Saturday, December 18, 2010

I knead the bread!

This morning's conversation started like this- me- let me know when your game is up, I've got pics to show you.
Hub- Pics of what?
me- Hamburgers, sexy hamburgers!

Some might find the thought of hamburgers- repulsive! I totally get it- the whole meat is murder thing, but this meat eater LOVES a good hamburger (and I'll totally bust out a black bean burger on a whim as well, but last night was beef!).

Don't shy away if your strict veggies only kind of eater, this post isn't about the beef, it's about the buns! Being immobilized by 4 inches of snow having extra time with a snow day, I decided to make my own sandwich buns.  Bread (without a bread machine) walks a fine line of being great or dear God I wouldn't serve this to an enemy bad... the latter being my first attempts with bread!  Persevering through some whole wheat bricks, I made peace with the yeast and have produced some edible loaves, rolls, pretzels, pizza crusts and- Sandwich Buns!!!
With any good recipe, comes humble beginnings, learning from your mistakes- and in my case purchasing a cookbook- The Mixer Bible.
And while I  won't plagiarized the recipe- I will offer my tips to making edible sandwich buns.

1. whether or not you are using active dry yeast or Highly active dry yeast (which I opted for this time) use a thermometer to get the temps on your liquid just right. Too cool- yeast won't work, too warm- yeast won't work. 
2. Active and Highly Active yeast are different- they require different TLC. I studied this website when I first attempted bread and still made mistakes.
3. Start early. Not only does it take hours to make fresh bread, if your  buns don't turn out right, at least you have time to go to the store to pick some up!

4. Use the right flour- I attempted 100% whole wheat- very unsuccessfully. Now I use white wheat flour- but have a stock pile of white bread flour too. I have some very special flour from a farmer's market I'm saving- well I'm saving it until I pick up Vital Wheat Gluten- it always escapes me when I'm grocery shopping!
Making bread is hard- a frustrating and slow process. These tips don't even scratch the surface of bread how to's- there are websites devoted to it! If you find  yourself in the position of wanting to make fresh bread- GO FOR IT! If it frustrates you beyond belief- I KNOW what you're feeling!!!  I could devote an entire entry on the topic of "Temper Tantrums in the Kitchen- when things didn't quite go my way!"

After an afternoon of mixing, kneading, and risings plus an evening of "Snow Grilling"- dinner was served! Grilled burgers, Grilled sweet potato wedges, and Weston Farm Rosso- a delicious VA wine!!! 
All was well with the world- well our piece of the world anyway!

With that I am making my way back to the gym- with hopes of not being recognized as the girl that hasn't come in 3 months! 

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