light brioche hamburger buns

light brioche hamburger buns | theclevercarrot.com

Now that it’s officially BBQ season, I thought it would be fun to make homemade hamburger buns.

We like our burgers on brioche-style rolls and this recipe looked like a good starting place.

Before I begin, I will tell you that this brioche is lighter than the traditional kind that I’m used to (hence the title). It’s still fluffy and moist, but not quite as eggy and rich. Even the color is a bit lighter. We thought that it was the perfect vessel for a juicy burger and would be great for sandwiches too!

And in my opinion, nothing beats an all natural hamburger bun- can you believe how much junk there is in the store-bought variety?

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

1.) Make the dough & let it rise: Mix your dough together using a stand mixer. It will be very sticky and have a shaggy appearance. Place a damp kitchen towel directly over the bowl and allow it to rest until it has doubled in size. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, this will take about 1-3 hours (mine took 1 1/2 hrs @ 70 degrees F.)

*Giving your dough enough time to rise is crucial in bread baking. In the past, I have rushed this step which caused my bread to be very dense. Rise times will vary, so be patient. Remember to watch your dough and not the clock!

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

2.) Punch down the dough & portion it out: Once your dough has risen, dump it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently flatten or ‘punch’ down the dough to get rid of any air bubbles. Using a bench scraper (or a chef’s knife) cut the dough into 8 equal portions. If you have a scale, weigh each portion so that they’re all the same size. Do this by weighing the entire ball of dough first and then divide by the number of rolls you want to make.

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

3.) Shape into balls: Gently flatten each piece of dough like a pancake. Pull up each side pinching it together in the center. Repeat until the ball is sealed. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your board (it’s easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. Transfer each ball onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

4.) Let the dough rise again: The dough will need to rise again, this time for a shorter period than the initial rise. The balls should look puffy and slightly risen, about 1- 1/2 hrs. When they’re ready, gently brush each one with egg wash. See how puffy they are?

*At this point, you could add sesame seeds to the top of your rolls if desired.

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

5.) Bake: Preheat your oven to 400 F. and place a shallow baking pan on the oven floor. Before the dough goes in, add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan (to create steam). This will help keep the bread nice and moist. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

light brioche hamburger buns |  theclevercarrot.com

light brioche hamburger buns
 
Author:
Serves: 8 buns
Ingredients
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Then, beat 1 egg.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, salt and butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until the butter is the size of crumbs.
  3. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg. Run the mixer on medium-low (I used #3 on my Kitchen Aid) until a dough forms, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary, and shape the dough into a ball. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise until it has doubled is size, 1- 3 hours* See Note.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a floured dough scraper (or chef's knife), divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. If you have a scale, weigh each piece to guarantee that they're all the same size.
  6. To shape the dough into balls, gently flatten each piece like a pancake. Pull up each side pinching it together in the center. Repeat until the ball is sealed. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your board (it's easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. Transfer to your baking sheet, placing them a few inches inches apart. Cover and rest for 1-2 hours, or until puffy and slightly risen.
  7. To make the egg wash, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water. When the buns are finished with the 2nd rise, gently brush each one with egg wash. At this point, you could add sesame seeds to the top of your rolls if desired.
  8. Preheat your oven to 400 F. and place a skillet or baking dish on the oven floor. Before the dough goes in, add about ½ cup of water to the pan (to create steam). This will help keep the bread nice and moist. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
*Giving your dough enough time to rise is crucial in bread baking. Rise times will vary, so be patient. Remember to watch your dough and not the clock!

no-knead honey whole wheat bread

no-knead honey whole wheat bread | The Clever Carrot

The internet is a beautiful thing.

Back when I posted my recipe for no-knead artisan bread, I made a new friend on facebook. Her name is Hendrika, and she is from the Netherlands.

Hendrika (also a baker) recommended making a whole grain version. She said to replace 25% of the flour with whole grain flour, and increase it up to 50% for a heartier bread. Then roll the dough in old fashioned oats before the second rise.

I took her suggestion…

no-knead honey whole wheat bread | The Clever Carrot

And it worked beautifully! I even added a little honey for a hint of sweetness.

