Homemade Dog/Burger Buns

Hotdog buns

With the grilling season upon us, I thought I’d share this recipe, adapted from the Gourmet magazine. You might ask why trouble yourself with making such commonly-available thing as a hotdog bun, but you’ll understand it once you try this recipe. It makes truly outstanding buns – soft, tender, delicious. Yes, there’s cream in the dough (which contributes to the buns’ amazing texture), but divided between all buns, there’s not as crazy-much cholesterol. And anyway, hotdogs were never quite a diet food, weren’t they?

If you have a bread maker, you can just dump everything there to make the dough. I admit, I do use my bread machine for dough-making purposes once in a while, when I hurry while multitasking and need to have the dough ready at a certain moment.

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Whole Wheat Black Olive Paste Focaccia

It makes really nice, earthy bread. This focaccia was inspired by Carol Field’s whole wheat focaccia.

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Pumpkin and Cheese Yeast “Flowers”

These are very cheesy and pumpkiny yellow. The rolls are excellent slightly warm with soup, although I like them best split and turned into turkey sandwiches.

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Fitascetta Onion Covered Bread Ring

This is another uncomplicated, but delicious bread. And how can this not be good with almost two pounds of onions slowly sautéed in butter as a topping?!

I usually put the dough after its first rise in the fridge overnight. I do believe the flavor gets better with longer fermentation. And besides, it’s nice to have the dough made in advance and only shape the bread the day you need it.

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Goat Cheese Mozzarella and Fresh Herb Foccacia

It’s all about good cheese accentuated with delicate flavor of fresh herbs. I wouldn’t add anything else to the topping.

Obviously, it makes a great lunch paired with a big green salad.

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Brioche with Chocolate Banana Cardamom Jam

I often make brioche dough on Friday, bake it fresh for Saturday breakfast, and turn the leftovers into some kind of bread pudding on Sunday – very little fuss, really, and a lot of appreciation from the family.

The brioche recipe I use these days (and I’m not looking for another) is an Alice Medrich’s adaptation of Desiré Valentin brioche, the best bread I’ve had. The brilliant idea of the chocolate banana jam belongs to the local genii – Dominique and Cindy Duby. It can perfectly replace Nutella for those who can’t eat nuts.

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