As I write this blog, you may wonder why there aren’t more recipes on this site. The answer is simple; I am not a fantastic cook. It seems most of the time I’m in the kitchen, there is drama (whether it’s all in my head or I’m burning something to a pulp). I am good enough to get by because my mom is a great cook and has taught me a lot. Besides giving credit to my mom, I give credit to the gluten-free diet, which has also forced me to learn how to cook from scratch rather than from a can.
So while my family isn’t starving or anything, one thing the celiacs in my life are missing is gluten-free hamburger buns (I know I can buy premade buns, but they are very expensive). Of all the cooking I’ve tried so far two things baffle me: making divinity and mastering the art of yeast in bread. Divinity is a whole different blog post – believe me. But let me be blunt, I have trouble with yeast when it comes to baking any breads without a bread machine. I thought I would share my latest experience with you –so maybe we could commiserate or celebrate together – in all honesty it may be a little of both.
Gluten-Free Baking Season
The weather has cooled, we had some snowfall already, and by golly today felt like it was a baking day. Since June, I have been on a mission to find a good gluten-free bun/roll recipe that my gluten-free family members will enjoy. Even better, find one that’s so tasty (and reasonably easy) that everyone will want to eat it. I found a few in September, but they turned out like biscuits; possibly good for strawberry shortcake. But when you’re aiming for the hamburger-bun look; the biscuit is a disappointment to say the least.
So I hopped on my favorite gluten-free forum and pleaded for help. I received two recipes and today, was the day to try one out. It was a moderate recipe in terms of ingredients and work involved. Those are the best for me; the easy recipes with just a few ingredients often don’t taste very good. And the more difficult, and usually tastier recipes, require me to be in the kitchen all day using ingredients from three different grocery stores only to confirm that I am still challenged when it comes to baking with yeast.
Let the Gluten-Free Baking Begin
So Ida, our exchange student, came up to the kitchen just in the nick of time to get caught in my web of experimentation. She was happy to help and revealed to me she has done very little baking in the past. So we helped each other out; mixing the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients – and then all together! Within about 5 minutes the mixture became something resembling the consistency of bread dough. Could I have been getting close to not screwing it up? Shhhh..don’t say anything out loud!
So we then moved the dough to the floured countertop and created a ball and then divided it into 8 sections. We carefully rolled them and then gently shaped them into hamburger-bun like shapes. While they didn’t look like any gluten dough I’d experienced, this was going to have to do.
During this adventure, the recipe called for quick-rise yeast which I hadn’t used before, but it took on a life all its own (which was a good thing). Maybe this is what I need to invest in more often for my bread items that don’t require a machine. Within 90 minutes, the dough had doubled in size. By now, I knew they were not going to look like regular hamburger buns. They didn’t have that smoothness to them. While they were much lighter than my original “biscuit” buns, the look of them was quite similar. Oh well, I popped them into the oven anyway.
20 minutes later they were done: fluffy and tasty on the inside and enormous. But still not the look and consistency I was striving for. So overall I give this gluten-free kitchen drama a “C”, because I got the job done, and the food was edible and worth freezing for the future. But the bread lacked the look and consistency of a good hamburger bun. I do worry that could have been “operator error” – in other words, me. So I will have to try this recipe again.
Is there such a thing as a good gluten-free hamburger bun? Am I shooting too high here? Should I have mixed it more? Should I buy those hamburger bun baking “tins”? Can I use quick-rise yeast for all baked-from-scratch breads? So many questions by this kitchen drama queen and I would love to hear your advice.
Sorry I cannot post the recipe I used as I do not have permission from the person on the forum site who emailed it to me. But if you have hamburger bun recipes you want to share with the rest of the world on this blog, please do so in the comment section. I look forward to seeing them.