This is ridiculous. Just as I was beginning to feel somewhat recovered (apart from what I consider normal – if irritating – seasonal allergies), Jon’s back went out in a spectacular manner. He’s beginning to feel functional again, but I’ve been keeping busy trying to cook interesting and comforting things that can be eaten while propped up with pillows.
I made braised lemon-olive chicken with couscous, which made a wonderful soup the next day, and baked cookies (my grandmother’s sugar pecan cookies with white chocolate added in), and made an enormous quantity of minestrone, and baked hamburger buns from scratch, which made for some truly fabulous burgers. I also ordered a pizza one night, but I rather felt like I’d earned it.
The hamburger buns were a real highlight of the week – very simple to make, and very rewarding. Soft and sweet, they still held up to sturdy burgers with all the trimmings. I cut the original recipe down by half, but I still have a nice big bag of leftover buns for future burgers. Well worth the effort.
Adapted from Mary’s Bread Basket and Soup Kettle by Mary Gubser
Makes 8-12 buns, depending on the size you like. The dough is very similar to challah, so I’m guessing it goes stale quickly – I put all my leftovers directly into the freezer.
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup Canola or other vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 4-5 cups white bread flour
Combine the yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. Add the salt, sugar, oil and eggs and beat together. Add the flour gradually until the dough comes together, then knead ten minutes or so, added flour as needed, until the dough is soft and smooth. Put in an oiled bowl (covered) to rise for an hour or until doubled.
Punch down the dough and wait ten minutes, then divide it into portions. Splitting it 8 ways gives pretty standard-size buns, but you can easily make them smaller. Roll the dough pieces into balls, set them on oiled baking sheets, then press down lightly to flatten them out a bit. Cover them with a towel and let rise 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375.
When the rolls have risen, you can, if you wish, brush them with an egg wash and sprinkle seeds on top. I hate seeds on my rolls, so I never do this. Put the pans into the oven and let bake 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool before using for burgers.