What’s great about this recipe, is that it’s made in the exact same fashion as the original no-knead bread (who doesn’t love baking in a dutch oven?!) The only difference is the ingredients.

I went with a smaller amount of whole wheat flour as I prefer a lighter, less dense bread. However, I’ve made it using a 50/50 ratio and it was just as good- it’s simply a matter of personal taste. I also added a touch more salt to enhance the flavor. The result was a nutty, golden bread bread with a soft and chewy interior. The crust was perfectly crisp.

no-knead honey whole wheat bread | The Clever Carrot

And that is the beauty of the internet. It brings together like minded people.

As for us, we’ve been enjoying the fruits of my labor in sandwiches, french toast and dunking in soup. The kids go crazy for this bread. Any leftovers are blitzed into breadcrumbs and stashed away in the freezer. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s nothing like making your own bread and once you get started the possibilities are endless. Thanks Hendrika, for the fabulous idea!

For a step-by-step tutorial on making no-knead artisan bread, click here!

*It’s interesting to note that this dough is not as wet as the original version. Whole wheat flour absorbs more water resulting in a drier dough. Keep in mind that you might need to add additional water to bring the dough together. Do this 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.

no-knead honey whole wheat bread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2¼ c. bread flour (not all-purpose) + more for dusting
  • ¾ c. whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1½ c. water
  • ¾ c. old fashioned oats, for rolling
  • 6 quart dutch oven
* I used King Arthur bread & whole wheat flour and SAF instant yeast.
* You can use any 6 quart dutch oven, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic bakeware (with lid) that can heat up to 500 degrees F.
Instructions
  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl whisk the bread flour, whole wheat flour, yeast and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the honey and water. Add the water mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir until combined; dough will be wet and sticky. If your dough seems very dry, add more water (do this 1 tablespoon at a time) until desired consistency is achieved.
  2. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled container and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 14 hours- overnight, at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1½ -2x its original size. *See note below.
  3. Shape the dough: Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top. Fold the dough in half (like a book) and then fold it in half again.
  4. Add more flour to the parchment paper and sprinkle the oats on top of the paper. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself, and then roll around in the oats to coat. Place the dough (seam side down) onto the paper. Cover and rest again until puffy in shape. This will take 30 minutes- 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Put a (6 quart) dutch oven pot inside for 20 minutes. When the dough is ready, remove pot from the oven. Place your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will be facing up.
  6. Bake the dough: Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 400 to 375 F.Cover with the lid and bake for 30 minutes. If you find that your bread is browning too quickly, reduce the temperature to 350 F. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. To make sure that the bread is completely cooked through, take its temperature. Carefully tip the bread onto its side and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read 200-205 F. If not, place it back into the oven until it is ready (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you’re worried about the top getting too brown, put the lid back on.
  8. When your bread is ready, transfer to a wire rack to cool. It should feel light and make a hollow sound when you give it a knock underneath. Let it cool for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture resulting in a gummy crumb!
Notes
* If your dough isn’t puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!

no-knead artisan bread

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

If you’re interested in baking your own bread, this is a great recipe for beginners.

It’s Jim Lahey’s ‘no-knead’ loaf, which means you simply mix up the dough and let it rest overnight. No stand mixer, no bread machine, no kneading- just 2 minutes of prep time. The bread is baked in a dutch oven and the result is to die for; golden, crusty bread with a soft & chewy interior.

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Buckle up people- this is a loooooong tutorial…

1.) Make the dough- Clear away all kitchen clutter and find yourself a nice workspace. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix with water to combine. It will look something like this…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

As it becomes difficult to stir, get in there with your hands and mush everything together. It will be wet and sticky, with a shaggy appearance…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot 

2.) Let it rise- Transfer your dough to a lightly oiled container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature (70 degrees) for 14 hours- overnight (Zzzz…Zzzz…)

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1 1/2- 2 x the original size. You will also see lots of bubbles…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot*Note: if your dough isn’t puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!

3.) Shape the dough & let it rise again- Flour a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the dough from its container and place it on top. Fold it in half (like a book) and then fold it in half again. Don’t worry about the direction. You are doing this to release some air inside of the dough. Sorry, no photo for this one- my hands were too sticky!

