Thursday, February 14, 2013

Twisted Portabella Burgers pt. 1: The Roll

You know how there are always a disparate number of burger patties to buns at the store? It occurred to me last night that I had two tasty portabella caps left over, and they'd make great burgers— but if I got storebought buns I'd have far too many. So I decided to make my own buns. Why had this never occurred to me before?

Also, why aren't pants made from towels? Necessity, your daughter would like a word.

I wasn't satisfied making regular burger rolls, so I looked up a few recipes, and eventually decided I wanted a dinner roll-type texture married to a simplified version of the kaiser roll. This is what ensued:

Twisted Burger Rolls
Makes 4 small or 2 large rolls

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Note: This process isn't labor-intense, but it does involve a lot of waiting, so make sure you have about 3 hours worth of things to do around the house while you make these.

In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and gently stir until the yeast dissolves. Combine the milk, one of the eggs, olive oil, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the yeast mixture and continue mixing, then add the flours and mix with a spoon until a rough dough forms. Knead the dough continuously with your mixer's dough hook attachment on low speed for 8 minutes*. Lightly flour and cover the kneaded dough with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for 2 hours, until it’s doubled in size. Do not refrigerate.

*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly-floured work surface.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly flour your work surface or counter top. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll them into balls on your work surface, being careful not to get too much flour on the outside of each ball.

To make the knots: Form each dough ball into a rope, by gently pulling it out from the center— imagine the dough is a tube of toothpaste, and you're trying to squeeze the toothpaste out from the center in each direction, if that makes sense. Once your rope is pulled out to about 12 inches in length, tie it in a simple overhand knot, leaving one loose end longer than the other [see photos below]. Now take the longer end and attach it to the shorter end, and pressing them together with your thumb. You should now have a bread dough trefoil knot.

Transfer the dough knots to a greased baking sheet and let stand for another hour.

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg with a fork. Using a basting brush, coat the risen dough knots with egg. Optional: You can add seeds, grated parmesan, herbs, or other toppings at this point if you desire. They will stick nicely to the egg-coated dough!

Bake the buns for 22-25 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on top. Let cool before slicing and serving.

Stay tuned for pt. 2 : The Burgers...