Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Books & Hamburger Buns

haha, I'm just now noticing that really obvious color "dot" on the photo...Thats the best I could do with a free photo editing software...the idea was good though, right?
I love all kinds of books. Novels, coffee-table books, how-to's, magazines, news papers, the list goes on - I'm not so sure if I'd go as far as to say I love text books, but after a few years of school I've kind of developed a liking for them too. (You can't think I'm totally crazy - after all, they've done me well so far.) And wouldn't you figure... I love cookbooks. :)  I order all my cookbooks from With my most recent order I got a free book. From a choice of about 10 I thought "Build a Better Burger" sounded the most promising. 

All blogger's rave about this book and I had to see what the fuss is all about. True, there is very little that is better than the smell of freshly baked bread - maybe freshly cut grass, but thats a different kind of fine.


Don't shy away if your taste buds don't usually beg for beef - there are plenty of recipes for all kinds - shrimp burgers, lamb burgers, chicken, beans - you name it. This book is a collection of recipes from the winners of the Build a Better Burger Contest hosted by Sutter Homes.


Buttermilk Burger Buns & Curry Chicken Burgers with Carrot Salad

White Breads: Three Multipurpose Variations
Variation 2
(makes 12 burger or dog buns, 18 dinner rolls, or two 1-lb loaves)

4 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 large egg, slightly beaten, at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, margarine or shortening, at room temperature, or vegetable oil.* I used butter.
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or whole milk) at room temperature

1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer).  Pour in the egg, butter and buttermilk and mix with a large metal spoon (or on low speed of the electric mixer with the paddle attachment) until all the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball.  If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more buttermilk until the dough is soft and supple.

2. Sprinkle flour in the counter, transfer dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mix on medium speed with the dough hook), adding more flour if necessary, to create a dough that is soft, supple, and tacky but not sticky.  Continue kneading (or mixing) for 6-8 minutes.  (In the electric mixer, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick ever so slightly to the bottom.)  The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80F.  Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat it with oil.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size (the length of time will depend on the room temperature.)

4. Remove the fermented dough from the bowl and divide it in half for sandwich loaves, into eighteen 2-oz pieces for dinner rolls, or twelve 3-oz pieces for purger or hot dog buns. Shape the pieces into boules for loaves or tight rounds for dinner rolls or buns.

5. For loaves, lightly oil two 8 1/2 inch by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans and place the loaves in the pans.  For rolls and buns, line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment.  Rolls require no further shaping. For hamburger buns, gently press down on the rolls to form the desired shape.  Transfer the rolls or buns to sheet pans.

6. Mist the tops of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Proof the dough at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until nearly doubles in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 350F for loaves or 400F for rolls and buns.  Brush the rolls of buns with the egg wash and garnish with poppy or sesame seeds.  Sandwich loaves also may be washed and garnished, or score them down the center and rub a little vegetable oil in the slit. 

8. Bake the rolls or buns for approximately 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown an register just above 180F in the center.  Bake loaves for 35-40 minute4s, rotating 180 halfway through for even baking, if needed.  The tops should be golden brown ad the sides, when removed from the pan, should also be golden. The internal temperature of the loaves should be close to 190F and the loaves should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

9. When the loaves have finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing or sering.  Rolls should cool for at least 15 minutes on a rack before serving.

Nutritional Facts: (1/12 of recipe)
Calories 227, Fat 5g, Carbs 38.7g, Fiber 1.3g, Sugars 4.8g, Protein 6.4g
Iron 13%

Review:  The procedure was simple. The texture was good. The buttermilk definitely gave them a distinctive flavor which would complement a grilled/fried chicken fillet or a mild, grilled fish such as tilapia. Next time I think I will stick to plain milk - its flavor would be much more versatile. But these will have to do for a while. I've got a number of them still bundled in plastic wrap, stacked neatly in the freezer.

BTW, I got both Alton Brown books: I'm Just Here for the Food and I'm Just Here for More Food. Both utterly amazing.

Follow this link for the Curry Chicken Burger with Carrot Salad recipe.

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