Monday, February 13, 2012

Homemade Hamburger Buns

Once a week I allow myself to have a white bread product.  This week I wanted to make homemade hamburger buns for a black bean burger we were having with dinner.  Unfortunately, I cannot buy buns anymore (unless I want 100% frozen whole wheat ones) because I can't have dairy so the only way to have them is to make them.  This was the first time I've made this specific recipe.  I was absolutely thrilled with the results.  I've made 3 different types of buns in the past for hamburgers and though they were ok and enjoyable they weren't the "it" bun.  This is "it".  This recipe was adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  My daughter took one bite and told me she didn't need a hamburger she'd have just the bun for dinner!

I will say that my cook book actually just says to do the first rise then form the buns.  But I've made these twice and both times I was needing to leave my house right as the first rise was finished so I punched down, let rise again and came back an hour or so later and formed the buns.  So you don't have to do the second rise but since I've done it twice now, by accident, and the results were great I decided to continue doing it that way.  

Hamburger Buns

4 1/2 c. unbleached bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. yeast
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3 1/4 tbsp. butter (I use dairy-free butter), melted
1 1/2 c. - 1 3/4 c. warm water (roughly 110 degrees)

Egg Wash:
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. water

In a measuring cup add 1 1/2 c. water and add in 1 tsp. sugar and yeast and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Mix together the flour, salt and remaining sugar in the bowl of your electric mixer.  Pour in the water, melted butter and the egg.  Use your paddle attachment.  Allow the dough to come together.  If necessary add a tbsp. at a time of water to the dough until there is no flour pieces left in the bottom of the bowl and all dough has started to combine.  Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 6 minutes or by hand for about 10 minutes.  You want it soft and supple but not overly sticky.  Place dough in a large greased bowl and allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  Punch down and allow to rise another 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  You can omit this step if you don't have the time.  Separate the dough into roughly 18 balls for your hamburger buns or you can do rolls or hot dog buns as well.  Place on a greased baking sheet and spray the tops lightly with an oil spray.  Press down slightly to form a bun shape.  Allow to rise another 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush tops of buns with egg wash and add sesame seeds to the top if you want.  Bake until golden brown, roughly 15 minutes.   The internal temperature should be about 180 degrees. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black Bean Burgers

I saw these recently on Food Network and wanted to give them a try.  I can't get my daughter to even try beans so I like to hide them when I can.  This was a really good burger.  I did some of the burgers with the mustard brushed on the outside and some without.  I found the burgers I didn't brush with the mustard fell apart and were more difficult to handle but the mustard brushed ones held together really well and it gave it a great crispy crust on the outside.  As an extra treat for us all I did make homemade hamburger buns and oven fries to go with it.  So good!   

Black Bean Burgers

1/4 cup cooked black beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 mini-hamburger buns
    Preheat the grill. In a medium bowl, mash the black beans, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and garlic powder with a potato masher or fork until very creamy. Gently mix the black bean mixture with the ground beef. Season the mixture liberally with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture into 8 equally portioned thin patties. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the outside of the patties with mustard. Lightly brush the grill with the oil and place the burgers on the hot grill. Cook the burgers until a golden crust is formed, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Slice the mini buns in half and brush with the remaining oil. Place the buns on the grill until nicely toasted with grill marks. Serve the sliders on the toasted hamburger buns.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Peanut Butter Oatmeal Blender Waffles

    These blender waffles are awesome.   They contain no eggs, no dairy and no gluten.  Not to mention you just throw all the ingredients into the blender, allow to rest 10 minutes and a wonderful, tasty, healthy waffle is ready to eat.  My daughter doesn't really like oatmeal but I constantly try to find ways to get her to eat oats and usually grind them into a flour and use them.  The blender makes the oats in this ground well enough that she didn't even notice the oats were there.  I'm hiding from both gluten and dairy these days so these make me feel like I'm not missing out.  I played with the recipe a bit and added an egg and it really didn't make a difference so I opted to just keep it egg free.  I love the combination of oats and peanut butter for breakfast.  If you can just not dump a ton of syrup on it I feel it is really a healthy, great way to start your day. I found this recipe on Alisa Cooks.

