better buns

whole grain italian bun dough

Recently my love affair with baking bread has spread into a personal challenge.  Steak buns.  Yes, you heard me!  I don’t really eat a lot of steak sandwiches, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity presented by Jen Scall,  on her Kitchen Bootcamp.  Oh, how I love a cooking challenge.

The deal was sweetened when she mentioned that this month’s challenge involves yeast (bread) and that she’s been inspired by her challenges from the book Professional Chef, from the Culinary Institute of America.  Lucky for me, my brother-in-law (a CIA graduate) gave me that book for Christmas a couple years ago.  Excellent!

My recipe is a unique blend of inspiration from Emeril’s Sourdough recipe and the bread start that I’ve been fermenting from the Amish frirendship bread I was gifted a few months ago.

I use rye and whole wheat bread flour for my mix, and 2% milk when I feed my start.  Today I learned (from my handy Prof. Chef book) that a yeast starter fed with sugar, milk and flour (mine) is an ‘enriched’ start, compared with those made with water, yeast , and flour (a lean start).  No wonder my breads come out dense and cake-like, which I find really pleasant.  So far no complaints from others either.

One thing I do to mediate the sweetness is I feed the start on day 6 and then bake on day 10, so the sugar and milk have been fermented.  Otherwise I’m to feed again on day 10 and THEN bake.  Delish for sweet breads, but not quite part of my off-white lifestyle.

Today, for creativity, I added some mediterranean spices during the kneading process because I hope to make these steakbuns to go with a mediterranean-inspired steak (recipe TBA).  mmmmm…….

spices to add flavor and flair

So now it’s a waiting game.  I rise the dough for a few hrs and then knead again, separate and form into cute little buns and bake.  I’ll keep ya posted on how it all goes.

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