Soft Pumpkin Sandwich Buns

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So, originally this post was supposed to be a pie…but it turned into a swamp of sour cherries and melted crumble topping, despite the perfect, flaky crust. I mean, we still ate it…but, I couldn’t bring myself to share that fugly mess.

So, I made these tender buns (haha, tender buns…I’m 5). Soft, little buns perfect for post-Thanksgiving sandwicher-y and flavored with Autumn’s ever-present flavor, pumpkin. I made these buns in advance for next Thursday’s turkey burger-ing. I think I may have mentioned before that we are not doing it up Thanksgiving-style this year, but instead making an abbreviated turkey-full dinner and then going to see Catching Fire because I REALLY want to (even though I suspect Sean is lukewarm about it, he’s also nice).

Anyway, I’m going to build these burgers, that taste like thanksgiving in a few bites, on these here buns. I’m excited about it.

Back-to-back bread posts must mean it’s a CARB-PARTY.

Soft Pumpkin Sandwich Buns

Makes about 12, 2.5 ounce buns

These bun can be made in advance (weeks!) and popped into the freezer. It takes an hour or two for them to defrost at room temperature and they are still delicious. I like to split them, spread with a little butter, and toast ‘em up before building burgers or sandwiches. 

3/4 cup warm milk (about 100˚F)

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons yeast

1 large egg

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie mix)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cream

black sesame seeds for sprinkling

Stir together the warm milk, honey, and yeast. Set aside until foamy.

Whisk the egg with the pumpkin and cooled, melted butter in a small bowl.

In a mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour with the yeast + milk mixture, and the pumkin mixture. Turn the mixture on medium and mix for 8 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, we want it this way.

On a well-floured surface turn out the dough and knead it about 5-10 times, adding flour as needed to handle. The less flour you add the more tender and soft the buns will be. Place the dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic. Allow to rise until doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

Prep two baking sheets by lining with parchment.

Punch down the dough and divide it into equal pieces—I use a scale for this and go for 2.5 ounce buns. Roll each dough piece into a ball and set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the buns with greased plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Preheat the oven to 400˚F and bake 1 pan at a time for about 15 minutes, or until the buns sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving or freezing.

 

 

 

Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Buns

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I know that I just lamented about pumpkin, but, truth be told…I’m not even close to being over it yet.

I’ve been eyeing this recipe for Chocolate Swirl Buns since I saw them on Smitten Kitchen over the summer, but I wanted to wait until the air was crisp and the leaves were fallen before I delved into it. There’s just something about baking with yeast when the cooler months start rolling in, that I cannot resist…I can’t resist pumpkin right now either…surprise!

So, given my love of fall-time baking AND pumpkin AND chocolate, these buns were a no-brainer-mega-hit. I had 3, THREE, the day I made them. My husband had a few himself, and the rest got sent to his office and out of the danger zone–aka, my face. The dough is super-soft and tender, lightly flavored with pumpkin and cinnamon, and slightly sweet. The spiced chocolate filling is the best thing when still warm–gooey, melty, and just spiced. The egg wash and sugar crust make for the best crisp-crunch on the tops of the buns. I love the way the buns unravel, allowing you to eat layer-after-layer of perfectly tender, yeasted dough, with bits of crunchy sugar topping, and rich, gooey pockets of chocolate. Though these buns may be nice for an ultra-decadent weekend brunch, they would be perfect along side an afternoon pick-me-up, as well.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Swirl Buns

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 12 buns.

This recipe calls for a bit more liquid and flour than the original and yield buns that are a little larger. I also switched the sugar in the dough and filling to brown, but regular granulated sugar would be perfectly fine. The dough is pretty soft, so work gently and flour the counter and rolling pin liberally to keep things from getting too sticky. Though these are best eaten soon after baking, you can pop leftover buns in the microwave for 10-15 seconds–mimicking that ‘just-baked’ warmth. 

Dough:

1/3 cup warm milk

1/3 cup plain pumpkin puree

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 Tablespoons unsalted, softened butter

Filling:

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

8 ounces (1 cup) chocolate chips, or chopped bar

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 Tablespoon cream

sugar for sprinkling

In measuring cup, combine milk with yeast and a pinch of sugar. Allow to proof 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and the egg. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attatchement, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the yeast-pumpkin mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the butter 2 Tablespoons at a time, mixing until the butter is incorporated before adding the rest. Scrape dough from the paddle, add the dough hook attachment  and knead on medium speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky and stringy. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

While the dough rises, make the filling. In the bowl of a food processor, process all ingredients until all of the butter is distributed and you have an uneven, gravely mixture. Set aside.

