Thursday, May 27, 2010

Burger Buns with a Crisp Crust

Two days ago, (two days ago as I'm writing this...not as I'm posting it) I decided that I was going to make sloppy joes, so that evening I started the dough so I could make buns the following day.

But the next day (which was yesterday), I needed to go out and I ended up getting home later than I planned. By then, it was a bit too late for bun baking, even though the dough was almost ready to go. So I postponed baking until today.

In other words, the dough spent two days in the fridge, rather than just an overnight rest.

The first mix was:

1 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey crystals
2 cups bread flour (9 oz.)

I mixed that up in the bowl of my stand mixer, then decided that I wanted to add some mashed potatoes to the mix, so I plopped a frozen 1/4 scoop of leftover mashed potatoes on top of the the dough:

This is what it looked like when I pulled it out after its two-day rest:

I added:

1 cup bread flour (4 1/2 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

And I kneaded it with the bread hook on the stand mixer until it was glossy and elastic. I figured that it had already fermented long enough, so I let it rest for just ten minutes while I attended to other things.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkled cornmeal on 2 baking sheets.

I floured the countertop, divided the dough into 12 pieces, and rolled them into balls, just like I would for dinner rolls.

After I had 12 nice round balls, I started flattening them in the center and outward, but didn't mash down the edges. When they were all disk-shaped, I flattened again, just like before, making them a bit larger and flatter.

Six buns went onto each baking sheet.

I let them rise for about a half hour. The dimpling from the flattening was gone and they were starting to look puffy.

I baked them for about 30 minutes. When I removed them from the oven, I covered them with a clean kitchen towel so they'd have a softer crust.

They didn't have a lot of oven spring, and they were a little crisper than I like for burger buns.

Good news was that were were having sloppy joes, and these worked well for that task since the crust held up well to the wet filling.

Tomorrow, I'm going to bake the same recipe again, but without any refrigerator time. Stay tuned.