Friday, June 18, 2010

Making stuff

Hi Everybody! =) How do you like the blog face-lift?

Here's something I baked the other day. It's based on the Onion Boards recipe from my trusty-dusty Sunset Breads cookbook, but I've modified it quite a bit over the years. If you want a quick & easy loaf... this is not for you. If you want super awesome yummy sandwich/hamburger buns, strap on your apron and and get cooking.

1 pkg active dry yeast
2 cups luke-warm water
2 Tbls sugar
2 tsp salt
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour (plus more later)
1 sauteed onion

1 egg
coarse salt

Oven: 375F
Bake time: 20-25 mins
Overall time: 2 days.

Day 1
Chop up & saute a white or yellow onion in a little butter on medium for as long as it takes to get good and brown. Mmmmmmmm ... onions! Let 'em cool down.

In the bowl of your world-class superhero of a Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer, mix the yeast and water & a bit of the sugar. Let it sit a minute just to make sure the yeast is active. Remember, yeast is alive- pay attention to the expiration date on the package, and don't kill it with hot water. If the yeast looks good, add the sugar, salt & a cup of the wheat flour. Mix it well.
Slowly add the remaining wheat flour mixing for several minutes between additions of flour.

Seriously... let it mix well, let it rest a minute or two, mix it a few minutes more. You're trying to work up the gluten so it's good and stretchy. After adding all the wheat flour, mix in the onions. Again, give it enough time to really mix in. It should be looking a bit wet again, so then add the final cup of white flour. All told, I probably let it mix/rest/mix/rest for at least half an hour. (I was watching So You Think You Can Dance, I'd let it rest during the dancing, mix during the comments, then go check on it/add more flour on commercials.)

You should have a good medium-soft dough, turn it out onto a floured board, fold it over a couple times, shape it into a ball, and place it in a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (I didn't have any, I used foil... nothing bad happened. ;) ) and place it in the fridge overnight.

When you take it out of the fridge, it will have risen quite a bit, and it will be COLD. Punch it down, reshape it, put it back in the bowl. Let it sit out and get to room temperature. I left it out on the counter all day while I went to work. But you probably don't need to let it rise that long, but a give it a good 4-5 hours at least.

When I got home... the dough was well up to the top of the bowl here... although, naturally I forgot to get a picture. Empty the dough onto a floured board, dust the top with flour and gently degass it, shape it, let it sit for a minute or two to rest.

Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 10 - 12 equal pieces, depending on if you want bigger rolls or smaller rolls. Shape them into balls, but press them down good & flat. Place them on a well greased (or seasoned) baking stone. Let them sit for another half hour, hour or so. I went and got some dinner... when I got back I turned on the stove.

Preheat the oven to 375F and mix up the egg wash. Egg white is supposed to make crust shiny, egg yolk is supposed to make the crust soft, I just mixed up a whole egg and called it good. Brush the tops with the egg, then sprinkled some coarse salt on the tops. You could use sesame seeds if you want, but I like salt!Bake them for 20-25 minutes, until they sound hollow when you knock on the tops.

They turned out really really well, soft and a little chewy, a good wheaty-oniony flavor, very good for sandwiches and hamburgers. I'm planning on putting some pork & bbq sauce in the crock pot tomorrow... and that should make for some gooooood pulled pork sandwiches. =)


Bezzie said...

Yum! I think it's kind of sad when people use bread machines and get gypped out of the real bread experience!

I like the new header--but why is it backwards?

Rebel said...

Well, I have mixed feelings about bread-machines. On the one hand, it's always nice to have fresh homemade bread, and a bread machine can do that. But on the other hand, you can do soooo much better with just a mixer.

The header... well, you couldn't really read the title over the mixer, and I couldn't figure out how to right justify it, so I flipped the picture instead. I'm working on a new one.

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