For me bread making is very therapeutic. The aroma of the yeast fills our tiny apartment as the bread rises and it instantly relaxes me. It’s like being inside a brewery, such an intoxicating and yet comforting smell. It takes time and patience to make bread. You can’t rush it. Tonight’s post is featuring food from the pantry. I didn’t have to leave my house for any of tonight’s ingredients. Plus it used our left overs from last night which is also very important when on a strict budget. Make the most out of your meals and waste nothing.
I usually cook my bread in a Dutch oven. I love the crust and texture that it creates. Today I made buns but next time I think I’ll make them in a rectangular pan instead because the curve of the Dutch oven made for some uneven bun shapes.
The first time I tried making bread I used the recipe from Food Coma’s Dutch Oven Bread recipe. It was bread love at first sight. I’ve adapted the recipe many times to make it a bit healthier and change the flavour of the bread. Tonight’s adaptation is Bacon Salt and Chili Buns to use with our left over ribs from last night. To balance out the heaviness we had roasted butternut squash and cauliflower. Simple and delicious. Evan devoured all of his cauliflower before even getting to the sandwich or “McRib” as he kept calling it.
Bacon Salt and Chili Buns
2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water
3 ½ cups flour
- I used 1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour and 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour.
Couple pinches of sugar
Tablespoon of dried basil and oregano
Chili flakes (to taste)
1 teaspoon plus a couple pinches bacon salt (regular salt if you don’t have bacon salt but I HIGHLY recommend picking some up by the Sea to Sky Seasonings. Plus it’s local if you’re in the Vancouver area.)
Not many ingredients, easy peasy right? Trust me, it is easy.
Mix the yeast and warm water to dissolve the yeast. I used my trusty friend Maurice, aka: my Kitchen Aid Classic mixer and dough hook but you can easily use an old fashioned bowl and spoon. In the mixer combine the flour, sugar, salt, chili flakes, and herbs. Add the water/yeast mixture and mix for a few minutes or until the dough comes together to form a ball. I had to add just a splash more of warm water to get it to the texture I wanted. Depending on the weather and where you live you may need to add more water or flour. Oil the inside of the bowl that you mixed the dough in and cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for a couple of hours in a warm place. Our apartment is pretty chilly so I just put it on top of the stove and put the oven on to 300 degrees to make the surface a bit warmer.
After the dough has doubled in size punch it down (literally punch it) and cover once more with plastic wrap. Let it rise again for another couple of hours. After it has risen again, gently roll the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 6 equal portions, or smaller if you want smaller buns. In this house we like big buns. Form the dough into round balls and score the top with a sharp knife. Sprinkle a couple pinches of bacon salt and chili flakes on top and then fire into a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Uncover and then let bake for another 15 minutes or so.
The buns turned out great. Just a hint of spice and they were soft with just enough chew to them. I think the hubby might even make his sandwich for his lunch tomorrow in one of them. Maybe some bragging rights to the guys…did any of their wives make them homemade buns? Probably not.
Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. xo