Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where's the bun?

sourdough brioche hamburger buns
When you have buffalo patties, homemade bread & butter pickles, and homemade pickled onions, why would you settle for buns-in-a-bag? Especially when there's active sourdough starter sitting right there in your fridge? So don't settle! Start baking so you can have them fresh for dinner tonite.

Sourdough Brioche Seeded Buns

2/3 cup of warm milk
¾ cup sourdough starter, primed
½ cup sugar (maybe a little less)
2 large eggs (plus 1 more for egg wash)
3 cups of flour (1 more cup for shaping)
2 tsp salt (more course grain to sprinkle on top)
¼ cup melter butter (maybe a little more)
2 tsp yeast
black & white sesame seeds to top

If you have the time, the evening before (8 - 12 hours), take one cup of sourdough starter from your fridge and combine with one half cup warm water, one half cup white flour. Mix well and let sit overnight.

Place all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix until well combined (some use a 
paddle or spiral mixer: you can do this with a wooden spoon). The dough should be supple and soft, with a high gluten development.

Transfer the dough to a slightly oiled container (I use olive oil spray), cover and leave for 1 hour. 

When the dough has risen, divide it gently into 6 pieces and loosely shape into bun-shapes. Preheat your oven to 460 Farenheit.  Brush your buns with an egg wash, sprinkle them with sesame seeds (and maybe a little course salt if you want), and let the buns rest for 15 minutes.

(The blog where I got this recipe has some interesting ideas about how to turn your oven into a steam room for the buns, but I don’t usually have time for all that.)

When the oven is hot and the buns are rested, pop them in the oven for 20 minutes, watching to make sure they get to the just the right shade of golden brown on top. Let the loaves cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy with your favorite burger and toppings!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Leftover bananas

What do you do when you have two leftover soggy bananas? Make banana bread! This is a simple and tasty recipe. Do it next time you think about putting those slimy bananas in the freezer.

Banana Nut Bread


1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus some more for the top

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then stir in the banana and vanilla. Sift into the banana mixture the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly, then stir in the oats and nuts. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour. Check to see if it's done by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done!