Guess what! Guess What! Guess What!
I finally got a grill! Our neighbors just moved and gave us their grill before they left. As happy as I am to have their old grill, I’m super sad they moved. My neighbors on both sides are gone! Breaks my heart! I had the best neighbors in the whole world.
But, anyway, I have a grill now. I have gone a little grill crazy. I have been grilling at least three nights a week and loving it! I have made grilled pizzas, grilled corn on the cob, grilled apples with cinnamon sugar and ice cream, grilled caprese salad skewers, grilled veggie and goat cheese Panini’s, grilled stuffed mushrooms, grilled veggie skewers, grilled romaine and grilled pear salad, grilled honey ginger Brussels sprouts, grilled Dijon maple sweet potatoes, grilled zucchini and squash, and grilled asparagus. I’m totally addicted. There is nothing better than grilled veggies and fruit.
My other favorite thing to grill is a nice thick veggie burger. It always feels a little wrong to make a homemade burger and serve it on wimpy little store bought buns. I’m usually not organized enough with my time to have homemade buns ready by dinner time, and I will admit, I have resorted to sandwich bread on occasion. But something amazing happened….I made up this whole wheat hamburger bun recipe! Its so easy and fast. There is no proofing, no milk scalding on the stove, and only one short rise.
It does have some vital wheat gluten, which may be a strange or new ingredient to some. Do be scared off by it! All it is the gluten part of flour. To read more about it click here. It basically just improves the elasticity and rising of the dough and the texture and crumb of the finished bread. Its really only necessary to use when baking with whole wheat flour or rye. You can also make the meat substitute seitan using vital wheat gluten. I mostly use it when baking with all whole wheat flour. You can sometimes find it in the baking section of a grocery store, or the health food section. I know Bob’s Red Mill makes it. You may also be able to find it in bulk bins at some grocery stores. If you can’t find it at a normal grocery store, you may have to visit a health food store or a specialty store. Or you can order it online. I get mine in the bulk section of Whole Foods. You can technically leave it out if you can’t find it, but the buns just wont be quite as good (still good, though). So, if you can, hunt down some vital wheat gluten. Also, I think white whole wheat flour (still whole wheat flour, just made out of white wheat instead of red wheat) works best for this recipe.
Whether you are making veggie burgers, sloppy Joe’s, or traditional beef burgers, these buns are perfect for a summer barbecue.
- 1 C. milk
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 TBSP agave nectar (honey works great too!)
- 1/4 C. butter, cut into pieces
- 1 egg
- 3 C. white whole wheat flour + 1/2 C. to 1 C. more
- 2 TBSP. vital wheat gluten
- 2 1/4 tsp. fast rise yeast (if you use normal yeast, you may need to let it rise a bit longer)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 TBSP. melted butter
- a couple sprinkles garlic salt (optional)
- a couple sprinkles sesame seeds
1. Set aside 1/4 cup of the milk. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup of milk, water, agave or honey, and butter pieces in a microwavable bowl or dish. Microwave for 1.5 minutes, or until the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Add in the 1/4 cup of milk that you set aside earlier. This just helps it cool faster.
2. Once the milk mixture is warm, but not hot, whisk in the egg. You don’t want to add the egg if the milk mixture is too hot or it will start to scramble! Set the liquid mixture aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine 3 cups of the whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten. Give the dry ingredients a good stir or mix.
4. Add the warm, not hot, liquid mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed with the dough hook. Once the ingredients start to combine, start to add more flour a little at a time while the mixer is going. I start with adding another 1/2 cup and then add 1/4 cup at a time until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. You don’t want to add too much flour, or the bread will be tough and dense. It should be tacky and just slightly sticky, but not extremely sticky. Keep in mind that as you mix it with the dough hook, the more it will pull away from sides. I usually end up adding around 3/4 cup flour.
5. Once you get the flour levels right, knead with the dough hook in the electric mixer for about 5 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a piece of wax paper or a silicone mat. Divide the dough into balls about the size of tennis balls. This makes pretty big buns. I like big buns (and I cannot lie), but if you prefer them on the smaller side, just make them a little smaller. I got 6 large buns, but you can divide the dough into 8 pieces to make them smaller. To make the tops smooth, stretch the dough around into a little bunch on the underside. Set the little balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat and press slightly to make more of a bun shape.
6. Cover the buns and let rise until puffy, 30-45 minutes. It wont hurt to let them rise longer if it fits your schedule better. I set them out to rise and went on a jog and to the store before baking them.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 F. and place an oven safe dish on the bottom rack while preheating. Melt 1 TBSP. butter and brush over each bun with a pastry brush. Give the buns an ever so light sprinkle of garlic salt and a spattering of sesame seeds.
8. Pour 1 cup of water into the dish on the bottom rack. It will create steam, which will help give the buns a nice crust. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.
Here are some of my favorite veggie burger’s:
And check out my VEGGIE BURGER BOARD on Pinterest!
Recipe by Edible Experiments