Thursday, October 8, 2009

A better burger bun

I've made buns before, but I tried a new recipe today (see a trend?) and it was FABULOUS. It's pretty much a King Arthur's Beautiful Burger Bun recipe, but I used bread flour instead of All Purpose. Oh, and since I didn't have instant yeast I proofed mine in warm water with the sugar. The result was super delicious.

A better burger bun- 8 buns

3/4 C. water
2 Tbsp butter
1 large egg
3 1/2 C. bread flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp yeast

  1. If using active dry yeast, proof it in the water with the sugar and add the rest of the ingredients after it bubbles. If using instant yeast, just add all the ingredients at the same time.
  2. Knead by hand or mixer. (If using a mixer, know mine was a stickier dough and did not clear the sides of the bowl. I had to scrape it down a couple times.) Form it into a ball if it isn't already.
  3. Place it in a greased (I used spray) bowl and cover it for 1 hour or until double.
  4. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a 1"(ish) thick and about 3 in. across.
  5. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet, cover, and let rise 30-60 min. or until very puffy.
  6. Lightly brush with an egg wash.
  7. Bake at 375* for 12-15 min. or until golden.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A better flour tortilla

I have used the same tortilla recipe for about 8 years now, but I've always felt they lacked in the texture department. After having fresh tortillas in the store that had great texture but horrible taste, I set out to find a better tortilla recipe. I ended up mixing my original recipe with a recipe I found online (can't find it now or I'd link it).

I've made these a couple times with minor variations in cooking technique, but tonight's tortillas were the best so I'm set to type it up now. =)

Flour Tortillas-makes 8 large tortillas
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt (I'm sure regular salt works fine, but I always cook with kosher)
1/4 C vegetable shortening

3/4 C warm milk

  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients, cutting in the shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives or forks.
  2. Add the warm milk a little at a time until completely incorporated.
  3. Flour a workspace and dump out dough. It'll probably be a little sticky, so flour your hands and have a little extra flour on the side. Hand kneed the dough for about 5 min.
  4. Put in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it sit for about 15-20 min. If it's too tough or rubbery, let it sit a few more min.
  5. After 20 min. cut the dough into 8 equal parts. Roll these pieces into balls.* Flatten into a disk and roll into tortillas. It's okay if they're not quite as large as you want them. Cover and let sit another 5-10 min.**
  6. Warm up a cast iron skillet (or a non-stick pan, but honestly, they cook better on cast iron) Keep it dry-don't add oil or anything. Once the pan is nice and hot, slap your tortillas on about 30 seconds on each side (more or less depending on how hot your pan really is). If your pan is hot enough, they'll start to puff up and get big bubbles. Keep the cooked ones warm under a clean kitchen towel until you're ready to eat. them
*If you used a stand mixer to knead, you may need to let them sit for another 10 min. at this point. If your dough is ever too elastic or rubbery, just let it sit a bit longer to relax.
**I have stacked them in between pieces of wax paper and put them in a ziploc in the fridge for a couple hours. It worked just fine after sitting a couple hours, but the next day the final product was a little brittle and not quite chewy.