Monday, June 6, 2011

BBA #20: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire, as Hotdog Buns

BBA Multigrain Bread ExtraordinaireAs I'm baking lots of bread in catch-up mode and don't eat that much loaf bread anyway, some sort of alternative use for the multigrain bread seemed appropriate. I had picked up some Riverview Farms bratwurst at the startup weekend farmer's market at Oak Grove near my house, and decided that I could turn the multigrain into buns suitable to hold the brats. Sister-in-law grilled a few beef and pork ribs, and with all that we put together a Memorial Day mixed grill.

For my multigrains, I used polenta and rolled oats--I had quinoa but wanted the smaller grained polenta, and didn't have any of the suggested alternatives to the rolled oats. My cooked brown rice was from a Trader Joe's frozen packet, and then there was the bread flour and wheat bran for 5 grains total. This is a bread with more sweetening than usual, both brown sugar and honey.

The procedure is to make a soaker with the polenta, rolled oat, and wheat bran, just barely moistened with water. That sits overnight "to initiate enzyme action". The next day ti all gets mixed in with the remaining ingredients, kneaded, has one rise, then is shaped, rises again, and bakes.

For my hot dog buns, I divided the dough into 8 pieces which I believe worked out to about 3 oz. each. Following the advice on a couple of different web pages I shaped them into 5" long rolls and put 6 of them about an inch apart on a baking sheet, looking for the rolls to merge as they rose for soft-sided buns. (The other 2 were to the side, where they got crusty on all sides.) After the rise I brushed the buns with egg white thinned with water for better stick on the poppy seeds, and did a few plain in case there were poppy-seed averse among the tasters.

BBA Multigrain Bread ExtraordinaireResults: Buns with a nice chew, but a little sweet. Younger niece found the honey flavor struck an odd note with the bratwurst, but would have found it OK for breakfast toast. I think I'll leave out the honey on a repeat and let the brown sugar carry the sweetness profile if I'm after a sandwich loaf or hot dog buns again. I might also substitute a little whole-wheat flour for the bread flour, for a more wheaty taste. If I'm making hotdog buns again, I think I'll line up all 8 down my baking pan so the rolls will be confined and rise higher, for a more round cross-section.

For the completed dish, I used a Cooks Illustrated recipe for grilling the sausages with onions and thyme, which I'll use again. The brats had good flavor, and if I hadn't been in a hurry to get my contribution toward dinner done the onions would have finished browning and been really pretty in addition to to their very nice flavor. The buns were lightly toasted on the grill before adding the wurst.

More pics:

BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire BBA Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

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