Liberally butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.

Once dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and gently deflate. Allow to rest 5 more minutes, before rolling the dough out into a large rectangle, the short end measuring about 12 inches–the long edge can be about 18-22 inches. Sprinkle the chocolate filling evenly over the rectangle, it will be bumpy, and begin rolling from the short end all the way up into a 12-13 inch log and pinch to seal. Gently saw off about 1-inch spirals, placing each into a prepared tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise another hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350*F.

Whisk together the egg and cream, brush gently over the tops of the proofed buns and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-25 minutes. Mine took closer to 25 minutes to bake. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

 

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

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Guess what?

I pretty much make dinner 7 nights a week. For real. It’s not always fancy, or meaty, or exciting in the least. Sometimes it’s just whatever is wasting away in the crisper drawer combined with rice, sweet or regular potatoes, pasta, or tortillas. I just love a carb-y vehicle to drive the food home (in this case, home is my mouth).

I take the weekends as a cue to make something fun and exciting. I test out recipes I’ve had pinned, bookmarked, or have schemed up. A couple of weekends ago, it was rich and delicious chicken pot pie. The next weekend, fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles. This past weekend, it was these amazeballs turkey burgers.

Yeah, man…they were amazeballs.  That wasn’t even a typo.

I mean, it’s a burger. We’re burger fanatics in this house. It doesn’t really matter what kind of patty it is…we’re totally into bean burgers, as well as the classic beef, and we’ve even been known to love a pork or chicken burger. Ground turkey is always a lean and easy to find option, but it can be dry and bland.

I try to jazz  up  turkey burgers with lots of herbs (sage & rosemary) and aromatics (onions & garlic), and ensure juiciness with a little greek yogurt. Then, there’s the bun and the toppings, which cannot be ignored. In this case it was my favorite Light Brioche bun, some soft goat cheese, lemony cranberry sauce, spinach (for some green), and some grainy mustard. It was pretty much Thanksgiving on a burger and it was love.

What kind of burger are you in love with?

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

This burger is a meal in and of itself, but it’s totally appropriate to serve with a side of sweet potato fries.

Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of one lemon

3/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook until cranberries burst, give off their juice, and thicken (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired. Pour into a heatproof jar and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will thicken as it cools.

Turkey Burger

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage

2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary

1 pound lean, ground turkey

1 egg

2 tablespoons greek yogurt

3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

goat cheese, grainy mustard, and spinach leaves to serve

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, sweat onions and garlic. Once onions become translucent, add sage and rosemary and saute another minute. Do not brown or the garlic may burn. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, and cooled onion/herb mixture. Mix gently to combine. Divide meat into 4 sections and shape into patties (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick), making a shallow well in the center. Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle patties liberally with salt and pepper, cook, flipping only once, for about 4 minutes on each side. Top with goat cheese, add a splash of water to the pan (1 tablespoon is good) and cover until liquid evaporates. This will soften the cheese, but not melt it since goat cheese doesn’t really melt. Place burgers on toasted buns with mustard and spinach, top with cranberry sauce.

Light Wheat Brioche Buns

I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat and regular whole wheat flour. You can use whatever you like or just use bread flour.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

 

3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons warm milk

2 teaspoons dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling

1 egg + i tablespoon cream for egg wash

Measure out warm water and milk into a glass measuring cup. Stir in honey and then yeast. Allow to rest 5 minutes until foamy.

Lightly beat the egg in a small dish and set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk together flours and salt. Rub butter into flour mixture with your fingertips. Mix in the yeast and water mixture, as well as the egg. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will pull from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, the dough ball should be tacky to the touch. Rise, covered with plastic for 1-2 hours until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place the dough portions on a parchemnet lined baking sheet and cover loosely, allow to rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Whisk together egg and cream, brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Bake buns in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Buns can be baked and frozen in a resealable plastic bag for use later.  Just defrost for 1-2 hours on the counter, or overnight in the refrigerator.