Bagels, hamburger rolls and french bread are three breads I no longer buy at the store, unless I am feeling lazy. The hardest one of these for me to overcome mentally was making bagels at home. I just could not see how these could be as delicious as a bagel shop’s bagels. Let me tell you how wrong I was! The hamburger rolls are literally the best ever. It’s hard to not eat them all plain with butter as they come from the oven. French bread is something I learned to make early in my life. It is simple and so much better than the store purchased loaf. Take your garlic bread to a new level of delicious with homemade french bread!
The Uncommon Hamburger Bun
Hamburger buns are easily found in any food store or convenience market. The problem is finding a package of buns that is not loaded with preservatives and ingredients you might not want to feed your family. What if you could make the hamburger rolls in the time it takes to get a salad and potatoes ready for the meal? You can make hamburger buns. Soon you will join me saying, this is one of the breads I no longer buy at the store!
1 cup of warm water
4 and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter
3 and 1/2 cup flour
Measure out the yeast. and sprinkle it over the warm water in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer. Let the yeast wake up for a few minutes. Add all the additional ingredients to the bowl.
Mix with the dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes. Dough will form and look smooth. Add a tiny bit of additional flour if dough is really sticky.
Dump the dough on a floured board and divide the dough into the rolls. If I want hamburger size rolls, I divide into eight equal pieces, rolling into a ball, and flattening slightly.
Choose to Make What you Need
You can also choose to make 24 dinner size rolls or 12 smaller sandwich rolls by dividing into smaller size balls. One time I tried this recipe using a single loaf pan. This worked out well and was great for sandwiches as it sliced evenly and had a good texture.
Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the rolls evenly.
Cover the sheet with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes. (If you make one loaf of bread the baking time is closer to 30 minutes.)
Cool and serve!
These rolls freeze well for later.
French Bread is so Versatile!
French Bread goes with just about any meal. I rarely turn down a sample of fresh bread! The recipe is versatile also. Are you making a french dip roast beef in the crock pot? Use this recipe to make rolls instead of a full loaf. Your family and guests will be impressed with your skills! Only you will know how easy making french bread can be.
5 – 6 cups of all purpose flour
2 packages of active dry yeast or instant yeast
2 tsps salt
2 cups warm water- divided (115 – 120 degrees F)
optional- 1 egg white and 1 Tbsp water for brushing on the loaves before baking.
Adding yeast directly to the dry ingredients is fine if you are using instant yeast. Regular Active Dry Yeast should be proofed. Use 1/2 cup of the recipe’s warm water, in a small bowl mix the yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle a pinch of white sugar on top and let it sit and proof for about 10 minutes. The mixture should bubble and become frothy looking.
In the mixer bowl add two cups flour, the salt and the remaining one and one half cups warm water. Begin mixing slightly. Stop the mixer and add the proofed yeast mixture.
Using one cup at a time, add the additional flour until the dough ball forms. Continue to let the mixer knead the dough for about 5- 8 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and springy and pull away cleanly from the bowl.
Grease a large bowl. Place the dough ball in the bowl and turn to lightly coat the ball with oil. Cover with a clean dish towel. Put the bowl in a warm draft free place to rise for about one hour. If my house is really cool, this is how I get a warm spot for the bread dough to rise. Preheat the oven for a few minutes. Turn off the oven. Let it cool to a the point it feels really warm. Place the bowl in the oven with the door cracked slightly. Leave it to rise. Remove before preheating the oven for baking.
Getting Ready to Bake – One more rise
Punch down the dough and remove from the bowl. Place on a cutting board. Cut the dough into two pieces. ( Or if you choose to make rolls, cut into 8 pieces.) Let rest for 10 minutes. Taking one piece at a time, roll the dough into a 10 X 15 rectangle. On the long side, begin rolling the dough up tightly. Pinch the seam to seal and turn the ends under the loaf slightly. Place the loaves on a baking sheet that is greased and sprinkled with corn meal if desired. I like to use parchment paper to bake on as it reduces my chance of burning the bottom of the loaves.
Cover the loaves on the baking sheet with a towel and allow them to rise a second time for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make 3 diagonal cuts into the top of each loaf.
Prepare the egg white glaze and brush on the loaves. This gives them a lovely shiny appearance when baked.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
While this is a recipe that requires a second rise time, there is nothing difficult about making French bread. If you like step by step photos check out this post on French bread baking and other delicious bread recipes.
The Bagels – Breads I No Longer Buy
Folks, I am not kidding when I tell you that I love bagels. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Bagels pair well with grass fed,homemade butter, homemade cream cheese, fresh jam, lunch meat, tunafish salad, chicken salad, eggs and bacon. The list goes on. I really thought this would be way too time consuming for my busy schedule. And then I saw a recipe that broke it all down for my pea brain. It didn’t look hard at all. The next time I ran out of bagels I grabbed the flour and mixer and made my own. Now I have added bagels to the list of breads I no longer buy at the store!
1 packet of dry active yeast or 1 tablespoon
4 Cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 Cups of warm water
easy so far, right?
(if you want step by step photos of this process, check out my source for the recipe – here)
Using a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the warm water.
Add the yeast to the warm water and let it wake up for a few minutes. It will look bubbly and frothy when ready.
Begin mixing the dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. The dough needs to be smooth and stretchy.
Grease a large bowl and put the dough in, flipping it over so top and bottom are greased. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for one and a half hours.
Do not punch down the dough as you do in most other recipes. Just pour the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface.
Cut the dough into 8 equal parts and shape in to balls, sort of flattened on top.
Place the dough balls on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. ( I burn so many things if I don’t use parchment paper) Cover with the towel again and let rise for 30 minutes.
The Magic Bagel Step
Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar to the water.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Push a hole into the center of each bagel using your thumb.
Put a few bagels at a time into the boiling water. Cook for two minutes on one side, then flip to the other side for an additional two minutes. (A wooden spoon handle is a good tool for flipping the bagels.)
Place the boiled bagels on the lined baking sheet. (You can grease the baking sheet if you don’t have parchment paper)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Finally, cool the bagels completely before storing.
Once you start making your own bread, making delicious homemade butter can’t be far behind.Check out these additional posts on making butter at home.
Everyone should have a good all purpose bread baking cookbook on hand. I recommend this one from Common Sense Homestead. Never Buy Bread Again