I’ve really been working on eating fewer processed foods lately, and one of the projects I’ve started to tackle is baking my own bread products. I’m certainly no expert yet, but I was pretty proud of my hamburger bun baking efforts last week.
I’ve made whole wheat hamburger buns once before, and though they tasted good, they were really heavy. So I went in search of a better recipe to suit my needs, and after a little tweaking, I came up with a hit.
I started with the Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. Then I combined it with a homemade dough enhancer recipe from Chickens in the Road and the overnight grain soaking method used in Nourishing Traditions. And this is the masterpiece I came up with.
|Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns Recipe||
- 5+ cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (I used hard red wheat)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. dough enhancer
- Ground 3 1/2 cups of hard red wheat berries. The general rule is that 1 cup of wheat berries will yield 1 1/2 cups of flour, so I ended up with a little more than 5 cups of flour.
- Soak 3 cups of flour in 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar overnight
- Combine the yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup of warm water, then let it sit 10 minutes, so the yeast could start to work.
- Melted the butter, milk, and salt on the stove. It’s important not to let the milk mixture get too hot.
- Place the dough from the night before, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and 3 tablespoons of dough enhancer into the mixer bowl and knead with the dough hook.
- Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour into the mixer until everything is combined.
- If the dough is too gooey, add a little more flour as needed.
- Continue to knead for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 100 degrees and then turned it off. When the kneading is done, cover the mixing bowl with a towel and place the bowl in the oven for an hour.
- Roll out the dough on floured counter until it was about 1/2 inch thick.
- Cut the dough into circles.
- Place the dough circles on greased cookie sheets and let them rise for about 45 minutes.
- Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.
My Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns Adventure
Ok, so this is what actually went happened with my first attempt…
First I ground 3 1/2 cups of hard red wheat berries in my handy dandy Wonder Mill (I love that machine)! The general rule is that 1 cup of wheat berries will yield 1 1/2 cups of flour, so I ended up with a little more than 5 cups of flour.
Then, in keeping with traditional food preparation techniques, I wanted to soak the flour overnight. I’m not very experienced in adapting recipes, so I decided to wing it. I knew I couldn’t add extra water to the flour, as that would ruin the recipe. And I didn’t want to mess with the original recipe too much, either. So I soaked 5 cups of flour in 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.
In retrospect, I’m not sure the soaking did a lot of good, since there was so much flour, compared to the water. Next time I think I’ll soak three cups of flour and add the final two cups of flour to the recipe un-soaked.
The next morning, I combined the yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup of warm water. I let it sit 10 minutes, so the yeast could start to work. Meanwhile, I melted the butter, milk, and salt on the stove. It’s important not to let the milk mixture get too hot.
10 minutes later, my yeast looked like this.
I placed the dough from the night before, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and 3 tablespoons of dough enhancer into my KitchenAid Mixer bowl. I love that machine, too! I began to knead with the dough hook, until everything was combined.
The dough was still a little gooey, so I added in the leftover flour from my wheat grinding session the night before. It was the perfect amount, probably about a half a cup. I didn’t measure. I continued to knead for 10 minutes.
It was a cool day, so while the dough was kneading in the mixer, I preheated the oven to 100 degrees and then turned it off. When the kneading was finished, I covered the mixing bowl with a towel and stuck the bowl in the oven for an hour.
I rolled out the dough on my floured counter until it was about 1/2 inch thick. Then I cut it with a wide-mouthed canning jar. In retrospect, that was a bit small, so I’ll be looking for something bigger to cut the dough with next time.
I placed the dough circles on greased cookie sheets and let them rise for about 45 minutes. Then I baked them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes and came out with hamburger bun perfection!
The Final Product
The buns were a bit small for our burgers, but they tasted great! They were wheaty tasting, no doubt due to the hard red wheat I used. But unlike my last hamburger bun experiment, these were light and fluffy. I will definitely be making this recipe again, though I’ll make the burger buns bigger next time.
For a less wheaty taste, you could try hard white wheat instead of the red wheat. I just happened to have red wheat on hand, so that’s what I used.
Too bad grilling season is just about over. I think I could eat these every week and not get tired of them!
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.