cup more of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir the mixture together.  (At this point you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or 2, if necessary.  Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down.)
  3. When you are ready to prepare the rolls, sprinkle a rolling surface generously with flour.  Take the dough and form a rough rectangle.  Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape.  Drizzle 1/3 to ½ cup of melted butter over the dough.  Sprinkle ½- ¾ cup of granulated sugar over the butter, followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. 
  4. Starting at the end opposite you, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you.  Keep the roll relatively tight as you go.  Then pinch the seam of the roll to seal it. 
  5. Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in 2 round cake or pie pans, making sure to also butter the sides of each pan.  Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾-1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.  (You should fill 2 pans).
  6. Let the rolls rise for 20-30 minutes.  Then bake them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until light golden brown, about 18-22 minutes.
  7. To make the glaze:  In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and milk until smooth.  (If the mixture is too thick, add a little more milk to thin it out.  If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar to thicken it).  The mixture should be thick but still pourable.  Generously drizzle the glaze over the warm cinnamon rolls.  (Note – if you are planning to freeze one of the pans of cinnamon rolls, do not glaze them at this time.  To reheat a frozen pan of rolls, just place it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F until the cinnamon rolls are warmed through – this will probably take 10-15 minutes.  Then glaze them.)

Yield: approximately 16-18 cinnamon rolls (depending on size)

Source: Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

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Focaccia

Lately I’ve been having so much fun baking different kinds of yeasted breads.  It takes a little practice, and I made one thing that didn’t turn out, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really fun!  And I don’t think there’s anything better than homemade fresh bread or baked treats.  Some things I’ve recently made are the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls (so amazing!), raspberry swirl sweet rolls (a yummy variation of classic cinnamon rolls), cinnamon raisin bread (delicious), and monkey bread (you must make this!)

Not too long ago, I purchased the cookbook “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.  This is a well known book that came highly recommended, and I bought it hoping that it would help me take my bread baking skills to the next level.  The book is filled with recipes for all kinds of bread including ciabatta, challah, brioche, sourdough, whole-wheat bread, etc.  It’s really informative and I like the easy to follow step-by-step instructions.  With this book, I think anyone can make delicious fresh bread from home.

First up on my list of breads to try from this book was focaccia.  Focaccia bread is one of my absolute favorites – I love the fluffy doughy texture, dimpled effect, and flavors of herbs, garlic and olive oil.  It takes two days to make this bread (most of which is inactive prep time) but it is well worth the time and effort it takes to make it.  I like that you can customize this focaccia bread to suit your tastes by adding more or less garlic, and any combination of herbs (fresh or dried) that you like.  I can’t wait to make this yummy focaccia bread again!

Focaccia

(print recipe)

Ingredients- For the Dough

  • 5 cups (22.5 ounces) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons (.5 ounce) salt
  • 2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) olive oil
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) water, at room temperature
  • ¼ to ½ cup Herb Oil (recipe below)

To Make the Herb Oil: Warm 2 cups of olive oil (it does not have to be extra virgin) to about 100 degrees F.  Add 1 cup of chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, sage, or any combination of those.  (Alternatively, you can substitute 1/3 cup of dried herbs instead of using fresh herbs.  Or, you can use a combination of fresh and dried herbs). To the herbs and warmed oil, add 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 5 or 6 cloves of chopped fresh garlic.  If desired, you may also add 1 teaspoon of paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds, or 1 teaspoon of onion powder.  Store any leftover herb oil in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Directions

