In my quest to make our food from simple unprocessed ingredients, I baked up some buns for black bean burgers. I wanted more of an sandwich thin like the inspiring Guilty Kitchen picture, but I wound up with more of a traditional bun.
I used a recipe from the Joy of Cooking. I have the 1962 edition - I found it for a dollar at a thrift store. It's great and I am told the 60-70's editions are better if you are looking for recipes that don't call for processed ingredients.
I used the Whole Grain Bread recipe as a base. I can't leave a recipe alone. I always wind up adapting it to what I have on hand. This time I had just made chicken stock. The stock had chilled over night in the fridge and I needed to defat it.
When stock is cold the fat is solid. The image on the right shows the stock with the solid fat chunks I was working on skimming out. Jeff says this picture looks like a toliet bowl. Um yeah, stock is not very photogenic.
I used the chicken fat in place of butter. These rolls are meant to be savory and so I thought the flavor might even add something. Turns out I can't really taste the chicken at all but the texture turned out great, nice and soft. Now I have another use for the grease I keep saving in jars. It's good stuff, don't throw it away!
Wheat Burger Buns
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/8 cup chicken fat heated to liquid
1 cup warm water
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons wheat gluten
4 cups wheat flour
4 cups unbleached white flour
Step 1: In a small sauce pan on low, heat the milk until it is warm to the touch. In a large bowl mix the sugar into the milk and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the yeast sit five minutes to proof.
Step 2: To the yeast mixture add the fat, water, salt and egg. Slowly stir in the wheat gluton and wheat flour. Then mix in the white flour.
Step 3: Turn out the dough and knead for five minutes. Try to add as little flour as possible. A pastry scraper may come in handy if the dough is really sticky when you start out. (I don't have a pastry scraper so I just use a metal spatula.)
Step 4: Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.
Step 5: Punch down the dough and then divide it in half. I made half of the dough into a loaf and put it in a greased bread pan and the other half into six buns. You could make all the dough into buns if you wanted. I shaped the remainder of the dough into flat biscuits with my hands - about the same size as the burger patties. In hindsight I should have made them slightly smaller because they rose a little bit. Place the patties on a greased cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 375F degrees.
Step 6: Bake the rolls for 15-25 minutes or until they are golden brown. Then let them cool on a rack so they don't get soggy bottoms. I let the loaf to rise for about 45 minutes before baking it. I wanted the buns to be denser so they wouldn't fall apart when eating the burger. However, I wanted the loaf of bread to be lighter. The bread loaf took about 45 minutes to bake.
Nutrition: The buns come out at 325 calories, 3 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber for WW point value of 6. These are very big buns. If I mad them again I would divide the dough into 8th instead of 6th and get a slightly lower point value.