Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

I'd been making my Honey Wheat Sandwich Bread a lot when my husband asked if I could make some hamburger buns.  I decided to use the dough from my sandwich bread, and just form it into buns (rather that loaves) at the last step.  It worked great!  I get to use my super-easy dough recipe, and we have delicious buns for burgers and our favorite pulled pork.
What you need:  for 16 buns
  • 1 Tbs yeast
  • 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees)
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
Let's get cooking:
1.   Combine yeast and water.  (You can sprinkle with 1/8 tsp sugar to help activate the yeast).  Let sit about 5 minutes, until foaming.  Then add oil and honey.

2. Combine flours and salt in a stand mixer.  Use the dough hook attachment.  With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the yeast mixture. 

Note:  if you don't have a stand mixer, you can still make this simple dough.  Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture as in step 2.  Mix slowly until well combined.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead about 6 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic.  Then continue with step 5.

3.  Increase mixer speed to medium for 3 minutes.  Then turn off mixer and let dough rest 5 minutes.

4.  Turn out dough onto a floured surface.  Knead about 50 times by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

5.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover and let rise until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch dough down.

6.  On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 16 equal parts and form into balls.  Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until double, about 30 minutes.

7.   Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake for about 15 minutes, until just turning golden.  I bake mine on a preheated stone, but you can also use a cookie sheet.

8.  Remove from pan and allow to completely cool on wire racks.  Store on the counter for up to 3 days in an airtight container. 

I like to slice them and freeze in large Ziplocs for up to 1 month.  (They probably freeze longer with no problems, but at our house homemade bread rarely hangs around that long).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Great Grandma's Bow-Tie Quilt

 A few months ago, I posted about my Great Grandma's quilt blocks that I wanted to assemble into quilts.  Finally, I've made some progress on the first one.  I have the bow-tie quilt top all finished, and it's ready for basting and quilting!

Usually, sewing a few squares into rows would be easy-peasy.  However, it turns out that these blocks are not all the same size.  I don't know why--maybe the fabric has shrunk or distorted after years in a box? Or maybe they were never exactly the same size?  Maybe that's why Grandma never used them ;)

Whatever the reason, each block was slightly different, enough that trying to assemble them into neat rows with matching corners was soooo frustrating.  I did a lot of seam-ripping (and a moderate amount of venting to my patient hubby).  What I finally had to do was insert a few small patches, as you can see in the pics, to make the blocks fit together.  Then I had to give up trying to make the seams match perfectly and just go with it.  
I think it's going to be an awesome baby quilt for our new baby.  We didn't find out the gender, and I think that this quilt has enough pink, blue, and every other color that it will be perfect for a little boy or girl!

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