A fond memory that I have from when I was younger was the smell of freshly homemade bread that my grandma would deliver on the weekend. If my family and I were lucky, it was caramel rolls. Nothing compares to the smell and taste of bread that is still warm. Although this may have been one of my favorite things to eat from a young age, it took me many years to build up the courage to work with yeast.
Fast forward to today and I am happy to say that I have been making homemade buns, bread sticks, pizza, or bread at least once a week. I am no expert but I enjoy the process of preparing a high quality product. There has been quite a few flops with my bread making skills whether it’s too dense, underdone, overdone, or chewy. But also along the way I have found many successes that are husband approved!
I use a few recipes over and over but I also like to try new recipes. The weekends are an ideal time to make bread and buns because it takes time for the dough to proof, rest, rise, and bake. But I have found for me that pizza dough and bread sticks can be made after school in time for supper. I have tried buns several times but since it doesn’t have adequate amount of time to rise, it ends up tasting really dense.
This morning I knew that I was going to prepare blue cheese burgers for supper and wanted a whole wheat bun to go with it. I remembered a cool-rise bread recipe that I had my students use while in the Yeast Bread Unit. The cool-rise method is where the dough can rest in the fridge for 2-48 hours after it’s initial rise which takes about 30-45 minutes. This recipe is perfect for a busy family that enjoys home cooked meals. Prepare the dough in the morning while the baby sleeps, let it rest in the fridge while at work, and pop it in the oven to enjoy warm and delicious buns for a night of grilled burgers.
Make Ahead Whole Wheat Buns
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1/2 c milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1. In the KitchenAid mixer bowl, combine whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
2. Heat water and milk in microwave for about 30 seconds to reach 125 degrees F. Add oil to this mixture.
3. Blend with flat paddle attachment at low speed until just moistened and then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.
4. By hand, stir in 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Use remaining all-purpose flour to knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (30-45 minutes).
6. Shape dough into 6 buns on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. Spray plastic wrap with non-stick spray and cover the buns.
7. Place in fridge for 2-48 hours.
8. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before placing them in the oven to allow for them to rise one final time.
9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, until an instant read thermometer is inserted and reads 180 degrees F.