Tag Archives: bread

Brioche Burger Buns.

Check out my buns!!

Ok, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, I am in utter disbelief that it is September already.  I feel like it was only yesterday when plans for Memorial Day were being tossed around and now here we are, only days away from Labor Day barbeques, the official unofficial “last day” of summer.

It’s been so hot this summer that we pretty much neglected our grill.  So once we realized that August was quickly coming to an end, we invited our friends PSquared over and fired it up.

I usually tend to keep my burgers fairly simple – a pound of ground beef, a minced onion and lots of Penzey’s Chicago Steak seasoning – but I wanted to take them to the next level.  My solution?  Bake my own buns!

While I’m still fairly new to the world of yeast, the buns turned out amazing.  I think I might almost be over my fear of working with yeast.  They rose up nice in size and baked beautifully.  I mean, look how pretty they are!  They were simple to make (the hardest part was the wait during the double rise) and tasted super light and airy with a buttery bite.  The perfect complement to the juicy patty, they even held up to all of the various condiments.  They’ll absolutely be making an encore appearance at my Labor Day barbeque… And you should definitely consider having them at yours as well.  You won’t be disappointed and you’ll likely never buy store bought again.  I know I won’t.

Brioche Burger Buns – slightly adapted from First Look Then Cook

  • 2/3 Cup Warm Milk (~110 degrees F)
  • 1/3 Cup Warm Water
  • 4 Tbsp. Honey
  • 2 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (1 Packet) Instant Yeast
  • 3 Cups Bread Flour (plus a few Tbsp. if needed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 6 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, sliced and softened
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Sesame Seeds

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the butter and turn the mixer on low, until just combined.

Add the milk, water, 2 eggs and honey to a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Add to the dry ingredients.  Turn the mixer on low until the flour is incorporated then increase the speed to medium and knead for 8 minutes.

If necessary, add an additional Tbsp. flour at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Be careful not to add too much additional flour as the buns will end up too dry (I used 2 Tbsp).  Knead another 2 minutes (totaling 10 minutes).  Form the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl.  Cover with a warm towel and allow to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled, 1 to 2 hours.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface.  Flour your hands, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and form into balls.  Place 2 to 3 inches apart on a lightly oiled, parchment lined baking sheet.  Flatten each ball just a bit with the palm of your hand.  Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise again another hour.

Preheat oven to 400.  Once risen, brush the tops with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, turning the pan once halfway through, until buns are golden.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely.

These also freeze really well!

Secret Recipe Club: Irish Soda Bread.

I’ve never been one of the cool kids (shocking, I know).  I was a Choir dork and a Band geek and I loved every second of it.  I loved being a part of these groups – meeting fun people and coming together to create something bigger than myself.  It’s gotten harder and harder in my adult life to find special interest groups such as those.  I really miss that time in my life.

So when I found the Secret Recipe Club last month, I jumped at the chance to sign up.  Here’s how it works:  Once joined, you are assigned another member’s blog.  This month, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate. You can choose any recipe from the site to make and blog on your own page, and then everyone who is participating reveals their assigned blog and chosen recipe at the same time on the same day.  This is my first time participating and I’m really looking forward to discovering some new blogs that I might not have gotten the chance to read before.

Like I said, I was assigned The Tasty Cheapskate blog.  The Tasty Cheapskate is written by Jean as she blogs her journey of feeding her family of 6 on the cheap!  I spent a good amount of time perusing Jean’s blog trying to decide which of her tasty recipes I would make.  It was hard to narrow it down to just one.

Ever since marrying into an Irish family, I’ve had quite an affinity for Irish soda bread.  It makes frequent appearances at family gatherings and I always help myself to more than I should.  My Mother in Law always buys her loaves from the local Irish bakery and I’d never made it before so when I saw that Jean had, not one but TWO, recipes for soda bread, I did a little happy dance and got to baking.

I made just a couple of additions to Jean’s recipe.  I added an egg to the batter in order to give the dough a bit more of a muffin-like consistency and some freshly grated orange zest for just a hint of a sweet citrusy bite.  The verdict?  I can’t wait to start replacing the store-bought variety I’m so used to with this incredibly easy, super tasty homemade loaf.

So, when’s the next family dinner, Mom?

