Sunday, April 14, 2013

Whole Wheat Hamburglar

I lost the last of my wisdom this past week. It didn't stand a chance against a pair of pliers and Dr. Theissen's vise gripe. I bore witness to the whole ugly scene as my dentist elected to freeze my gums as opposed to knocking me out. I don't remember much. I saw him pick up the pliers...

At some point his assistant in green scrubs said, "Oh, you bent them...your favourite tool." It was then that Dr. Theissen complimented me on my wardrobe choice--he loved my blazer. With my head back stuffed full of metal and gauze, I emitted the obligatory dentist-chair-chat moan.

Finally, he really reefed on that bottom tooth. He withdraw and I somehow gasped, "You get it?" And he somehow understood the questions. I suppose his is the trained ear.

Nope. He was just loosening the tooth up. Back in. Reef, reef, reef...Done.

The hygienist pushed a wad of gauze into the hole in the back of my mouth and said, "You don't look so good."

The cool part is, she let me look at my once-wise teeth. The roots were startlingly long. The insides were black with cavity. Yikes. Forget wisdom.

I now embrace frivolity. And what's more frivolous then sliders? Okay, lots of things, probably. But I'm still Joan's daughter and I know the value of an awesome whole wheat bun. We made these mini burgers on Saturday night and they really were delicious. The whole wheat bun is soft and light. The whole grains also give the buns a more robust flavour. If you happen to live somewhere with a whole grains mill handy (like Chilliwack with Anita's Flour or Victoria with True Grains in Cowichan), try purchasing a bag of whole wheat flour and you'll be impressed at the unique flavour of the small-batch grains. Just a little frivolous tip!

Spring is certianly upon us and we're all ready for BBQs and hibachi's on the beach. Of course, most of us have our own awesome burger recipe but in my world, what pulls the burger from mediocrity and into the the spotlight with gold dust, is an incredible bun. Some of you might have access to a bakery with the perfect burger buns, but I have yet to obtain easy access to a fabulous bun source. Happily, buns are pretty easy to make. I like to make a big batch and freeze a bunch for future burger nights. Thawed and toasted, they'll be far more delicious then anything you pick up at the grocery store.

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

1 plus 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp melted butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
pumpkin seeds

Dissolve the yeast in the water. in a large bowl Let proof for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour, the salt, and the butter. Stir to combine. Add the remaining flour cup by cup, stirring after each addition.

You will know have a shaggy mound of dough. Turn it onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about five minutes. Add a little flour as needed to prevent sticking. You will have a smooth dough. Don't add too much flour as you don't want a tough lump. The dough should not be sticky. If it is quite sticky, add flour by the tablespoon as you knead.

Let the dough rise in a covered bowl for 24 to 90 minuted -- until doubled.

Punch the dough down and divide it into 18 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Let the balls rest, covered, for 5 to 10 minutes. Now use your palm to flatten each ball into a disk that is 1 inch thick. Move the disks onto a cookie tray covered in parchment paper or lightly greased.

Preheat your oven to 400.

Cover the buns and let them rise for 30-45 minutes. They will be soft and puffy when risen.

Brush the buns with milk and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Use your hands to gently push in the seeds.

Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes. 


  1. No more wisdom! Well i'm sure it's hidden in the rest of those pearly whites cause dang-you-smart!

  2. I might try these, this is a generous might because I really like my WHITE hamburger bun recipe. I want to just remind you that I have no, nor have I ever had, any wisdom teeth. While some might see this as a lack of smarts, one of my biology professors wisely attributed this to me being farther along the evolutionary chain.

  3. Rach, some homework for you - I linked your post to my fb and you have some requests for the actual burger patty. Also, Carolyn was wondering if you could sub spelt flour for the whole wheat since she can't wheat. Go.

  4. Okay- so I've been telling everyone about how you're always bragging about your evolutionary superiority due to lack of wisdom teeth... Case in point. It's a good line. I admit it.

    1. Definitely my best brag. Actually might be my only brag. Must work on that.

  5. In reponse to your queries -- What the heck is a fb? Who is Carolyn and why can't she eat wheat? Finally, does the burger look so good that people want the particular recipe or do people not generally use ground beef to form patties and therefore need a recipe? I'm going to chalk it up to my superior photography, in this instance.

    The patty recipe will be released with my book.

  6. Haley with that comment I think we'll need your white hamburger bun recipe sometime, time for a bun-off.
    These whole wheat babies look glorious