Healthy Buns (without a bread machine)

About a month ago I posted a recipe for the Best Burger Buns with the dough made in a bread machine that’s been pretty popular, but as my friend pointed out, “Not everybody has bread machine!” So here it is!  Wonderful homemade buns that do not require the use of bread machine.  Just two hands and an oven.  And don’t worry you do not need to knead it for hours (although it does wonders to your biceps and triceps).  5 minutes will get the job done.

The good thing about these buns is that they freeze well.  The only problem with freezing them is that they are gone so fast, there is generally nothing left to freeze.

 

I believe the only reason people don’t bake buns at home is because of the mistaken conviction that it’s too hard.  It’s not hard.  On the upside, buns are so versatile.  Here are some of the things we use our healthy buns for:

 

Breakfast
1. breakfast sandwich: bun + mayo + topped with scrambled egg
2. English breakfast: bun + butter + jam
3. magic dip: bun cut in stripes for dipping + yogurt sprinkled with miniscule amount of cocoa powder (aka magic dust)

 

Lunch
1. classical burger: bun + lettuce + mayo + burger
2. as a side with soup
3. bun + almond butter + jelly

 

Dinner
1. easy sandwich: bun + favorite dip + cucumber slices
2. bun cut into squares and added to salad
3. bun + melted cheese + fresh basil leaves


Buns (makes 8)
Ingredients
1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tablespoons oil
1 large egg
3 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour + 1 Tbsp (for later)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons hemp hearts
1 Tablespoon instant yeast

1. Put all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir with a spoon until all liquids are incorporated.  

 

2. Knead.  The buns you see on a pic here were kneaded for five minutes and it worked for us.  The longer you knead, the smoother the dough.  It’s hard to take a picture of yourself kneading, so I asked my kids.  But my kids never stop moving even when they are trying to take a picture, so it’s a bit bleary.  But I just want to convey the main idea that I knead inside a bowl.  No table to clean!  My technique: I use the heels of my hands to push dough forward to make it flat, give a bowl a quarter turn, fold the dough and rock it forward again.  It helps if you develop a rhyme.  You can also slap your dough against a bowl from time to time to help the gluten to start working.  If your dough gets sticky, add a bit more flour.  1 Tablespoon works for me. 

 

3. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.  

 

4.  Divide dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a round ball (I put a piece between my palms and move my hands in circular motion).  We like our buns puffy, so I set them down shaped like a ball, but if you like flat buns, then simply flatten the balls. 

 

5. Place the buns on parchment-lined baking sheet (or lightly greased one), cover, and let rise for 20-60 minutes.  If I’m short on time, I don’t wait.  I just stick them in the oven right away and they taste great. 

 

6. Bake the buns in a preheated 375F oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.  Let them stand for 15 minutes undisturbed (they will keep baking).

 

 

 

 

You might also be interested in
Buckwheat Bread – no yeast, no bread machine

 

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