I have had this post in draft form for some time now. How long? At least a year, seeing as I made it in the few days after I went on maternity leave but before Baby H arrived. Baby H is, as of yesterday, a one-year old. I went ahead and made it back then in the form of hamburger buns (obviously, way out of order in the BBA Challenge) as I thought it would be a nice thing to have in the freezer, especially as it’s an easy way to use up all that ground beef we get in our meat CSA.
And it’s worth the effort: turns out even those rare souls out there who think, like I, that you don’t like burgers may find not having your meat sandwiched between two flavorless sponges that dissolve into a paste in your mouth makes all the difference. Speaking of which, did you ever see Mark Bittman’s take on that horrible supermarket bread? He compared it to glue, but you get the drift. To snag his rallying cry in the clip, “America, there is a better way!”
This is an easy, enriched bread, and any of the three recipes Reinhart gives seem to work. When I’ve made it, I’ve picked whichever one allows me to use up whatever I am most anxious to get rid of; though I think I prefer the buttermilk version. In part, that’s because it allows me to avoid using powdered milk, which I”m a little suspicious of, and in part because I always have extra buttermilk, which I hurry to use because I’m never sure that I can tell if has gone bad! (Does anyone else have that problem?) The other nice thing about the buttermilk version is that if I’m out of it, I can always hack my own, as we describe here).
Perhaps the buttermilk also helps the dough rise even more than with yeast alone, as Julia has found. At least in my case, it has certainly sent the lid popping off my dough bucket!
The second rise was equally dramatic.
Of course, it’s no surprise that the bread could make or break a meal for me. More of a surprise for me is that I do like burgers after all! (No more teasing then, Andrea , as to whether I’m really American, and no, I have not come around on Coca-Cola!).
If homemade buns make this much of a difference, could homemade ketchup be in the future? What do you think?