My inaugural post on this blog was about Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns and I was not quite satisfied with the result. They were kind of dense and much like all my whole wheat endeavors so far, they didn't rise to the level I expected. But, as always, I reserve the right to get smarter, so I made some minor modifications:
1) I added Vital Wheat Gluten. The reason whole wheat flour doesn't rise like all-purpose flour is because it has less gluten. Adding Vital Wheat Gluten fixes that! It may be cheating but hey, it worked.
2) Per the suggestion of one of my readers, when I proofed the yeast, instead of letting it double in the glass, as soon as I saw it bubbling I added it to the mixer. Really, the only reason you proof your yeast is to make sure it isn't old, so why let it do all that bubbling and rising in the bowl when you could let it do that in your bread? I don't know why I didn't think of this the first time.
3) I added patience. This was a tough one. Instead of doing the first rise for one hour, I did it for two. So it started looking like this:
And two hours later...
Now that's what I call doubling in size!
I was always afraid to rise the bread too long because I didn't want it to fall but clearly I had nothing to worry about.
Since I let it rise so much the first time, it rose much better the second time. I also extended the second rise a bit to 90 minutes. And it paid off. Look how fluffy my buns are now!
I also took this opportunity to experiment with hotdog buns, but they still need a little work. More to come.