Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Test Kitchen - Grandma Buns

This Thursday (today) I decided to go with Grandma Buns.  Why are they called Grandma Buns - because they were my Grandma Clark's recipe.  They are the roll that ALL members of her family desire.  She served them for special occasions and yet also for just everyday.  What I loved is that she experimented with her recipe all the time - even though she made them for what seemed to me - forever!  She tried different techniques, different flours, other ingredients, etc.  However, the traditional recipe is still the very best.  I will never forget that at her funeral our talented neighbor Maggie took the recipe and made Grandma Buns for us all.

I always admired that grandma enjoyed experimenting.  I suppose that is where I get some of my experimental baking from (grandma and my mom).  My husband looked at me questioningly when I said I was going to do Grandma Buns for my test kitchen day.  Shouldn't you try a new recipe for something called test kitchen?  My response - yes!

So here is my experiment.  Trying the buns in the bread machine and experimenting with King Arthur Flour's White Whole Wheat Flour (rather than All Purpose Flour).

Here is my modified recipe:

Yield: 36 (2 - 15 x 18 sheet pans)

½ C     sugar
¼ C     butter
¼ C     lard
2 C      hot water
2          eggs
2 t        salt
~6-7 C   King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
4 t        instant yeast

Place sugar, butter, lard and salt in bread machine bowl (note: you need a LARGE bread machine to handle this amount - otherwise cut recipe in half).  Add hot water (put water in microwave on high for 1 minute to heat).  Let butter and lard soak and warm up.  

Make sure mixture is only nice and warm before adding any flour.  Add eggs and salt.  Add flour (start with 6 Cups).  Make small well in flour and add yeast.  Make sure when using a bread machine pan to NOT let the salt touch the yeast!  Turn on dough setting.  Let machine start mixing.  

With this much flour I usually need to help it stir somewhat.  If the dough is sticky add more flour as needed.    When bread machine cycle is finished gently knock down and place on greased counter.  Cover and let sit an additional 10 minutes.  Roll into buns.  The easiest way to make even rolls - weigh the entire piece of dough, divide by 36 to determine ounces per roll.  I usually weigh a couple of pieces to the proper ounce and then eyeball from there - or you can weigh each one.

My rolls were not exactly perfect this time
around - Clark decided he was old
enough to practice rolling buns!
Place buns in 2 –15” x 18” x 1” pans  (you can use just about any pan but grandma usually did them on a cookie sheet with a 1" edge).  Let rise again until puffy and touching (~30 - 40 minutes).  You can at this point also add an egg wash (1 egg to 1 T water mixed slightly and brushed gently over the top).

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.

These came out wonderful.  You can't even tell that I used whole wheat flour (l really like the white whole wheat flour).  These rolls freeze exceptionally well - that is if any last long enough to freeze!


Please note: I happily share my recipes with you but please use them only for your own personal use.  It is not just myself but often my family that has worked (for sometimes years) on these recipes and at the very least we would like credit for our creations.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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