It has rained all day.  For the most part, I’ve spent the day on the couch.  Days like this don’t give me much motivation to do anything else.  I did feed Henry some fresh mango, which was followed by giving him a bath after his arms and face became a sticky mess.  My biggest accomplishment today would probably be baking sandwich bread and hamburger buns.  I have a plan to save money by baking all of my own bread.  Plus, I could use the practice.

First of all, I’m in the process of baking my way through the King Arthur Flour website.  I have yet to get a bad recipe off of their website.  My experiments for the day included Honey Oatmeal Bread and Beautiful Burger Buns.

Let me start by saying that I used bread flour instead of all purpose flour for both recipes.  I prefer bread flour and think it gives better rise and structure for the bread (more gluten development).  However, King Arthur Flour all purpose flour does have more protein than most and would work well.  I would not recommend using generic all purpose flour.

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Honey Oatmeal Bread

I was convinced that this bread needed more water, so I added a few more tablespoons.  I ended up having to add almost a cup more of flour to balance it out.  Don’t be tempted to add more water.  The applesauce and butter make up for it.  I ended up with enough dough to actually make two small loaves.  If you have a larger loaf pan, like a pullman loaf, then the recipe will make one large loaf.  You need a pullman loaf pan to get the large loaves you’re accustomed to from the grocery store.  It’s on my wish list on Amazon.

I did score the bread length-ways down the center.  I also brushed the loaves with water instead of milk.  As a result, I ended up with a thicker, harder crust than most people prefer for a sandwich bread.  I would recommend brushing with some kind of fat, either milk, oil or egg wash.  I don’t like brushing with butter because it makes the crust very flaky.  Great for brioche, but not what I’m looking for in buns or sandwich bread.  In fact, I don’t even brush brioche with butter.  It has enough butter in it already.  I use egg wash.

When sliced, the loaves had a very nice crumb.  It’s a very soft bread inside with a nice, slightly sweet flavor.

You can also check out my updated recipe for Honey Oat Bread.

Beautiful Burger Buns

Because it’s raining and it’s summer in Florida, I used 3/4 c of water instead of 1 c.  Next time I’ll probably go ahead and add 1 c.  The dough ended up being dry and a little tough.  I added more water, but it wasn’t the same.  It’s difficult to make a tough dough turn soft once the gluten starts to develop.  Plus, I find that gluten develops better in softer dough.

When dividing the buns, weigh them with a kitchen scale.  The only way to guarantee equal sized buns is by weight.  These came out to about 4.6 oz per bun for me.  It made 8 buns.  I didn’t brush them with butter for the reasons stated above.  I also brushed them with water, but I brushed them again after they have been in the oven a few minutes.  Next time I’ll probably brush them with egg wash or oil.  These still had a soft, thin crust, but I think they would have been better with an oil wash.

This is a recipe that I will definitely keep.  Regardless of being a tough dough, they were still very soft, tasty rolls.  In fact, you could divide these into 2 oz portions and they would make very nice dinner rolls.  I’m looking forward to using these for burger or even a nice ham and cheese sandwich.