  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Add the oil and water and mix on low speed using the mixer’s paddle attachment.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough.  The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl.  (You might need to add additional flour to firm up the dough enough to clear the sides of the bowl, but the dough should still be quite soft and sticky).
  4. Sprinkle enough flour on the counter to make a bed about 6 inches square.  Using a dough scraper or spatula dipped in water, transfer the sticky dough to the bed of flour and dust liberally with flour, patting the dough into a rectangle.  Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. 
  5. Coat your hands with flour and stretch the dough from each end to twice its size.  Fold it, letter style, over itself to return it to a rectangular shape.  Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, again dust with flour, and loosely cover with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes. 
  6. Stretch and fold the dough letter style again; mist with spray oil, dust with flour, and cover and let rest for 30 minutes. 
  7. Repeat step #6 one more time.
  8. Allow the covered dough to ferment on the counter for 1 hour.  It should swell but not necessarily double in size. 
  9. Line a 17×12 inch sheet pan with baking parchment.  Drizzle ¼ cup of olive oil over the parchment paper, and spread it with your hands or a pastry brush so that it covers the surface.  Lightly oil your hands, and using a pastry dough scraper, lift the dough off the counter and transfer it to the sheet pan, maintaining the rectangle shape as much as possible.  Spoon half of the Herb Oil that you made (recipe above) all over the dough. 
  10. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough and spread it to fill the pan simultaneously.  Do not use the flat part of your hands – only use your fingertips – to avoid tearing the dough.  Try to keep the thickness of the dough as uniform as possible across the surface.  If the dough becomes too springy, let it rest for 15 minutes and then proceed with dimpling.  It’s okay if you can’t fill the pan 100%, especially in the corners, because as the dough relaxes and proofs, it will naturally spread out.  If necessary, add more Herb Oil to ensure that the entire surface of the dough is coated with oil. 
  11. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight (or for up to 3 days).
  12. Remove the pan from the refrigerator 3 hours before baking.  Drizzle a little more Herb Oil over the surface of the dough and dimple it in.  This should allow you to fill the pan completely with the dough to a thickness of approximately ½ inch.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and proof the dough at room temperature for 3 hours, or until the dough  doubles in size and rises to a thickness of nearly 1 inch.
  13. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
  14. Place the pan in the oven.  Lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes.  Rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking the focaccia for 5-10 minutes, or until it begins to turn a light golden brown.  The internal temperature of the dough should register above 200 degrees F in the center.
  15. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately transfer the focaccia out of the pan onto a cooling rack.  Allow the focaccia to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing or serving.

Makes: one 17×12 inch focaccia

Source: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice

See the air pockets in the dough?

Lemon Tea Bread

These little lemon tea bread loaves are the perfect dessert or breakfast to make for your Valentine (or just make them for yourself!)  The batter takes only a few minutes to make, and as long as you have a lemon on hand, the rest of the ingredients are baking staples.  (I used a meyer lemon).  The bread is light and fluffy and it has a nice balance of sweetness and tartness.  The bread is topped with a tangy and sweet lemon glaze that soaks into the bread and makes it super moist.

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I served this bread with heart-shaped strawberries (just use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut strawberries that have been hulled and sliced in half lengthwise).  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or peaches would also complement this bread really well.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lemon Tea Bread

(print recipe)

Ingredients

For the bread:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup whole milk

For the glaze:

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with a rack in the center of the oven.  Grease two 5-3/4 x 3-inch loaf pans.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and 1 cup of granulated sugar.  Add the egg and lemon zest.  Beat well.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in two additions alternating with the milk.  Beat until just blended and smooth.
  5. Divide the batter equally between the two loaf pans.  Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. As soon as the loaves come out of the oven, prepare the glaze. Mix the lemon juice with the confectioners’ sugar and whisk until smooth.
  7. Cool the loaves in the pans for 5 minutes and then pour half of the glaze over the loaves.  Let the loaves cool for another 5 minutes, and then remove the loaves to a wire rack.  Drizzle the remaining glaze over the loaves.  Cool completely and serve plain or with fresh berries.

Makes: Two 5-3/4 x 3-inch loaves

Source: Adapted from Cookie Baker Lynn

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

If you’ve been looking for the perfect dinner roll recipe, look no further!  I’ve made these cloverleaf rolls three times already, and they are delicious.  They’re buttery, fluffy, and the clover shape makes for a pretty presentation too.  Shaping these rolls is easy because you just separate the dough into little balls and then bake three balls in each well of a muffin tin.  They are also fun to eat, because you can pluck them apart.

