Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread, Rolls or Burger Buns

Pinch yourself and follow your nose– because that whiff you just caught of fresh bread baking isn’t coming from your neighbors, that satisfying aroma is actually in your kitchen. That’s just one of the rewards that come when you make your own bread.

What I have noticed is that bread baking is a love or hate relationship. My friend whom I share my fresh baked bread with will probably never attempt bread. She has no desire to learn or the patience to wait for it to become bread. Yet, she loves watching me do it and pleasures in the end results.

Bread baking is more of a feel than a science and you get this feel the more you bake. In order to accomplish this, you have to bake a few loaves. That’s how you will know if your dough needs more flour or if you have kneaded it enough. We started this journey together with the birth of the sourdough starter and with that starter, we made sourdough bread. By now you should have a few loaves under your belt, which will make this honey wheat sourdough a cinch.

This recipe has a perfect balance of sweet and creamy with the addition of honey, milk and butter. The sourdough flavor is almost absent, but lingers in the background just enough to give this bread its own distinctiveness that separates it from honey wheat bread that doesn’t have starter. It makes great sandwich bread, rolls and burger buns that have a soft interior and a slightly crispy crust. It’s not temperamental and doesn’t need a whole lot of attention.

What’s your favorite shape? Mine is square - if we are talking about sandwich bread.

This has driven me crazy for years. I hate stuffing wide squat sandwiches into the so called sandwich bags. They just don’t fit. When I attempt to shove them in, they look like they are suffocating. The bread warps and smashes, it’s maddening. So I end up end up cutting my sandwich in half – needing 2 bags for a single sandwich. That makes no sense to me.

If this thought has crossed your mind, get yourself a 1 ½# Pullman Loaf Pan (13"X 4" X 4"). This recipe fits perfectly in this pan.

This dough has very little oven spring so letting it rise to almost 3 times is important. It will take some patience - but it will be worth it!

 If you’re in a hurry and want to bake that day, this recipe works. If you want to take it slow and get it ready a day ahead, this recipe works. If you only have time to mix the dough, but not knead right away, this recipe works. It’s not totally fool proof, but it’s very adaptable.
Some recommend using a wooden spoon. My favorite tool is this large sturdy rubber spatula.


NOTES
  • You can mix this dough to shaggy (not all smooth) without kneading and it will double (I usually do this before I knead in the last ½ c. flour)
  • I have also let it double in its shaggy stage – knocked it down, then put it in the fridge without kneading and knead it the next day. It just all depends on how much time I have.
  • Just remember to allow the dough to come back to room temperature after removing it from the fridge (about 2 hours) on the counter, before you start to knead or shape.
  • For the burger buns - flatten each dough ball  before their final rise, so they wont puff up too much and look large rolls instead of burger buns. This recipe makes 8 regular buns and 6 large.
Honey Wheat Sourdough Bread or Rolls
Makes 1 large loaf or 12 rolls or 6 large burger buns

¾         cup      water
¼         cup      milk
1          Tbsp.   butter
1          Tbsp.   honey
1          tsp.      kosher salt
1          pk.       active dry yeast (2 ½ tsp.)
1          cup      sourdough starter
1          cup      wheat flour
2 ¼      cups     white flour
½         cup      flour, for kneading (more or less)

Place the water, milk and butter in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and heat for 30 seconds. Pour into mixing bowl.

Add honey, kosher salt and yeast; mix.

Add sourdough starter and mix again (its ok if it’s still a little lumpy)

Add wheat flour first, then 2 ¼ cups of white flour and mix into a shaggy dough. (you can stop here or knead; see note above)

Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead in the last ½ cup of flour or until the dough no longer sticks to your hands; return to the bowl; cover and let rise until doubled.

Shape; cover and let rise until almost tripled before baking.

Bake Loaf – 375 degrees for 35 min.
Bake Rolls or Burger Buns – 375 degrees for 20 min.

Remove bread or rolls from the pan to a cooling rack as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Cool loaf completely before cutting. Rolls can be cut open in 5 min.




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