Thursday, May 03, 2007

sourdough buns

We've been invited to a friend's house for a cookout to celebrate her 25th birthday. Since there's a huge crowd coming, and if it's not too tacky, I thought I could defray some of the burden on our host by providing some homemade hamburger buns. So I found a recipe that calls for sourdough, and thought I would give it a shot.
Just to be sporting, I'm going to use Coma, Rachel's pet sourdough starter. We last used her about a week ago, to make pancakes, and I figure it wouldn't hurt to put her to use again. It gives Rachel a sense of ownership in the project anyway, and it gives me an excuse to clean out Coma's container too. (Nothing was growing it except Coma, but I don't see a reason to take the risk.)
We need to use Coma more often. There was a lot of hooch in her container, though thankfully she didn't seem to be any worse the wear for it.
Coma hamburger buns

2 cups sourdough starter
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup oil
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2½ cups whole wheat flour

Mix starter with water, sugar, oil, egg and salt. Stir in 2½ cups of all-purpose flour. Once the flour has been stirred in thoroughly, add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and mix thoroughly. When the flour becomes too stiff to stir, knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, gradually working in another ½ cup of whole wheat flour. Remember that flour amounts are approximate, and depend on the wetness of the starter. If the dough remains sticky, continue to add more all-purpose flour, in small amounts, until the dough is smooth.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning the dough over. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let sit about an hour. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and then let it rest 15 minutes.

Divide dough into 20 pieces, roughly the size of a lemon, rolling each piece into a smooth ball. Flatten pieces to ¾ inch thick. Place pieces two inches apart on greased cookie sheets, and let them rise until they are almost the desired size.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 375 degrees.  Makes about 20 buns.

For hot dog buns, pinch off pieces the size of an egg.  Shape to the length of a hot dog, and roll to about ¾ inch thick. Place buns one inch apart on greased cookie sheets.  Makes about 24.

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