Most recently, I made these rolls for Thanksgiving and they were a big hit with everyone.  I made them a few days ahead of time and stored them in the freezer, which worked well for such a busy holiday.  To thaw and re-warm individual rolls, just zap them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.  Or, to reheat a whole batch of rolls, just place them on a cookie sheet and thaw them at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.  Then re-heat them in a preheated oven at 350 until they are warmed through.

Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup skim milk, heated to 110 degrees F
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) rapid rise (or instant) yeast
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces and softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.  When the oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off.  Grease a large bowl.
  2. Whisk the milk, sugar, and yeast in a liquid measuring cup until the yeast dissolves.  Then whisk in the egg and egg yolk.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt until combined.  With the mixer on low speed, add the milk mixture in a steady stream and mix until the dough begins to form, about 1 minute.
  4. Increase the speed to medium and add the softened butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated.  Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth, cohesive ball.  Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in the turned-off oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  6. To shape the rolls:  Brush a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.  Punch down the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough into thirds.  Roll each third into an 18-inch long rope.  Then cut each rope into 12 equal pieces and cover the pieces with plastic (there will be 36 pieces of dough).
  7. On a clean, dry, un-floured work surface, roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball.  Place 3 balls, seam side down, in each muffin cup.  Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and let rest in the turned-off oven until doubled in size, about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove the rolls from the oven and discard the plastic wrap.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Bake the rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking.  Brush the rolls with the remaining butter.  Cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

To make ahead: The filled muffin tin can be refrigerated, covered, for 24 hours.  Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

Makes: 12 rolls

Source: Cook’s Country Magazine, October/November 2010

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

I received a copy of “Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook” for Christmas this year.  I have wanted this cookbook for a long time, and it’s such a great addition to my cookbook collection.  I adore cookbooks and sometimes even sit down and read them as if they were actual novels (can anyone relate?)  This book is filled with so many delicious-looking recipes that I cannot wait to try!  I know I’m going to have so much fun baking my way through this book.

I decided to try this Cinnamon-Raisin Bread first.  I had all the ingredients on hand (thanks to those little packets of raisins I keep in the pantry for snacks!), and knew it would make a great Saturday morning breakfast, so I made it last night.  Like most yeast breads, it does take some time to make (about 3 ½ to 4 hours from start to finish).  The bread has to rise 3 different times and then requires 45 minutes to bake.  I like to use this inactive prep time to multitask and get other things accomplished.  During the first rise, I went for a run on the treadmill (nothing beats the feeling of a good workout, and it also helps balance out the extra calories!)  During the second rise I cleaned the kitchen and took a shower, and while the bread was rising for the third time, I had dinner.  As tempting as it was to slice into it last night, I followed the directions and let it cool completely (it was still pretty warm when I went to sleep.)

I leapt out of bed this morning because I couldn’t wait to try this bread.  The verdict?  As I hoped, it was delicious!  Each slice was cinnamony and sweet and had nice plump raisins throughout, as well as the characteristic cinnamon-sugar swirl.  The crust was golden brown and slightly crispy.  It was so much better than any store-bought cinnamon raisin bread I’ve ever had.  I highly recommend this recipe if you like cinnamon-raisin bread!

Cinnamon-Raisin Bread

(print recipe)

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 pounds, 2 ounces (about 6 ½ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces, plus more for pans
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil, for bowl and plastic wrap

