Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Buns

Homemade Buns
So a few years ago I started making all of the bread that we eat homemade. It tastes so much better and it also allows me to know what is going into the things that we are eating. I mean half the stuff that is in prepackaged premade food we can't even pronounce.
I know most of you don't have time to be making all of your own bread but if you find you have extra time to spare I ask, no beg and plead, you to make homemade buns!!! These taste so much better than store bought. We love to toast them before we use them. We have used them for hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, sandwiches and all the various types of sloppy joes we enjoy!!! We have also used them for breakfast. We put eggs and sausage or ham and had a breakfast sandwich. So good!!! They really are simple and easy to make. 
Homemade Buns
(makes 12 rolls)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 T. yeast
2 T. sugar
2 T. oil
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups to 4 1/2 cups flour
(I use half whole wheat half all purpose flour)
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast and let stand 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy and bubbly. Add the oil, salt and 2 cups of the flour and mix. Gradually add the rest of the flour a 1/2 a cup at a time until the dough pulls off the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough in the stand mixer for 5-10 minutes or by hand 10-15 minutes until is forms a smooth elastic dough. Greased another bowl with cooking spray or a little bit of oil.  Place the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled. It will take about an hour. Punch down the dough and cut into twelve equal portions. I use a kitchen scale and make each bun about 2 oz each of dough. I highly recommend a kitchen scale. I just have a cheap one and it works so well. It is nice to have all even looking buns but if you don't want to weigh each bun just eyeball them. I then roll each of the 12 pieces of dough into a ball, place 6 on one large cookie sheet and 6 on another. I then squish each round dough ball down with the palm of my hand. Until it looks like the shape of a hamburger bun. You don't want to squish it too thin but you don't want it too round or it will just look like a dinner roll when finished cooking. Then cover the squished buns with a towel and let raise until doubled in size, it takes about 45 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on the tops and bottoms. Take out and butter the tops of each one. Enjoy warm or cold. You can also make these into hot dog buns by rolling the dough pieces into a snake like shape and letting them raise and bake them as directed for the hamburger buns.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spicy Sweet n' Sour Meatballs

 We love meatballs in this house, in fact, we never met a meatball that we didn't like. With that being said I went on a hunt for a good sweet n sour meatball recipe. I got the sweet n sour recipe from Mel's kitchen Café and new that it would be great because she never disappoints. But then we love spicy things a little bit more than overly sweet and so I decided to combine the recipe I found over on Mel's Blog with a spicy sticky sauce we love to put over chicken. The combination was so great!! Seriously yummy and easy to make!!! 
Spicy Sweet n' Sour Meatballs
3 lbs ground beef
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 T. minced garlic
1 cup milk
3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp worcesteshire sauce
 Sweet Sauce:
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tsp mustard
1 1/4 cup bbq sauce
5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Spicy Sauce:
1 1/8 cup Franks hot Sauce(do not use and other kind)
2/3 cup water
4 cups brown sugar
For the MEatballs: Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Form into balls and place on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and well browned all around. If you don't like them as brown cook them less.
For the sauces: In two saucepans, bring the ingredients for each one to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. Place the cooked meatballs in a large skillet, pour both sauces over the meatballs and bring the mixture to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 -30 minutes. If the sauce is to thin thicken it with a little cornstarch and water. Serve over your choice of Rice.
Note: I know this is a lot of sugar. If you want to cut the sugar down go ahead and try it. I have never done so, so I can't vouch for it success but let me know if you do and if it works. We always have a little bit of meatballs/sauce over a large portion of rice so we don't feel guilty about the sugar content. This really makes a large pan full and could feed 10 -12 people easily. If you don't want as much cut all the ingredients in half and make a half batch.