Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Hamburger Buns (Bread Machine)

Why make homemade buns when you can buy them so inexpensively at the store? If you read labels at all, and are put-off by ingredients that you can’t pronounce and would be hard-pressed to locate in your local grocery store, then making them yourself with ingredients that you recognize is a healthy, and satisfying option.
I love Money Saving Mom’s website. She recently posted a D-I-Y Experiment  list to work on this year and one of those items on her list was making homemade hamburger buns. She used a recipe a reader posted from, Homemade Hamburger Buns (Bread Machine). I had to make some adjustments in the ingredients, as my bread machine is apparently on the small size, and I used part whole wheat flour, natural sugar, and coconut oil instead of butter.

I was especially intrigued by her technique, which involves rolling the dough out and cutting it with a glass, like to make biscuits. She wasn’t especially thrilled with the shape of them after they rose, and I suggested in a comment to use a sharp biscuit cutter. I’d learned a while back that when making biscuits, you should use a very sharp cutter or knife to get maximum rise – using a dull edge presses down the dough, hindering its ability to rise.  I thought the same might work for the buns.

I conveniently needed hamburger buns for supper tonight so I thought what the heck…why not play around a bit while preparing for tonight’s meal?  I discovered that I do not, in fact, have a biscuit cutter, sharp or otherwise. I’ve always just cut them into squares. cut bunsSo, I rolled the dough out into a rectangle, instead of a circle and used a nice, sharp Cutco bread knife to cut them into squares. They stretched out a bit in the transfer from counter to baking stone, so I smushed them back into a more squarish shape and let them rise.  I was quite pleased with how they looked, kind of like the fancy rolls you can buy at the grocery store.  

buns risen
 I was afraid they’d get monstrously big in the oven, but they didn’t. They were light and fluffy, overall, I’m very happy with these. I just need to figure out a way to make them round!

baked bun100_2524
  • 1 1/4 c milk, slightly warmed
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 Tb butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 3/4 c bread flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer’s directions, set on dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough and place on floured surface. Roll dough out and cut with sharp knife or biscuit cutter. Or use a floured drinking glass for a round shape. Bake at 350, checking after 9 minutes, until golden brown and baked through.

I used baking stones to bake these, one a rectangular bar pan with sides and one a round pizza stone. The pan with sides took longer to bake, about 15 minutes, where the round pan only took 12.

I adjusted the recipe using the tool on the recipe site, had to play around a bit to get it to a flour amount that wouldn’t exceed my bread machine’s capacity. I ended up with some weird measurements, which were quickly figured out using the conversion table I downloaded from Carolina Clipper’s site.

These buns turned out great, light and fluffy and delicious. We had them with Mexicali Chicken and Cheese Sandwiches. I think I will cut back on the sugar by about half next time, though, they were just a bit too sweet for my taste. Definitely a keeper recipe and one I look forward to making more often!

Crockpot Love: Mexicali Chicken and Cheese Sandwiches

The switch to DST (Dumb Stupid Time in my book) always leaves me off-kilter for basically the entire 8 months of this ridiculous practice. So, my crockpot and I continue our love affair…only changing things up a bit from chili, soups and stews. Tonight, it’s an adaptation of a recipe I found on called by the same name…Mexicali Chicken and Cheese Sandwiches. My DST stupor has left me too uninspired to change the name…really, I’m just happy I got it in the crockpot in time to be done for supper…

  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c water
  • several generous shakes of your favorite pepper sauce, I used LaBelle No. 5 Pepper Clear, a mild sauce with vinegar and garlic
  • appx 1 Tbs Miss Tink’s House Seasoning, more or less to taste
  • 3/4 c home-canned salsa
  • 1/4 c no HFCS ketchup
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese, or other shredded cheese
  • Hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls
Place chicken breasts, water, and pepper sauce in crockpot. Sprinkle seasoning over chicken. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork. Drain liquid and shred chicken, add remaining ingredients except for buns and cheese and cook in crockpot until heated through or cook in a pan on the stove. Put on buns and top with cheese. You can then broil if you like. I don’t know what happened to the broiler innards in our oven so I didn’t broil them. Just let them sit until the cheese melts or pop them in the oven for a few minutes.