Editors Note: Cooking will feature student food-blogger Stephanie Bouret’s experiences with cooking and adapted recipes that will be manageable for the everyday college student. Visit her blog at stephcooks.blogspot.com
My cooking section will feature all kinds of recipes and my personal experience trying them out. Cooking is one of my more recent interests so often my recipes will be beginner attempts and new dishes. Expect some of everything, from vegan recipes, to dorm room cooking, to breakfasts to impress, to dishes from around the world. Today’s recipe is for brioche buns that are delicious as burger buns, sandwich rolls, toasted for breakfast with jam, butter, honey, or Nutella or even just plain as a snack anytime!
Before I get into the recipe, I want to try to reassure you about the whole baking thing. Baking bread from scratch sounds really scary – I’ll be the first to admit it – but it’s actually not that bad. My first time baking bread was when I tried out these buns for my blog, and they turned out so good that I can’t imagine buying grocery store burger buns ever again. I had no trouble with the recipe, and when they were done, I couldn’t believe that I had made them! You’ll have to make a special trip to the store for the yeast and bread flour (different than all-purpose flour). You will also need a dough scraper, a tool that looks something like a small square steel blade on a wooden handle, or can also be a plastic/silicone spatula-like scraper. Small ones are available at Cost Plus World Market for $1.50.
Adapted from the New York Times Dining & Wine section, June 30, 2009
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
sesame seeds, optional
1. In a glass bowl or cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until the dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, eight to 10 minutes. The dough will be sticky but don’t keep adding flour or else the buns will be tough.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into eight equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let buns rise for one to two hours.
5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. I also sprinkled the tops with sesame seeds. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makes eight buns.