Buns and fun
Hey, it's a baking site; enough with the sniggering already.
So I had this post about half-written and managed to blow it away with an ill-placed click of the mouse. Since I don't feel like recreating it, this will be the condensed version.
It's warm enough for grilling and smoking to begin in earnest. That means buns are coming to the fore again.
Sunday's bake featured Kaiser rolls, built from the Medium Vienna dough from Inside the Jewish Bakery. One small lapse of attention resulted in using too much diastatic wheat malt but the rolls came out wonderfully in spite of that. If anything, the aroma and flavor benefitted from the malt and I dodged a bullet in that it did not cause gumminess in the crumb. Shaping is a whole 'nother story. Despite the illustrations and instructions in the book, not to mention a video on TFL of Norm klopping out some Kaiser rolls, mine look messy. Ah, well, it was the first attempt. The next one will be better. The remarkable thing was how fast the dough fermented at every stage; during kneading, the bulk ferment, and the final ferment. The malt is apparently a turbo booster for the yeast because my kitchen temperature was only 72F.
The brioche rolls were a derivative of a post on Flour Arrangements, which is itself an adaptation from The Joy of Cooking. I opted to reduce the eggs in the dough from three to two and to reduce the butter from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, as well as using all bread flour. Since I chose to make this by hand instead of using the mixer, the butter additions (I did four at 2 tablespoons each, rather than eight at 1 tablespoon each in the instructions) made for some interesting times as the dough came apart and then started absorbing the butter. With each addition, the dough got more and more jiggly. The gluten was developed well enough that it held its shape but the texture felt increasingly pillowy.
Here's a picture of the finished rolls:
The brioche buns benefit cosmetically from an egg wash and a steadier hand with such a basic shape. The Kaiser rolls, well, did I mention that they taste really good?
I'm sure that there will be more of each as the summer rolls along.