Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Buns


Homemade Hamburger Buns

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Want to be a big hit at your next picnic or barbeque? An easy way to do this is to make your own hamburger, hotdog, or sandwich buns. It’s easy to do and taste SO MUCH better than those you buy at the store.
The Prepared Pantry’s Salted Water Roll Mix  makes incredible burger and hotdog buns. To add an extra special touch the packet comes complete with the black and white sesame seeds plus the healthier Pink Himalayan Salt.



Here are the directions right from the Prepared Pantry’s web site.
1. Mix the bread according to the package directions or recipe. If you are using your bread machine, set the machine on the “dough” setting so that the machine will mix your bread for you, let it rise and then beep when it is time to bake.

If you are making bread the old-fashioned way, follow the directions and let the bread rise in an oiled bowl as you would for other bread mixes or recipes.
If you are using the Salted Water Roll Mix, you can skip the first rise step and immediately form your rolls and place them on the pan.



2. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. If you are using a two-loaf mix or recipe, divide the dough into 16 pieces.



3. Form a round or oval roll with each piece. Place them on a greased baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with room to expand. With the flat of your hand, flatten each roll. The elasticity in the dough will tend to make the rolls spring back. Let the dough relax for a few minutes and press a second time.

4. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap or a proofing bag and let rise until doubled—45 minutes to an hour or so depending on the mix and the room temperature. Salted Water Rolls will not get as puffy as most mixes or recipes.



5. If you put seeds or seeds and salt on your rolls, whisk with a fork one egg with one tablespoon of water. Just before baking, brush the tops and sides with the wash and then sprinkle with seeds. The wash will keep the seeds in place.



6. Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for about fifteen minutes or until done. Immediately remove them to a wire rack to cool. Serve them fresh. Day old rolls are not nearly as good.



Get a free copy of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking. It’s a great reference book with great recipes and 318 pages. Choose PDF, Kindle, Nook, or I-Pad.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hot Cross Buns


Hot Cross Buns


Hot cross buns are integral to any Easter celebrations and when it comes to taste there is just nothing like home baking to make a really special bun. Individual ideas may vary in terms of the ingredients that are used and the design that the buns should have, and in the end the finer details obviously come down to personal choice. However, here are a few general points to consider if you are looking into making the perfect hot cross buns this Easter.


Currants or no currants

‘Currants of course!’ I hear you cry, but actually one of the first acknowledged recipes for hot cross buns does not use currants. It is claimed that these annual Easter offerings are the descendants of the humble ‘London bun’ – the distinctive iced white fingers that still remain today. At Easter, the currants in the London bun were replaced with candied peel and beaten eggs were added to the mixture to adapt the buns for Good Friday and give them a golden glow underneath the edible cross. One thing that is certain is that hot cross buns should never contain cranberries, even if you are American.



Should hot cross buns be boozy?

Given the nature of Good Friday as rather a sad occasion there is probably a strong argument for saying that hot cross buns should contain no booze at all. However, this has not stopped recipes being adapted over the years to include alcoholic ingredients and the most popular of these is stout. The stout is poured in to the mixture at the same time as the flour and yeast and then left overnight. The next morning the spices are added in with the eggs, butter and sugar, creating a distinctive dark and malty bun.



How long until it’s proven?

How long you leave your dough to ‘prove’ (i.e. allowing it to rise) probably depends on how late you leave it to make the buns this year. If you manage to get very organized in advance then you can follow Nigella Lawson’s method of leaving the mixture to prove over night for maximum rising time. If not, then most other recipes will recommend around an hour and a half. In theory, the longer the dough is left to prove, the lighter your buns will be.



Spice it up?

When it comes to the delicate spicing required in the perfect hot cross bun, again this can often come down to a matter of personal taste. Whilst more traditional recipes will limit the spicing to a couple of teaspoons of ‘mixed spice’ – which you can of course buy in a jar – other recipes will have you infusing the milk with everything from cardamom pods to saffron. When making the decision about spicing really it’s quite simple – if you don’t like the taste of cardamom then stick to the mixed spice.



How do you eat yours?

Hot cross buns are usually pictured served hot from the oven and oozing with a delicious, thick slab of butter. However, over the years that they have been around, variations have developed on this theme and there are now some pretty wild and wacky ideas for consuming this annual Easter treat. Marmite provides a deliciously salty contrast to the sweetness of the buns, or marmite and peanut butter together is an interesting experience. Again along savoury lines, cream cheese somehow works particularly well with hot cross buns straight from the oven. Alternatively, load yours up with jam and clotted cream for an Easter afternoon tea treat, or for something purely indulgent cover them in chocolate spread.



Once you know where you stand on these crucial bun baking issues then making the perfect hot cross buns this Easter is easy. Whether you’re infusing with cardamom or sticking to mixed spice, smothering in peanut butter or eating plain and warm from the oven, it’s always a much more satisfying experience to know you have made the buns yourself.




John is a content developer on behalf of Russell Hobbs who enjoys cooking and baking in his spare time. Visit Russell Hobbs for great deals on toasters and coffee machines.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ice Cream Bread

Ice Cream Bread

Ice Cream Bread


When I think of fun ideas to do with my grandchildren, this is one of them.  They are always so surprised to take 2 ingredients and turn it into something like flavored bread.  This recipe is included in the book   Southern Living 1,001 Ways to Cook Southern: The Ultimate Treasury of Southern Classics .  I was fortunate to find a used copy of it at Amazon for a fair price.  It has turned out to be one of my favorite cook books.

This recipe is so easy I can’t believe it.  Ice cream only slightly flavors the bread, but the excitement for the kids when it is done is a good feeling.  Hope you try it.


The recipe calls for self rising flour.  I don’t like to keep a lot of different flours in my kitchen as it takes too long to use them up.  And, if you have ever experienced bugs in your flour, you will know what I mean.  It is easy enough to make your own self-rising flour with this recipe:

1 cup all purpose flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt


I will usually make about 2 cups at a time if I am only going to need 1 cup.


Back to the Ice Cream Bread


1  8×4 loaf pan sprayed and floured or lined with parchment paper

preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 scoops any flavor softened  ice cream

1 1/2 cups self rising flour


Mix the flour and softened ice cream until combined

Scoop into the pan and smooth out

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs

Let cool and enjoy

This is NOT meant to be anything but tasteful, so don’t even try using anything except full fat ice cream!