Entrée, Bread, Breakfast


sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns

Our fridge is jam packed with produce from a recent CSA basket pick up. I have lettuce heads so large they are taking up the entire bottom shelf and beets and their greens poking out their cramped heads from the crisper drawer. This abundance is what sparks creativity in me. As someone who thinks about food consistently, I enjoy the challenge of using what I have to make something different, despite there being swiss chard in EVERY.SINGLE.BASKET throughout the year. Hugh on the other hand sees chaos, not food. To use up some of my loot, and to prove there are, in fact, meals in there, we made some bahn mi style burgers (tofu or turkey as you choose). A tender homemade bun with dressed cucumbers, shaved carrots, cilantro and avocado. I regret I don't have a picture of that to share with you, but the recipe for the buns is not to be missed. 

If you want a successful recipe, Deb is your lady. Something tells me you're probably not a stranger to her site. If her dependable recipes and clean photos don't intrigue you, her wit and dry humor are sure to keep you coming back. There are rave reviews of the burger buns she featured and if there is anyone to be trusted, it is her. I tried to add some grains to them without risking a rock of a bun, and I think we did pretty well (you can find the original on her site). They have a bit of the heartiness that whole wheat products have, while still being gentle and delicate in structure. They make an ideal vehicle for a veggie burger, grilled salmon sandwich with greens and aioli or whatever you wish. Much like making pizza dough, it is a simple process, it's just the waiting time between rises that takes some planning ahead. Maybe it is not a quick weeknight endeavor, but there is no comparison to the storebought kind, and another bbq weekend is just around the corner. 

sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns

WHEAT BRIOCHE BUNS // Makes 8 buns

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who has a book coming!) via The New York Times

This recipe below reflects the amounts for 8 buns, though the pictures show I did make four. If you only want four, simply halve the amounts below. I meantion it in the direction, but it bears repeating. Form the final buns into a more height focused ball than a wider one, they spread during that second rise and I found mine to be flatter than I'd have hoped.

3 Tbsp. warm milk

2 tsp. active dry yeast

2 1/2 Tbsp. natural cane sugar

2 eggs

2 cups unbleached bread flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

sesame seeds, for topping

sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns

In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. In a small bowl, beat one egg.

In another large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, just turn and fold and tustle it around, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but the more flour you add, the tougher the buns will get. Let it stay a bit tacky. 

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with a dish cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball (a taller ball, not a flat one, they flaten and spread on their own as they rise) and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with the dish cloth and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. 

Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. 

Keep buns in an airtight container. Should last about 3 days, getting firmer as days pass. 

sprouted kitchen buns
sprouted kitchen buns
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Appetizer, Entrée, Fall, Gluten Free, Spring, Winter



I am inspired by cookbooks. I appreciate the beautiful pictures; most make me want to cook and they can remind me of the vegetables I haven't picked up in awhile. I still like to play around with recipes a bit (I have a strange aversion to following directions). The neat thing about the book that I pulled this recipe from (which is actually a marriage of two of Ottelenghi's recipes with a bit of Sara thrown in), is the random act of kindness of how this book ended up on my bookshelf. I had admired the book in a bookstore months ago, and filled my phone with photos of some of the recipes. I didn't buy the book then, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Lo and behold, the book ended up on my doorstep a few days later from a dear friend who had picked up on a twitter comment. A kind note and a high five for finishing a big step in the book process. That sort of thoughtfulness is the inspiration I am after. Not just thinking how I can help someone or noting a quiet compliment, but DOING something to pass on compassion and encouragement. I can't look at the book without thinking of Kelsey's gesture, so I figured it was worth mentioning how loudly one single act of kindness can speak.

I really liked how these turned out, especially the sauce, but I won't tell you they are the most attractive meal you'll ever make. My first mistake is that I was too shy with the coconut oil/butter when cooking the patties, and they stuck to my cast iron pan. I'm not much for frying in general, but I suggest you be generous with the oil in the pan to get a good clean crust. You can serve them with some dressed greens, with black beans or poached eggs on top. Just finish them with a good douse of yogurt sauce on top and it won't matter what they look like underneath. Sauce is always the answer...and kindness. Sauce and kindness.



Potato cakes adapted from Yotam Ottelenghi's Plenty

1 3/4 lbs peeled sweet potatoes, cut in large chunks

2 tsp. butter or coconut oil, plus more for cooking

1 leek, halved and thinly sliced

2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. salt

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/2 cup oat flour or unbleached all purpose flour

1 egg, well whisked

yogurt sauce

1/2 cup greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or basil

2 Tbsp. finely chopped lemongrass*

pinch of salt and pepper

* I know it's unlikely that most people just have lemongrass lying around, and while it adds a ton of flavor here, don't bust your buns if it's not easy to get a hold of. You could also substitute in chopped shallot.


Steam the potatoes until tender throughout. Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes cook, warm the butter or oil in a cast iron pan. Saute the leeks until softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, blend all of the yogurt sauce ingredients, besides the cilantro or basil, together in a mini blender or food processor. Lastly, add the herbs and give it one or two more whirls just to blend in the herbs. Set aside.

When the potatoes have released most of their moisture (steam), transfer them to a bowl and mix them with the tamari/soy sauce, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and flour to combine. You want the mix to be tacky not wet, add more flour if it seems too moist to hold shape. Add the leeks and egg and mix to combine.

Add enough coconut oil, butter or a mix of the two (which i prefer), to your nonstick/cast iron pan to generously coat the bottom, and warm over medium high heat. Dont be shy. Make small, two tablespoons patties and drop them into the hot pan, pressing down to flatten. Cook until well browned on each side, about 7-8 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary if they start to burn. Remove to a paper toweled lined plate to absorb excess fat while you cook another batch.

Serve with some lightly dressed greens and a generous portion of the sauce. These would be so wonderful with a poached egg on top or other protein of your choice.

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