Buns o’ Love

buns o' love

I made hamburger buns from scratch last night and they were the most rewarding experience ever. They weren’t super duper healthy full of wheat flour or flax seed or anything but they were from scratch so they had considerably less guar gum and monofalutinwhateveritis. I might just turn out to be a baker after all. Well, maybe. This is a small victory for me.

I followed this recipe and only altered the rising time. I read the reviews at the bottom and everyone said to let the dough rise longer than twenty minutes, so I did. Good thing I started making them early because of course I didn’t realize I needed to allow extra time to the rising time until I was elbow deep in the dough. That always happens to me.

pudgies

The dough was super sticky and I was sure it wouldn’t turn out. I tried to make balls like the recipe said but they looked more like pudgy balls of skin with disgusting flaps and flour globules. Kind of gross actually. But then I remembered how Bethany reassured me that lemon scones looked ugly and they turned out perfectly. So I carried on. Turns out Bethany was right! Dough isn’t always pretty but it sure bakes up nice.

my pretty buns

They were so pretty! And the sound they make when you squeeze them? A perfect spongy crunch just like Colette says in Ratatouille. “A symphony of crackle…” I love that line! If you haven’t seen the movie you must watch this clip. It’s my favorite part of the movie.

I should make bread more often. You know how when you buy hamburger buns at the store there are always too many left over and then they sit around in your kitchen mocking you because they are really good for nothing else except maybe Sloppy Joes or pulled pork and we never make that because Toby hates sugar in his meat (the fool)? And then you end up throwing them out or feeding them to the birds and you feel guilty for wasting? Maybe that’s just me.

Well with these buns I’m glad there are leftovers! There are tons of leftovers and I’m going to have them for breakfast with butter and jam! Yum!

Even Bug liked them. She said they were better than McDonald’s which is very high praise coming from her. Toby liked them too. I was feeling a little cocky after such a huge success so I asked Toby what I should try to make tomorrow night. He said ice cream. I said he could buy me an ice cream maker. Harumph.

Beignets!

mmmmm!

I’m out in the sticks visiting my family for a few days and everything here reminds me of all the things I love about summer. It’s hotter than heck, as it always is in the high desert. The apricots are falling off the trees, leaving that sticky sweet fermented smell in the air. Days are spent hiding out in a darkened house, listening to the fans blow or plunked down in a kiddie pool wearing a too-small bikini you haven’t seen 1999. I love it all.

While I was out here, CC surprised us by making beignets for breakfast the other day. She was going to stay up late the night before and make special dough just for the occasion but something happened with her iphone alarm clock or whatever and she ended up just using that store-bought biscuit dough that comes in one of those pop-cans instead. No loss for us, they were delicious!

Beignets

It took me right back to New Orleans where I first discovered these lovely fried doughnut things. All we needed was some chickory coffee and a few vampires. I looked and looked all over my computer for my old pictures from New Orleans but I think they were sadly lost in the crash of 2006. I know I have them somewhere on a cd but man, trying to find a batch of photos in my boxes and boxes of archived images is worse than finding a needle in a haystack. One of these days…maybe when Bug is in school I’ll tackle that project.

In the meantime maybe you’d like to try a batch of beignets at home!

patting flat

First you roll out your dough really thin. CC said the most important thing she figured out was it’s super important to keep the dough cold. She worked with small batches and kept the remaining in the freezer while she was pounding and rolling.

sizzling

Then you cut up small 2-inch squares or rectangles from the dough and fry them in about 1 cup of oil. Lots of recipes say to fry in enough oil to cover the beignets but I watched CC and she didn’t use that much. I think you just have to turn them a lot. When they are toasty and golden, remove them from the pan and let them cool on some paper towels.

shake shake shake

Then drop them in a bag with a bunch of powdered sugar and shake, shake, shake!

shake shake shake

Shake your Bootay! (You’ll need to shake it a lot to counteract all the calories you’ll soon be consuming.)

cousins

And then go enjoy them in the backyard so you don’t get powdered sugar all over the place!