Speaking of foods that taste particularly good this time of year . . . isn't this just the perfect time to get back into baking homemade bread?
I don't think I made bread even once this summer. Did I? Nope, I sure can't remember it. Fortunately, we have a lady in the area, a fantastic bread baker, who makes and sells loaves of artisan bread so we haven't been too, too deprived in the bread department these past few months.
Making my own bread is something I really enjoy so it feels good to get my hands back into the dough again.
Besides loaves of bread, I like to keep buns on hand for use with hamburgers and hot dogs.
The following recipe isn't my favorite rye bread recipe as it doesn't have a high ratio of rye flour in it. But because rye contains very little gluten (the substance that allows bread to rise) and my best rye bread is fairly heavy and dense, I like to use this recipe for buns.
Yesterday I made half the recipe into hamburger buns and half into one loaf of bread. The original recipe was for rye buns (as in dinner roll buns) but I found it makes a good loaf of bread besides making good hamburger buns.
4 to 5 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups rye flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
2 (rounded) tablespoons dry yeast
1/4 cup butter
2 cups warm (115-120 degrees) water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups unbleached flour, 2 cups rye flour, sugar, salt, caraway seeds, celery seeds and dry yeast.
In a small saucepan using a thermometer, warm butter and water to 115-120 degrees. Add to flour mixture and partially mix in. Then add the eggs and continue beating until all is incorporated.
Gradually add as much unbleached flour as you need to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down and divide as desired. For each of my burger buns, I use approximately 3 ounces of dough.
I press the dough for the buns quite flat when putting them on the greased cookie sheet because they will rise before baking. Those two little thingies on the right end of the cookie sheet are dinner rolls I made to go with our soup and salad dinner.
The nine burger buns and two dinner rolls took about half of the dough. I made the other half into a traditional loaf of bread.
This was everything cooling after it came out of the oven.
Hubby came in the door just as I was putting the buns and loaf on the racks to cool. He'd been out at our daughter's most of the day and had worked up a bit of an appetite. We all know what fresh, homemade bread smells like. Well, I thought I was going to have to beat him off with a stick until one of the buns cooled enough so he could eat it.
Yup, sure does feel good to be baking bread again. Next summer, no matter how busy I am outside I'm going to decree every rainy day as bread making day.
Would one of you please be responsible for holding me to that??
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