Yes! It IS possible to make perfect whole-wheat hamburger buns at home!
4 cups of hot water
3 Tbs. brown sugar
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten flour
3 Tbs. dry yeast
4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. oil
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
7–9 cups of whole-wheat flour (I prefer Wheat Montana’s Prairie Gold flour/wheat berries because It’s non-GMO)
Pour the hot water into a very large mixing bowl (or stand mixer with a bread hook). Add the sugar, yeast, and oil. I usually add the vital wheat gluten flour and pour the salt on top of it (that way I don’t accidentally forget the salt). There’s no need to stir anything (in fact, you shouldn’t, because you don’t want the yeast and salt interacting yet). Allow to proof (sit and watch the bubbles form to make sure that the yeast works) for 10 minutes.
We usually purchase wheat berries in bulk when we visit Montana each year. You can grind them in a stone grinder or in a high-speed blender (we used our BlendTec to grind wheat for a year while our grinder wasn’t working). Or, you can purchase whole-wheat flour online or in a grocery store. Since most people don’t use it very often, (and it can go bad more quickly because it still has the germ in it) it tends to be more expensive than white flour.
After ten minutes, add the ground flax seeds and about five cups of the whole-wheat flour and mix with a heavy wooden spoon (or on low with your electric mixer). The amount of flour you use will depend on whether you grind your own or buy it from the store. Freshly ground wheat is fluffier, so it takes more. Store-bought flour has settled, so you’ll need less.
Once a stiff batter has formed, dump the dough on a floured surface and continue to add flour and knead after each addition. You’ll want to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes (consider it an aerobic workout) to fully develop the gluten (which helps make it light and fluffy). If you’re using an electric mixer, knead for 8-10 minutes, adding flour until the dough feels tacky, but not sticky (the bowl will look almost clean). Return the dough to the bowl.
Cover with a clean towel and allow it to rise until it doubles in size (about 40 minutes).
Punch down the dough and place it on a flat, lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a large rectangle or square about 1/2 inch thick.
Use something round that’s about the size you’d like your hamburger buns to cut circles out. You can use an empty family-sized soup can (larger than the 12 oz cans and smaller than the industrial-sized cans). If you can’t find anything, you can lay a round coaster on the dough and use a sharp knife to cut around it.
Place the buns on a lightly greased cookie sheet, cover with a tea towel, and allow them to double in size (about 40-60 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350˚. I usually set the pans on the stove top so they have a nice, warm place to rise.
When the buns have doubled in size, put them in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
Remove and enjoy!
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: whole-wheat hamburger buns, whole-wheat buns, bread