  • Irish Soda Bread – slightly adapted from The Tasty Cheapskate
  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 4 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Orange, zest only
  • 1 Cup Currants (or Raisins)

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.  Using your fingers, work in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Add the egg, buttermilk, currants and orange zest and mix until the dough just becomes cohesive.  Do not over mix, or your loaf will be very tough.

Form the dough into one or two rounds (depending on what size you want your loaf) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Make an “X” in the top of your loaf (loaves).

Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread).

…And I’m back in the kitchen!!

We’ve been staying with my in-laws on the weekends since the hospital is only 5 minutes away and they can watch the Fruitaholic while we visit Mom.  Since we pretty much ordered takeout all last week (I had ZERO energy to cook), I knew that we’d be coming home to an empty fridge so we made a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for Baked Coconut Shrimp with Jalapeño Pineapple Sauce.

When we got home, I searched through my bookmarks looking for a side dish I could throw together.  I ultimately decided upon a simple side of plain jasmine rice, but came across this recipe for Pan de Coco that I knew would be a great addition to the meal.

So I gathered all of the ingredients and started mixing everything together.  I had a beautiful ball of dough ready to rise.  And then I kept reading…  There was a double rise!  Leave it to me to not read through the entire recipe before starting.

So while these rolls weren’t ready in time for dinner, they were great as a midnight snack.  The coconut flavor was not as pronounced as I was expecting, rather it gave the bread a nutty flavor with just the tiniest hint of sweetness.

Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread) – adapted from Whole Foods Market

  • 1/2 Cup Flaked Coconut (I used sweetened since it was what I had, but the original recipe calls for unsweetened)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar (I lessened the amount to compensate for the sweetened coconut, original recipe calls for 2 Tbsp.)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water (~110 degrees)
  • 3 1/2 Cups Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Coconut Milk
  • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, melted

Add coconut, sugar, yeast and water into the bowl of an electric mixer and stir briefly.  Let sit until bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Mix together flour and salt in another bowl.  When yeast mixture is ready, add coconut milk and butter.  Attach the dough hook to the mixer and slowly add the flour/salt mixture.

Knead for about 3 minutes, until soft and elastic.  Form the dough into a ball and dust generously with flour.  Place the dough ball back into the bowl and cover with a cloth.  Set aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball.  Arrange each ball on a greased baking sheet about 3 inches apart.  Set aside and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread with an Oatmeal Crust.

In my second attempt at bread making, I chose a “healthier” option.  This was my first time working with whole wheat flour.  I didn’t find it to be too much different than working with all purpose flour, just a little bit more dense.

I kneaded the dough in my stand mixer, and after 10 minutes, it was still incredibly sticky.  The same held true after 20 minutes, so I added another half cup of flour.  After another 10 minutes of mixing, it was still very sticky rather than elastic.

The recipe I was working off of didn’t really provide an idea of how long the rise time would be, so looking at a similar recipe, I figured it would be about an hour. Turned out, in order for the dough to double in size, it was more like 3.5 hours, and didn’t rise as much as I was expecting it to.

But rather than give up and call this attempt a failure, I baked it according to the directions.  And while it wasn’t the “loaf” shape I was hoping for, it was still really yummy.  Despite being 100% whole wheat, it was still fairly light and airy.  The recipe makes 2 loaves, which was great because when we finished the first loaf within a number of days, we still had another loaf sliced and frozen just waiting to be devoured.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread with an Oatmeal Crust – slightly adapted from Whole Family Fare

  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • 1/4 Cup Warm Water (105 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 tsp. or 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 6 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (I used an additional 1/2 Cup)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 1/2 Cups Hot Water
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg White
  • 1/4 Cup Oatmeal

Dissolve honey in warm water.  Add yeast and set aside until the mixture starts to bubble (about 10-15 minutes).  In the bowl of a mixer, mix together salt and flour.  Add hot water, honey, flour and yeast mixture.  With the dough hook attached, knead until dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).

Divide dough in half and place into two greased loaf pans.  Brush egg white over the tops and sprinkle with oatmeal.  Press oatmeal lightly to stick.  Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and put in a warm place (I used my pantry) to rise until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350.  Once warm, bake for 35 minutes.

If freezing, slice and place into a freezer safe ziploc bag.