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Friday, September 11, 2009

Sandwich Bread turned Burger Buns

I scoured my rental copy of Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads for a recipe for burger buns. There were none to be found. I decided a decent substitute would be either the sandwich bread, shaped into rolls, or the pita bread recipe. I polled my husband and he voted sandwich bread, so off I went!

By now I am getting very familiar with this 2 day pre-dough process. The sandwich bread, in contrast to the bagel and hearth bread, has a lot more moisture to the dough (which I'm sure my stand mixer is thanking me for). But other than that, the process is pretty much the same, and goes quite easily for me. Since I can't, for the life of me, make pie dough or scones, I have to be good at something, right?

The rolls are slightly sweet (I go by weight measure and sometimes wonder if weight and measure don't really add up for the agave nectar), and soft and spongy. I'm pretty sure they took the artichoke turkey burger to the next level - we couldn't get enough!

Sandwich Bread / Burger Buns
Source: Rewritten Whole Wheat Sandwich bread from Whole Grain Breads, Peter Reinhart
Yield: 11 rolls (3 oz each)

Day 1:

1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (198 grams) milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy milk, or rice milk

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl for about one minute, until all of the flour is hydrated and the ingredients form a ball of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and leave at room temp for 12 to 24 hours. (If you need more time, place in refrigerator for up to 3 days, but leave at room temp 2 hours before continuing with bread).

1 3/4 cups (227 grams) whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) instant yeast
3/4 cup (170 grams) filtered or spring water, at room temperature (about 70 degrees F)

Mix all the biga ingredients together in a bowl to form a ball of dough. With wet hands, knead dough in the bowl for 2 minutes to be sure all ingredients are evenly distributed and the flour is fully hydrated. The dough should be tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute. The dough will be smoother but still tacky. Transfer to a clean bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Day 2:
Remove the biga from the fridge two hours before making the dough.

Final Dough:
All of the Soaker
All of the biga
7 tablespoons (56.5 grams) whole wheat flour
5/8 teaspoon (5 grams) salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast
2 1/4 tablespoons (42.5 grams) honey or agave nectar (optional)
1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter, melted, or vegetable oil

1. Chop the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces (sprinkle flour over pieces to prevent sticking).

2. By hand: combine biga and soaker into a large bowl with all the remaining ingredients and stir vigorously with a mixing spoon or knead with wet hands for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are evenly integrated. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky, if not, add more flour or water as needed.

By stand mixer: combine biga and soaker with all the remaining ingredients into mixer bowl and mix on low speed for one minute with paddle (preferred) or hook. Switch to hook and mix on medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until dough becomes cohesive and assimilated into each other. Add more flour or water as needed until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.

3. Dust a work surface with flour, the roll the dough in flour to coat. Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes, incorporating only as much flour as needed, until the dough feels soft and tacky, but not sticky. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest on the work surface for 5 minutes while you prepare a clean, lightly oiled bowl.

4. Resume kneading for 1 minutes to strengthen the gluten and make any final water/flour adjustments. Dough should have the strength to pass the windowpane test, but still be soft, supple, and very tacky. Form dough into a ball and place in prepared bowl, rolling to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 to 60 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

5. Transfer to lightly floured work surface. Form into either a loaf pan or into 3 ounce rounds for burger buns. For loaf pan bread, place dough in a greased 4 by 8.5 inch bread pan. For buns, place on sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Mist the top with pan spray (optional) and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a cloth towel. Let rise at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes, until it is about 1.5 times its original size.

6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When the dough is ready to bake, place it in the oven and turn down the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the bread and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes more, until bread is a rich brown. or until a thermometer inserted registers at least 195 degrees F. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for at least one hour before serving.

Nutritional Information
Per serving (3 ounce buns)

Calories: 174
Total Fat: 2 g
Sat Fat: 0.8 g
Carb: 35 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sugar: 1.2 g
Protein: 6.8 g
Sodium: 344 mg
Cholesterol: 3 mg


Anonymous said...

I LOVE these! I was looking at your burger posti thinking that those burger buns looks perfect- soft yet chewy and the perfect thickness (I hate a thick bun). YUM!

Chris said...

These look great! I recently made bagels for the first time ever and really cannot believe how much better they are than what you can buy. I'm guessing homemade burger buns are probably the same? :) A lot of work, but worth it (at least from time to time).

Anonymous said...

so i chop the day one items and then mix with all the day two items? or can i just throw everything together on day 2 and start mixing???

Stefany said...

lovestoeat - I still chop them up into pieces, then add to the rest of the ingredients, but I think Bridget has said she just throws them in the bowl unchopped. So, perhaps you can go either way?