Drum Roll, please…your Q & A:
“I want to know your secrets of having the stamina to cook, style & blog after a long day job:”
The secret? I love to do it! That’s it. I don’t put pressure on myself to post a certain number of times per week or to take pictures of everything I eat. I blog when I can and want to, and clearly, I’m pretty passionate about it Plus, cooking, photography and writing have all been favorite hobbies of mine that I would do separately growing-up. I feel fortunate that I found one hobby (blogging) that actually combines all 3!
“I would love to see your kitchen. I bet it looks awesome!”
Haha, it’s not. It’s functional enough that it has a stove, oven and bit of counter space. But there’s no dishwasher, most of our “small kitchen appliances” sit on shelves outside of the kitchen itself, and if I stand in the middle of the room and outstretch my arms, they can reach both ends of the counter. While it’s not my dream kitchen or what I may lust after on Pinterest, I think that’s what I like the most: that you don’t have to have the latest gadgets or most expensive products to make delicious, wholesome food; it’s something that can be done anywhere and with simple ingredients.
“I want to know what your favorite thing to cook or bake is:”
Breads! I know many people are afraid of things that involve yeast, but I love the process! I’ve definitely had my frustrated moments of spending hours making a bread that didn’t rise or never fully-cooked, but all the times that I’ve produced a warm, flaky crust from just a few simple ingredients makes all the failed attempts worth it!
I’m not sure if it’s from having two grandmothers that made dough (even pasta!) from scratch or the soothing effect of kneading dough by hand, but something in the process is always exciting to me…especially the eating part!
Speaking of bread…This is another recipe I tried from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Making. Have I told you that I love this book? It is definitely for people serious about bread-making (I can pretend), but wow, it’s the real deal! I made these rolls (called “pane al’ Oilo” in the book) and they made the perfect stand-alone roll, or as I used them here, bun for veggie burgers.
This was my first time making a bread starter (I’m learning French!…it’s called “biga” in the book ), and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. The most intimidating part? Remembering to mix these 3 simple ingredients the night before. Truly, that’s it. If you can mix flour and water (which you can!), you can make this!
The vegan black bean burger recipe is from Daily Garnish. Again, I’m going to leave you to the expert as I didn’t make too many changes. If you’re looking for a good veggie burger recipe, look no further. This is the best consistency I have found (they actually hold together firmly) and I love the healthy mix of ingredients! The only changes I made: used sunflower seeds instead of pumpkin seeds (because that’s what I had available), added about 2 tsp. Worcheister sauce (please note: adding this is optional and no longer keeps them vegan as it is made with anchovies), and used garlic powder instead of onion powder. This will definitely be our new go-to veggie burger recipe!
We chose to turn these into a “Southwestern Burger” but adding Monterey Jack Cheese and salsa for a fun topping, but you can definitely top them however you please!
Bread Rolls with Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Keywords: bake bread entree sandwich vegetarian vegan July 4th
Ingredients (20-24 rolls)
For the biga (starter)
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 cup minus 1 tbs. warm water
- Pinch of fresh yeast
For the dough
- 6 cups bread flour
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- Biga (above)
- 1 tbs. salt
- 1 1/2 tbs. yeast
- 1/4 cup olive oil
1. Prepare the biga. Combine bread flour, water and yeast in large mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or place in sealed tupperware and place in fridge overnight.
2. Following day: combine the bread flour with water and biga in the bowl of standing mixer, fitted with dough hook. Mix on low speed until blended. Add salt and yeast and mix on low for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil on low speed (dough will be oily).
3. Lightly oil a large bowl. Scrape dough into bowl (I used a wooden spoon; dough may be sticky, this is okay!). Cover bowl and set aside for 30 minutes. Uncover and punch-down dough. Cover and set aside 1 hour.
4. Lightly flour working surface. Divide dough into 20-24 even rolls (about 2.75 oz each). Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
5. Shape each roll into even circles. Cover and let sit 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with baking stone in oven to preheat. Uncover dough and cut small “X” in top center of each roll, using kitchen shears.
7. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Cool on wire racks, serve and enjoy!
We served these with Sweet Potato Chips I was sent courtesy of Rhythm Superfoods. They sent their Sea Salt and BBQ Sweet Potato Chips along with their Mango Habanero and Zesty Nacho Kale Chips. I loved being able to serve these as a much healthier alternative to have typical potato chips! My favorite was the Sea Salt Sweet Potato flavor. I didn’t personally love the kale chips but I’m wondering if that’s just because I don’t like kale chips (I’ve only had them once before and wasn’t a fan)? Their foods are raw, vegan, gluten-free and all natural; I’d say that’s a pretty impressive combo!
~What is your favorite thing to make or bake?