Thursday, April 8

Hamburger Buns (from the heart)

Over the past year, I have been cooking and baking which has reduced my dependance on grocery stores (and processed foods). Of course, I will still need to go to the grocery to by the basic ingredients for my recipes, but every time I visit the grocery store, I notice more and more things that are made for convenience, but are really not so inconvenient to make, to begin with.

For instance, the hash browns I made last month from potatoes that were about to go bad... They took about 20 minutes to prepare, and now I have three bags of hash browns in my freezer, ready to prepare when ever I want. Not only was it a simple recipe, but it was definitely cheaper than buying frozen hash browns in the freezer section of the grocery store. And! By making it in my own kitchen, my end product is much more delicious than the over processed alternative at the grocery store. My recipe is just potatoes and olive oil... The Ore-Ida alternative, is made with potatoes, dextrose, and disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate. Personally, I prefer my breakfast without chemicals.

This has got me thinking... If I can prepare these hash browns so simply, what is to stop me from preparing all sorts of things that I would otherwise purchase at the grocery store?

Here begins my efforts to prepare my grocery store convenience foods. Perhaps you will enjoy trying to prepare more things on your grocery list too, rather than buying the convenient and processed alternative at the store.

Here is another recipe that you can prepare easily, rather than picking it up at the store (and a perfect side-kick for the bean burgers Jill* and I made the other day!):

Homemade Hamburger Buns
3 cups of warm water
4 tablespoons of molasses
1 packet of yeast, or 1/4 oz
3 tablespoons of olive oil
8 cups of flour

1. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the flour, until all of the yeast has dissolved. Then, slowly add the flour, to make a slightly sticky dough.

2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for about 30 seconds to smooth out any lumps in the dough. Then, return the dough to the bowl, and cover with a cloth, for about 30 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When the dough has risen, divide the dough into twelve even pieces and roll into a ball. Place each dough ball onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Again, cover the dough with a cloth and allow each bun to double in size (only about 5 minutes).

4. Before baking, lightly sprinkle each bun top, with water (this helps the rolls stay moist and forms a light crisp on the top of the roll!). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.

These buns last for about 3 days. If you are not going to use them before three days, you can freeze them for another time! I hope you enjoy them.

*P.S. it is Jill's birthday today! Happy Birthday Jill!!

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