Confession: I have a fear of non-cookie-based dough. For years I have avoided recipes that included words like knead, yeast, and rise. I would read recipes and wonder, "How lightly is lightly dusted [with flour]?", how angry should I be before I "punch down the dough after rising", and for the life of me I don't understand how anyone can put something like "add flour until the dough reaches the right/good/perfect consistency" into something that is supposed to be an instruction guide. Don't these people know why recipes exist? To tell you how to do it! Gah!
I decided to give at least one more recipe a try before declaring defeat, though. I found what I deemed the perfect recipe (Hamburger Buns) and decided to jump in.
As I gathered my ingredients, and put my dough hook on my KitchenAid for the first time after four years of owning it, I thought about how nice it was going to be to eradicate my dependence on store-bought bread products...
By now, you have realized that the title of this post is not "Super Fantastically Delicious, Light and Airy Hamburger Buns with a Chewy Crust". I really thought I did my best but, ohhhh I went wrong somewhere. They were like little, beautiful sesame-seed topped rocks.
Spirit broken, I decided to peruse the internet for something to boost my morale. I mean, if I can make flawless meringues in 90% humidity with 110° heat, I should be able to handle a little bit of dough, right?!
As it turns out, I just needed a little help. I adapted a recipe for Homemade Wheat Thins from Tracey's Culinary Adventures and decided to give it a try. Guess what? The little guys turned out perfectly! Crisp and light, but heavy enough to stand up to my homemade reduced-oil hummus: they were great. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished product, but since these are for sure going to be a new pantry staple, I will update with a final product picture next time I make them!
HOMEMADE WHEAT THINS
- 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 400° F, and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the first four ingredients with a whisk in a bowl. Add the butter to the bowl, and blend it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender.
Combine the water and vanilla, then add to the other ingredients and mix until the dough is smooth.
Not smooth (dough falling apart in large chunks) versus Smooth (see how it has pulled away from the bowl)
Divide the dough into four pieces (this makes it easier to work with). Working with a lightly floured surface (see photo) and rolling pin, roll the dough out until it is roughly 1/16th of an inch thick. I don't have a ruler in my kitchen, or my house for that matter, so I just rolled the dough until it looked like it was the thickness of a store-bought Wheat Thin. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1-inch squares (once again, I just approximated the size here -- just make sure they are of uniform width so they all will cook evenly). Mine are more like rectangles, to make for easier hummus dipping.
Place your squares as close as you can on your baking sheets, without their sides touching, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat for the next three sections of dough.
Bake for 7 - 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them, because they will burn in a heartbeat!
Store in an air-tight container or baggie.
Please share your thoughts on this recipe!