When you are finished folding, add more flour to the parchment paper (be generous so that it doesn’t stick). Shape the dough into a ball by gently tucking the sides underneath itself. Place onto the paper (seam side down), like so…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

And let it rest again until puffy. It will start to spread out slightly as it rises- this is ok. The 2nd rise will not take as long as the first, but expect to wait about 30 minutes- 2 hours depending how warm your kitchen is (Zzzz…Zzzz). If you’re impatient like me, now is a good time to use that microwave tip!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

4.) Get ready to bake- About 1/2 hour before your dough is ready, preheat your oven to 500 F. Place a dutch oven (with lid) inside for 20 minutes to heat up. *Don’t have a dutch oven? See recipe below for additional bakeware options. When it’s nice and hot, carefully slide your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will now be facing up. Take a look…

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrotno-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F. Bake with the lid on for 40 minutes (this will trap the steam inside making the bread moist). Remove the lid, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the crust is a deep, golden brown.

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot*Note: To be sure that your bread is fully cooked, I highly recommend taking its temperature.  Flip the bread on its side, and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read between 200-205 F. If not, leave it in a little longer (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you’re worried that the top will get too brown, put the lid back on. Better safe than sorry!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

5.) Let it cool- When your bread is done, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. It should feel light and sound hollow when you knock on the bottom. You’ll also notice a wonderful crackling sound as it cools. Let it rest for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture of the bread, resulting in a gummy crumb! Trust me, I speak from experience…

And there you have it- fabulous, no-knead artisan bread!

no-knead artisan bread | The Clever Carrot

Are you still with me? Good! I’m almost done…

10 loaves ago (and 1 battle wound later), I had absolutely no clue how to bake bread. With practice, I’ve found that the ‘no-knead’ approach is great for beginners and has given me the confidence to take on more challenging recipes. To me, it’s truly a rewarding experience. Bake 1 loaf in your lifetime and you’ll see what I mean. And with the rising cost of bread, it is a great skill to have. This loaf cost less than $1 to make!

no-knead artisan bread
 
Author:
Serves: 1½ pound loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 c. bread flour (not all-purpose) + more for dusting
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1½ c. water
  • 6 quart dutch oven
* I used King Arthur bread flour & SAF instant yeast.
* You can use any 6 quart dutch oven, cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic bakeware (with lid) that can heat up to 500 degrees F.
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl add the flour, yeast, salt and water. Stir until a rough dough forms.
  2. Transfer to an oiled container and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough rise for 14 hours- overnight, at room temperature (about 70 degrees). Your dough is ready when it has puffed up in volume, about 1½ -2x its original size. *See note below.
  3. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and place the dough on top. Fold dough in half (like a book) and then fold it again (like a book). This helps to build the overall structure of the dough.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball by tucking the sides underneath itself, and place (seam side down) onto the paper. Cover and rest again until puffy but not fully risen, about 30 minutes- 2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
  5. Preheat your oven to 500 F. Put a (6 quart) dutch oven pot inside for 20 minutes. When ready to bake, remove pot from the oven. Place your hand underneath the parchment paper and invert the dough into the pot. The seam will be facing up.
  6. Place your bread into the oven, and immediately reduce the temperature from 500 to 400 F.Cover with the lid and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. To make sure that the bread is completely cooked through, take its temperature. Carefully tip the bread onto its side and insert a thermometer into the bottom. It should read 200-205 F. If not, place it back into the oven until it is ready (extra time in bread baking is a good thing). If you're worried about the top getting too brown, put the lid back on.
  8. When your bread is ready, transfer to a wire rack to cool. It should feel light and make a hollow sound when you give it a knock underneath. Let it cool for at least 1 hour. Cutting it too soon might ruin the texture resulting in a gummy crumb!
Notes
* If your dough isn't puffed and bubbly after the initial rise, place it in the microwave with the light on (keeping the door ajar). The warmth from the light will give the yeast a boost. My friend Celia gave me this tip and it works like a charm, especially in chilly kitchens!