HOMEMADE BUNS FOR BURGERS OR BRATS
Note: Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or bread machine yeast. To use regular yeast, combine 1 package with 1/4 cup of warm water in a small dish until it swells, about 5 minutes, then add to flour with the other liquids.
• 31/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more as necessary
• 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
• 11/4 tsp. instant yeast (see Note)
• 11/2 tsp. salt
• 11/3 c. room-temperature water
• 1 tbsp. honey
• 1/4 c. olive oil
• 1 tbsp. sesame, poppy or other seeds for the topping, optional
• Beaten egg for brushing the tops of buns, optional
In a mixing bowl, combine both flours, yeast and salt. Whisk to combine. Add 11/3 cups water, honey and oil. With a wooden spoon, mix until combined, adding additional flour a spoonful at a time if too wet. The ball of dough will look a bit shaggy.
On a lightly floured counter, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and springy, flouring only your hands if necessary. The dough should pass the windowpane test: A small ball of dough can be stretched for a few inches until it seems almost transparent.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning so that the oiled side is up. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to let rise until doubled, about 11/2 to 2 hours; when you press the dough with your finger, an indentation will remain instead of springing back.
Gently remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a square. Cut in half, then cut each half into four rectangles (for a total of 8 pieces).
For hot dog or brat buns: Gently flatten each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. Using the index finger of one hand, press down along the center of the dough while using the thumb and middle finger of the other hand to bring the dough up and over your index finger, pinching it together. This creates surface tension that keeps the bun's shape while rising.
Turn the bun over and roll a few times to smooth the seam. Place seam side down on a prepared baking sheet.
For hamburger buns: Shape each piece into a rough ball. On an unfloured surface, cup your hand over the dough and rotate it, gently pressing down. Your fingernails should be "scratching" the work surface. Place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray. Press to slightly flatten each ball to about 3 inches across.
To finish buns: Cover the pan with a dish towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
If desired, brush risen buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with seeds. Place on middle rack of oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 267 Fat 7 g Sodium 445 mg
Carbohydrates 44 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 11 mg
Protein 6 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 1 1/2 fat.