Sunday, May 9, 2010


This post was in the Top 9 of Foodbuzz on May 11th 2010. Happy Buzz Day!

Be warned of future and probably successive posts of wildly painted bread in all flavours, shapes and sizes. I'm on an unrestrained bread painting binge.

But painting aside, these are truly one of the best ever sandwich buns. They have been circulating several blogs and have been raved over each time. I had to make them and true enough they are so so so good. Soft, substantial and full of flavour. Perfect burger buns that excel shop bought ones by light years.

These homemade highly recommended buns have been featured on Cathy's Wives With Knives, Mari's Once Upon a Plate, Linda's How to Cook a Wolf and Lori's All That  Splatters. And probably many more! 

Needing to be kneaded (yea I know.....don't we all feel that way) only once, left to rise and then baked, it's easy and quick to make as well.

Maybe I've gone a little overboard with the painting but if it adds a little personality to your plain old boring sandwich...why not I say. A little personality never did anyone any harm. And that goes for bread too.

Here's the recipe ~

1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 T honey
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
41/2 cup bread flour
21/4 tsp yeast (I used instant)
11/2 tsp salt

Pour milk, water, butter and honey into a small pan and warm it up. Let cool to 120 degrees and carefully beat in the egg.

Mix 2 cups flour with the yeast and salt. Pour in the milk water mixture. Mix until a sticky mass then add in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix well after each addition using a wooden spoon of spatula.

When it forms a stiff dough remove from bowl onto a table top and knead till smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). I did 10 because I like kneading. 

Divide into 12-16 portions. (I made 11 portions of 100 gm each). Shape each portion into smooth round balls and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Flatten the top of the round with a gentle pat of your hand. Do the same for all the rest of the portions and then cover with a clean tea towel and let rise until double in size. 

If you're not painting them you may brush the tops with a beaten egg, sprinkle sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds etc over the top and bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for 10-12 minutes. The top should be a lovely glaze-y golden brown. 

If you're painting the bread, bake the buns plain halfway through until a pale hue of gold appears, take it  out and paint designs on each bun.

HINT 1 : 

This time I used 1 - 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder mixed with a little hot water to a smooth paste and them mixed it well with half of an egg yolk. Use enough to achieve the shade you prefer. I think it actually worked better than coffee because what I achieved as a medium was a nice smooth paste-y 'paint' that didn't run as easily as a mix of coffee and egg yolk. The colour was good too and Z did not complain of the coffee flavour that he did not like.

I left the other half of the egg yolk plain and used that as a yellow shade. It doesn't show in the photo but I will make it again in another post to show it more clearly.

I removed one bun at a time from the tray with a spatula very gently because this is a soft bun and I didn't want to dent it. Then I painted on the design, dusted with a little flour and baked them again until a golden brown. 

HINT 2 : 

You could also glaze the buns after painting them and then finish baking until a golden brown. What you will get is a glazed patterned bun. I have yet to try that. But I would probably prefer rustic.

As Jamie Oliver would say. ...Bob's your uncle! Happy days!...aaand...Ba dum!

This recipe has been submitted to Yeastspotting. 

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