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the flour, butter, sugar, 2 eggs, and salt.  Attach the bowl to mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix on low speed until all the ingredients are well combined, about 3 minutes.  Raise the speed to medium-low, and continue to mix until the dough is uniformly smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 minutes more.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Pat out dough into a 9-inch round, about 1 ¼ inches thick.  Sprinkle with raisins and cinnamon, and knead until they are just incorporated.  Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and pat into a round.  Fold in the following manner: Fold the bottom third of the dough up, the top third down, and the right and left sides over, tapping the dough after each fold to release excess flour, and pressing down to seal.  Return the dough to the bowl, seam side down, and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl.  Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and divide the dough in half.  Roll out one half into a 12×10 inch rectangle.  Brush it with beaten egg, and sprinkle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling.  Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
  5. Generously butter two 9×5-inch loaf pans and set them aside.  With a short end of the rectangle facing you, fold in both long sides of the dough, about 1 inch.  Then roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log.  Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the seam.  Place the loaf in a prepared pan, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining rectangle.  Cover the pans loosely with oiled plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until the dough rises just above the rim of the pan, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Brush the tops of the loaves with beaten egg, and transfer the pans to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the loaves are golden brown, about 45 minutes.  (If the tops begin to brown too quickly, tent with foil.  I had to tent mine halfway through baking, when I rotated the pans, to prevent it from getting too brown.) Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.  The bread can be kept, wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for up to 4 days. 

Yield: Makes two 9×5 inch loaves (I halved the recipe and just made 1 loaf)

Source: Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

This is what the bread looks like during the first rise.

 

This is the filling for the cinnamon-sugar swirl

Golden brown crust

Monkey Bread

What do you get when you take fluffy balls of dough, dunk them in butter, coat them in cinnamon sugar, and bake them in a Bundt pan?  You get one of the yummiest breakfasts I’ve ever made.  This bread tastes like a cinnamon roll, only better, because it’s extra gooey, extra buttery, and extra delicious.  This bread was fun to assemble, and even more fun to eat.  A word of warning: I don’t recommend making this bread unless there are lots of people around to help you eat it.  I made it over the weekend for just Eric and me, and before I knew it, it was almost half gone.  (Oops!)  It is so addicting!  (It was definitely worth the extra miles I’m going to have to run to burn off all those calories :) ).

I think this monkey bread would be the perfect thing to serve at a special brunch or Holiday breakfast.  And if you do have leftovers, just re-warm them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and they will be soft and gooey again just like after coming out of the oven.  Enjoy!

Monkey Bread

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Brown Sugar Coating:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
  3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.
  4. To form the bread: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.
  5. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip the balls into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
  6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in draft-free area until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  8. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

Note: To make without a stand mixer: In step 2, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture to the well.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the dough until it becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes.  Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

Yield: 1 loaf, serves 6 to 8

Source: Brown Eyed Baker Blog; Originally from Cook’s Illustrated

Light Brioche Burger Buns

I never thought the day would come where I’d be making my own hamburger buns from scratch.  Why would anyone want to do that when you can just purchase them from the bread aisle?  Isn’t it too much work?  Are they really that much better?  These are the questions I asked myself before committing to this recipe.  I love to experiment with new recipes though, so I gave this one a shot, and I’m so glad I did!

It turns out, homemade buns are incredibly easy to make.  The stand mixer did all of the (mixing & kneading) work.  Start to finish, they took 4-5 hours, but most of that time was inactive prep time while the dough was rising.  For so little effort, the product was amazing!  These buns were delicious.  One thing that sets them apart from standard store bought ones is the texture.  They are soft, yet they hold their own and don’t get soggy like store bought buns sometimes do.  And I froze the leftover buns, so the next time I make burgers, I’ll already have them.  Try these, you will love them!  Enjoy!

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. warm milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2½ tbsp. sugar
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

For topping:

  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
  • Sesame seeds

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the flours to the bowl, and mix until incorporated.  Mix in the butter.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes.  The dough will be somewhat tacky, but you want to avoid adding too much extra flour which will create tough buns.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Using a dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts.  Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart.  Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise again, 1-2 hours, until puffed up and nearly doubled.
  4. Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400˚ F with a rack in the center.  Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake the buns about 15 minutes rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 buns

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Comme Ça via The New York Times

When you place the shaped dough on a baking sheet to rise, make sure each bun is spaced far apart. I used multiple cookie sheets to ensure that the dough wouldn't touch when it rises.


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