There’s a recipe in the Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book for Buttermilk Bread that sounded like a good fit, but instead of a regular loaf of sandwich bread I wanted to make buns. Having some hamburger buns at the ready will allow me to make French bread style pizza with a couple of Roma tomatoes that are rapidly getting squishy, pesto from the jar in the refrigerator, and pizza sauce from Friday night’s pizza. They’ll also be good for tuna melts, grilled cheese, and other fun sandwiches.
Since I had made hamburger buns once before, I knew that splitting the dough into 6 pieces as instructed in the Bread Book resulted in huge portions. I opted to split this dough into 12 pieces. I figured it would be similar to the trick of eating on smaller dinner plates — having less food in front of you means you’ll eat less overall.
Buttermilk Bread, with Buns instructions, from Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book
- 5/8 c hot water
- 2 tbsp honey (I used raw clover honey)
- 5/8 c whey
- 415 g freshly milled hard white wheat flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- stirred honey into hot water, then added whey
- sifted flour, salt, and yeast
- kneaded for 20 min., adding butter at last 2 min.
- dipped hands in water about 6 times to add more moisture to the dough
- 8:00 a.m.: proof in oven with Proofing function turned on, for 1 hr 45 min.
- 9:50 a.m.: flatten, reshape into ball, back into oven to proof
- 10:50 a.m.: flatten divide into 12 pieces, shape into balls, rest 5 min.
- flatten with rolling pin, then rest under damp cloth 10 min.
- flatten again, then place on greased baking sheet
- rest, covered with damp cloth, 15 min. in oven set to Proof
- 11:45: dough out of oven, preheat to 400°, rack in upper third
- boil water
- 12:15 p.m.: pan with boiling water into bottom of oven, pan of dough onto rack in upper third, set timer for 10 min.
- after 10 min., remove pan of water, move pan to middle because the tops were getting to dark, bake 8 more min.
- remove from oven, place on rack, cover with damp towel (the tops were overdone, but the bottoms were very light)
The dough was very soft and pliable, making it really nice to knead and shape. It did take longer to rise than my typical sandwich bread dough.
I think I rushed the final rise and the buns are rather thin, but I also made twice as many as originally instructed so that probably contributed to their final shape. I tried to get the overall diameter somewhat close to regular hamburger buns, rather than tiny and high-domed. I do like that they’re not such gigantic portions of bread.
Baking on the top third didn’t go very well because the tops were too dark and hard, and the bottoms were quite light (although not underdone).
These are fine — I’m not blown away but I’m not disappointed either. Mostly I’m happy to have them on hand in the freezer for lots of future sandwiches (and pizza boats!).