Archive for the 'Breads' Category

Like my buns?

burger-buns-2This past week has been gorgeous! The weather has been warm and sunny…perfect grilling weather. It can only be a teaser from Mother Nature since I am sure we are getting rain this weekend. Oh well, in any case, Kevin and I decided to grill out.

I had wanted to make my own burger buns for so long since I was sick of reading the long list of ingredients on bun labels at the store. This is the same reason I don’t buy bread anymore. I am sick of reading labels!

These buns were so delicious and definitely worth the extra step. They were easy and required very minimal effort. Even if you are afraid of yeast you CAN make these buns! Oh, and don’t let anyone tell you that it is better to buy your buns rather than make them. Yes, for 50 people I would probably buy the buns, but if it is just for your family, why not truly “WOW” them?

Beautiful Burger Buns

Makes 8 large buns

Ingredients

6 to 8 ounces lukewarm water

2 tablespoons butter

1 large egg

3 ½ cups (14 3/4 ounces) all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar, I used 2 tablespoons honey + 2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon instant yeast

Method

Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—to make soft, smooth dough.

Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it’s doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round 1″ thick (more or less); flatten to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until very puffy.

Brush lightly with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water), and sprinkle with sesame seeds or onion flakes.

Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 18 minutes, till golden. Cool on a rack.

Source: King Arthur Flour

Potato Soup in Bread Bowls

potato-leek-soup-in-bread-bowlKevin and I rarely eat out.  If we do go out to eat we normally hit up our favorite sushi place or grab some good barbecue.  Back when we first met, we would frequent places like Panera Bread or Atlanta Bread Company for lunch or a quick dinner.  Kevin loved their soup in bread bowls.  I loved their soups.  The thought of eating a bread bowl on top of a bowl of soup widened my hips even more.   After discovering how much hidden sodium is in soup and bread I stopped eating out at these places.  What I thought was a healthy meal was laden with salt.  Now don’t get me wrong, once in a while it is okay to have these things like when we are traveling or in a pinch, but definitely not all of the time like we used to do.

Since it has been colder here than usual I decided to make potato soup.  Potatoes were on sale a few weeks ago so I stocked up and it was time to use them before they went bad.  I also had a few leeks in my refrigerator, that were on sale this week at the grocery, so I decided to add them as well.  Knowing that Kevin loves bread bowls, I decided that it would be an unexpected surprise that he would enjoy.  Once he found out, he looked like a kid in a candy store!

We like our soups on the thicker side with more of a heavy stew consistency.  This soup was thick and chunky, even though you could puree the entire thing if desired.  It was smooth and creamy without the additional fat from cream and butter.  It was nice and toasty from the bacon, which you could omit if desired.  The bread bowls were nice and fluffy too.  They also had a great nutty sweetness from the addition of flax seed and honey.  This is a great meal whether you have time to make the bread bowls or just the soup.  I hope it puts a smile on your face.

Potato Leek Soup

makes 5 servings

Ingredients

3 slices of thick cut bacon, diced.  I used Smith-field.

1/2 medium sweet onion, finely diced

2 medium/large leek, washed, trimmed, and chopped

1 rib celery, diced

1 lb. 12 ounces potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks

1 1/2 c. low fat buttermilk

2 3/4 c. milk, I used skim

1/2 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Garnish

scallions, chopped

sharp white cheddar, grated

plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

bacon, reserved from frying

Method

In a large pot add chunks of potatoes and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender.  Drain potatoes and keep warm.

While potatoes are boiling, in a small saucepan over low heat warm the milk and buttermilk.  Keep warm until ready to use.

Combine the drained, cooked potatoes with the warm milk.  Keep warm over low heat.  At this stage you can choose to mash this mixture for a chunkier soup, leave the mixture alone and keep chunky potatoes, or puree the mixture for a pureed potato soup.

In a large pot or dutch oven on medium heat add diced bacon and cook until crisp.  Remove bacon from pot and reserve for garnish.  Turn down heat to medium low heat and add in onion, celery, and leek.  Cook until tender.

Add the potato/ milk mixture to the onion/celery/ leek mixture and stir to combine.  Continue to cook over medium low heat until the soup is thoroughly heated.  In the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir in 1/2 cup of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Ladle soup into bread bowls.  Garnish with sour cream/ Greek yogurt, cheddar cheese, reserved bacon pieces, and green onion.

Nutritional Information (approximately per serving without bread): 263 calories, 4 g fat, 43 carbs, 14 g protein

bread-bowl-1

Whole Wheat Bread Bowls

makes 4 bread bowls

Ingredients

1 c. warm water (110 degrees)

1/2 c. warm milk

2 Tablespoons honey

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/3 c. flax seed, ground

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour

2 c. bread flour, divided

2 teaspoons salt

1 egg white, beaten

Sea salt, for sprinkling

Method

In a medium bowl combine warm water, honey, and yeast.  Let sit until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes.  Stir in warm milk.

While yeast mixture is starting to foam: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all flours, salt, and flax seed, except for 1 cup of the bread flour.  You will need this later while the dough is kneading.  You will use some of it, but you may not need all of it depending upon the stickiness of the dough and the humidity.  Briefly stir flours together and put bowl on mixer fitted with dough hook.

Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture and turn the mixer on low (or level 2 on Kitchen Aid  brands).  Allow the mixer to combine the wet and dry ingredients.   You may need to scrape the bowl down in the beginning to help the mixture along.  Once your mixture has formed a nice dough, begin sprinkling in the reserved flour a little at a time.  As I stated before, you want your dough to be soft but not too sticky.  Once your dough is soft and has formed a ball in the mixer, let the dough knead for 10 minutes on speed 2.

After the dough has kneaded for ten minutes, turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.   Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Punch down dough.  Let rest for 5 minutes. Equally divide the dough into 4 pieces and knead each piece into a ball.  Place the small “bowls”  of dough onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Cover loosely with a towel and let rise in a warm place for one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush risen dough balls with egg white and sprinkle with sea salt if desired.  Bake in a 375 degree oven until bread bowls are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, approximately 30-40 minutes.

Let cool on sheet pan for 5 minutes.  Cut out top of bread bowl, scoop out insides, and fill with desired soup.  Serve.