    Peanut Butter Oatmeal Blender Waffles

    2 c. plain almond milk
    2 1/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
    1/2 c. peanut butter (or favorite nut butter)
    2 tbsp. sugar (or agave nectar or honey)
    1/4 tsp. salt (omit if you are using salted nut butter)
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Add all ingredients into your blender and let it go for about a minute.  Preheat your waffle iron while you allow your batter to rest about 10 minutes.  It will thicken quite a bit.  The thicker the batter the more bready the waffles.  If it gets too thick you can thin it out with a little bit of extra milk.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Banana Nut Oatmeal Waffles

    I tried Alton Brown's Oat Waffles this morning for breakfast. I wish I could say I was making these for the kids but I really wanted them for myself. They were really good. I love being able to grind oats and use them in place of flour. Not only does it taste great but getting rid of that white flour in a recipe is awesome. I did again make this recipe dairy-free for my family but you certainly can use buttermilk and butter in place of my dairy-free substitutes. I did exchange the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour too. Next time I'm gonna try to see if I can get these tasting just as good and make them gluten-free. I added bananas and pecans to my waffles as those are my favorite pancake, waffle or french toast combination. I think I'm in love with my new waffle iron! Just a quick note you absolutely don't have to take the time to toast the oats first if you don't want to. It will bring out the nutty flavor of the oats a bit more but I skip this step often and they are just as good.

    Banana Nut Oatmeal Waffles

    5 1/2 oz. old fashioned rolled oats
    4 oz. whole wheat pastry flour
    3 tbsp. sugar
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    3 large eggs, beaten
    2 oz. dairy-free butter, melted and slightly cooled
    16 oz. almond milk, at room temperature

    Optional Toppings:
    Dairy-free butter
    Sliced bananas
    handful of chopped nuts

    Heat a 10-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Cool the oats in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Grind the toasted oats in a food processor until the consistency of whole wheat flour, about 3 minutes.

    Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturer's directions.

    Whisk together the toasted oat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs and melted butter together in another bowl, then add the almond milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined. If you are adding nuts you can add some in now and use the rest to top the waffles later.  Rest the batter for 5 minutes. Ladle the recommended amount of waffle batter into the hot iron. Close the iron top and cook until the waffle is golden on both sides and is easily removed from the iron. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately or keep warm in a preheated 200 degree F oven until ready to serve.

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

    Very recently we have started my 4 year old daughter on a no-dairy diet because she seems to complain that her stomach hurts quite frequently. Since I'm dairy intolerant it makes sense the first thing that needs to go is dairy to see if we can fix her poor little belly. Everything she eats now she asks me if it is ok and if it has dairy in it. She's very concerned for a 4 year old. I wanted to show her a few recipes that we could make together this week that were tasty, chocolatey and dairy-free. I actually haven't made this recipe in a few years and after tasting it don't know why. These were absolutely delicious. You'd never ever guess that they had black beans in them. My husband doesn't really like very dark chocolate and felt the chocolate was too bittersweet for him. Unfortunately I have 2 options for chocolate here. I can buy either Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate that is 72% cocoa or Lindt Smooth Dark Chocolate which is 70% cocoa, both which contain absolutely no dairy. So if you make this recipe you may want to use a semi-sweet chocolate instead if you don't like the bitter-sweetness of dark chocolate. My daughter and son both absolutely loved these brownies. She was so happy that she could still have the occasional dessert and it not make her belly hurt. I certainly wouldn't say these are healthy brownies since they do have a whopping 1/2 cup of oil in them but that I love the addition of the extra protein and fiber the beans contribute instead of using regular white flour. I actually swapped out all-purpose flour for my whole wheat flour but feel free to use what you like. I also opted to leave out the instant coffee because we usually have our dessert after dinner and I worry about that little bit of caffeine that my kids will get from eating them.

    Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

    3/4 c. canned black beans (well rinsed)
    1/2 c. canola oil
    2 large eggs
    1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
    2/3 c. sugar
    1 tsp. instant coffee (*optional)
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    4 oz. dark chocolate, melted
    4 oz. dark chocolate chunks
    1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.  In your food processor puree the beans with the oil.  Add in the eggs one at a time and pulse a few times each time.  Then add in your sugar, cocoa, coffee (if using) and vanilla.  Allow to blend well.  Make sure to pop the lid off and scrape down the sides periodically so you don't end up with any unwanted black bean chunks.  Melt 4 oz. of the dark chocolate and pour into the food processor while pulsing.  In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add the flour mixture into the food processor and pulse a few more times until fully incorporated.  Then add in the chocolate chunks and pulse no more than 2-3 times to incorporate without breaking them up too much.  So defintely don't turn the food processor on completely just give a pulse or two.  Or simply stir in by hand.  Pour the batter into your sprayed pan.  Bake until edges are cooked and ever so slightly pulling away from the side of the pan and the center looks shiny, not gooey.  This should be roughly 20 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before eating.