The recipe writers here at King Arthur Flour have been chatting lately about what recipes seem to get the biggest response from you, our readers.
After all, there's no sense creating recipes if no one wants to bake 'em, right?
We used to read food magazines to spot trends. Now we do that, and SO much more...
For instance, we've found Facebook is a wonderful "instant focus group" for questions like, "What's your favorite flavor?" (The answer? Chocolate by the slightest margin over vanilla, closely followed by lemon.)
Or, "What classic treat (besides cookies) do you HAVE to bake for the holidays, or else everyone gets mad at you?" (Stollen; pretty much a runaway.)
If you haven't yet joined the fun on our Facebook page – what are you waiting for?
I love seeing what everyone's baking; people post pictures from all over the world. And it was fun hearing everyone's favorite unofficial "state dessert" as a result of Tuesday's poll – which regenerated the Maine/Pennsylvania whoopie pie controversy, as well as good discussion around St. Louis (Philadelphia?) Gooey Butter Cake.
Which brings us back to, what recipes REALLY float your boats?
Flavor-wise, we can't go wrong with chocolate. Or lemon. And, though it didn't make the top three in our Facebook flavor poll, coconut.
Pizza and yeast breads are always hot - sourdough in particular.
As are "clone" treats: our remakes of Twinkies and Choco-Bliss and Twix, for instance.
Oh, and here's one ingredient that never, EVER fails to elicit a huge response:
Yes, cheese. Preferably melted, and oozing out of bread, or atop a pizza, or simply added as flavoring: Cabot Cheddar Soda Bread, anyone?
The following cheese burger buns – that's cheese (space) burger buns, not cheeseburger buns – fall into the latter camp. Cheese powder or grated cheese are added right to the dough, giving these soft, aromatic buns wonderfully cheesy flavor.
Better yet: they're no-knead. Simply beat the dough with your mixer, let it rise right in the bowl, shape, and bake.
A definite win-win on the ease and flavor front.
OK, guys, don't prove me wrong here – is this recipe for Cheese Burger Buns going to produce the usual happy response?
Share your love in the comments section below!
We use Vermont cheese powder to add cheese flavor to all kinds of baked goods, including these buns.
The essence of Vermont cheddar cheese in easy-to-use powdered form, it blends beautifully with your dry ingredients. There's no need to adjust your recipe to account for the added fat and moisture of fresh cheese; and, unlike many cheeses, it doesn't give your bread a speckled appearance after baking.
Want to try it? Purchase it from us; or check your local grocery store for Cabot cheese powder, usually found alongside the grated Parmesan and other "canned" cheeses.
Place the following in a bowl:
2 3/4 cups (326g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (35g) Vermont cheese powder or 1/2 cup (57g) finely grated sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt*
1 teaspoon onion powder, optional but tasty
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons (57g) softened butter
1 large egg
2/3 to 3/4 cup (152g to 170g) lukewarm water**
*Use 1 teaspoon salt if you use freshly grated cheese.
**Use the greater amount of liquid in winter or in drier climates; the lesser amount in summer, or in a humid environment.
Beat until the dough comes together.
Continue to beat at high speed for 2 minutes, using an electric mixer equipped with its beater blade, or an electric hand mixer.
Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, to bring the dough into a ball.
If you don't need your mixing bowl for something else, you can let the dough rise right in the covered bowl.
Let it become noticeably puffy, which will take 60 to 90 minutes.
Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 6 pieces; as you can see from the scale reading, each will be about 111g, a scant 4 ounces.
Shape the dough into balls, and place them in the wells of a lightly greased hamburger bun pan. If you don't have a bun pan, space them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Gently flatten the buns with your hand to fill the bottom of the pan's wells, or until they're about 3 1/2" to 4" wide. Cover the buns, and let them rise for 60 to 90 minutes...
...until they're noticeably puffy.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
The buns will have barely crowned above the rim of the pan.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter, and brush each bun with some butter. Don't use all of it; you'll be brushing them again after they're baked.
Bake the buns for about 20 minutes.
They'll puff nicely.
When fully baked, they'll be a light, golden brown.
Their interior temperature will be at least 200°F, measured with an instant-read thermometer.
Remove the buns from the oven, transfer them to a rack, and brush with the remaining melted butter.
This second coating of butter gives the buns a lovely, satiny sheen – to say nothing of great flavor and a soft, tender crust.
Allow the buns to cool completely, then store airtight at room temperature.
Nice interior, eh? Close-grained and tender...
...yet sturdy enough for your biggest burger!
Try these buns at your next cookout – I guarantee, everyone will rave about them.
Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for No-Knead Cheese Burger Buns.