Yeastful experiments

Later this week I am teaching a Nordic Pub class which will include a few recipes I am really excited to share. We are welcoming sunny weather with a spring menu of caraway orange pretzel bites and Swedish-style beer cheese soup. We'll also experiment with some lefse re-dos which are, I hope, some of my best kitchen ideas yet. I'll post the recipes after class.

Meanwhile, T and I endured a short-lived but extreme weekend affliction. We are on the mend now that the work week is back. We'll nurse ourselves with mild but tasty onion cheese buns and grilled chicken burgers. The sun is shining and we deserve some warmth.

Onion Cheese Buns
Makes 8 buns

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1 package yeast (about 2 ½ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2/3 cup warm water

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl for stand-up mixer with dough hook attachment and mix on medium for 5 minutes. Dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a pliable ball. Please dough ball in clean bowl greased with a tablespoon of olive oil; turn ball in oil so that all sides are oiled. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in warm draft-free area until double; about 2 to 3 hours.

Gently deflate dough and divide into 8 pieces. Form pieces into balls by gathering dough and tucking it underneath the ball. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet about an inch apart and gently flatten. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 2 hours or until noticeably puffy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To top buns:
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoon crushed French’s Fried Onions

Whisk together egg and water; brush tops of buns with egg wash. Sprinkle tops with crushed fried onions. Bake for 2o minutes or until buns are light golden brown; transfer to wire rack and cool.

* Adapted from "Cheesy Burger Buns"

Caraway Orange Pretzel Bites


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