Ever since I acquired my first baking book " Baking With Julia " I had been wanting to bake bread. The book is really very very informative as it holds recipes for all kinds of breads & fortunately I have become more yeast friendly after reading through it. Earlier I used to be a little skeptical using yeast I do not really know why. I did bake bread a couple of times & it turned out well but I still wanted to keep away from yeast. But anyways long story short ,thanks to" Baking With Julia" that i dared to bake these burger buns. I must say that I'm proud of myself as for a first timer they came out really well. The idea of painted bread had been encircling my mind for a long long time , I had seen it somewhere & I tried hard to recollect where exactly I had seen it but all I remember is- it was during one of our travels & there was a basket full of burgers painted in abstract designs.Even I was amazed at seeing painted bread. I also tried googling for a long time to see if I could find information on the origin of painted bread but unfortunately there is no info except that I found a blog known as "Chef Tess bakeresse" where the chef seems to be an amazing artist with exquisitely painted breads. So next time I bake bread I will probably try to get some inspiration from the Chef.
Luckily the dough seemed to have worked well & that's when I decided that I should try painting . Having not even picked up the paint brush for a long time I was really wondering how to go about it. The last time I painted was in school & that was 2 decades ago. Anyway I called G to see if he could get me a thin paint brush on his way home & so he did but looking at the brush I was really disappointed . The thinnest brush in the pack was not as thin as I wanted it to be & had plastic bristles......hmmmmm.....what an ordeal!!!!! But a push from G was all I needed as he said" just try what you wanted to try & I will eat it anyway " So here is my first attempt at baking burger buns with my first attempt at painting them . The buns came out very soft & the painting was not as bad either - Both of us really enjoyed them.
For The Bread :
2 cups Bread flour and 1/2 cup more for kneading
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar ( I used agave in stead of sugar)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk ( I used 2%)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons oil( I used olive oil)
For the Painting :
1 egg yolk
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 thin paint brush
Mix the egg & cocoa powder together & stir well to make a smooth paste.
Start by warming the milk just enough so can put your finger in it - add yeast & agave or sugar to it & let it sit for about 10 minutes until you see froth forming on it.
Add the oil & salt to this yeast mixture & start adding the flour . You can either mix with a spatula if kneading by hand or use the dough hook if using the stand mixer. ( I used the stand mixer)
Incorporate all of the 3 cups of flour / if while kneading the dough seems hard add some more water as the final dough should be very soft & easy to knead. Once done, knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes very elastic. ( I used the dough hook in the stand mixer for 8-10 minutes at medium speed)
Once you are done kneading roll the dough into a ball & place in a greased bowl , cover with damp cloth & let it rise for about 2 hrs in a warm place ( I put it in the oven )
The dough should have doubled , just punch it down to release the air, knead for another 2-3 minutes & divide it into 8-10 equal parts .
I always like to grease my hands with oil when handling the dough as it dosent stick to your hands.
Roll it into balls & place it on a greased baking sheet. Cover the tray with damp cloth & let it sit for another rise , about an hour.
If you like the bun tops to be crisp brush gently with some water before they go into the oven.
Bake at 400 degree preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
For the painting you will have to take out the buns after 10 minutes of baking or when you see a thin crust formed on the buns. Take them out , paint them & put them back in the oven for 5 minutes.
Brush some butter on top while buns are still hot .
I think the painting adds a little personality to these otherwise plain buns & it was really fun to do them .
I have received 7 awards from my Dear Friend Kalyani Of Kalyani's Platter.....Thankyou so much Kalyani - I have no words at this time to describe my happiness. Emotions are just eating my words.