Soft and Fluffy Hamburger Buns

Burger Buns

I love a burger on a soft bun with a super crispy crust. I guess everybody does… This is an easy recipe that involves no kneading but patience.

I ended up creating three different recipes and methods for a perfect bun. I always want to create something quick and easy for everybody to be able to make it. But one thing I have realized was… There does not exist a descent yeasted bread or bun that is QUICK to make. No, bread takes time and you need patience. Understand the dough that you work with and give it enough time to relax before you heat it up!

This is a super easy recipe that does not need to be kneaded. Instead you will do a few stretch and fold session. Please see this video below to explain the stretch and fold.

Stretch and Fold Method Tutorial

To get a recipe for perfect hamburger patties, follow this link.

Ciabatta 100% Hydration

Ciabatta 100% Hydration

Please read the article before you attempt to bake this high hydration ciabatta. For beginner bakers, I would advise to first experiment with my other recipe called “Easy Ciabatta“.

So what does 100% Hydration mean? It simply means that you use the same amount of water and flour. This recipe uses 500g Bread Flour and 500g Water. It’s a simple calculation: 500g Flour / 500g Water x 100 = 100%. Where the other ciabatta recipe uses 500g Bread Flour and 400g Water and that calculates to an 80% hydration.

What should I know before attempting this recipe? Ok, for starters, you won’t be able to knead this dough. You either mix it by using a stand mixer with the beating attachment OR you can do a series of the stretch and fold method. Secondly, because of the sloppy dough, it is very difficult to shape and you need some experience. But hey, watch the video and see for yourself…

Watch the video for a better understanding of this wet dough.

What method should I attempt, the mixer of stretch and fold? Personally, I would do the stretch and fold method. It is hands-on, and you get a better understanding of how gluten forms because you can actually feel it tighten as you do the stretch and folds. Yes, it is quicker with a machine, but where is the fun in baking? If you decide to use the machine it should at least run for 10 – 12 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and it forms a ball in the center of the bowl.

Ciabatta 100% Hydration
Just look at all those air holes!

What is the difference between 80% and 100% loaves? Only the air holes. That is it. With the 80% hydration ciabatta, you do get air holes but not as prominent as the 100% hydration ciabatta. The wetter the dough, the bigger the air holes.

What are the instructions if I want to make this bread with a machine mixer? Ok, that is simple: Add the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar (if using sugar) into the bowl of a stand mixer with the BEATING attachment. Not the dough hook. Turn the mixer on at a medium speed and slowly add the water. Beat for at least 10 – 12 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball in the center of the bowl. Continue as from point 5 in the recipe instructions, see below.

Why is the water measured in grams and not milliliters? I have zillions of measuring cups and jugs… and not one of them is correct. Therefore I believe in weighing the water rather than to hope it is the right amount. Electronic scales are really not that expensive and I would recommend using one instead of measuring cups.

What should the water temperature be? Personally, with this recipe and the use of instant yeast, I prefer to use room temperature water. The biggest reason why I prefer room temperature water is that it takes longer to proof. With a longer proof, the gluten gets more time to develop and you will have more air holes in the final dough.

Any other tips for working with such a wet dough? There are always tips. Coat the knife or bench scraper with olive oil when cutting the dough. That will help that the dough does not stick to the knife.

Easy Ciabatta

ciabatta

Baking a fresh ciabatta could not be easier. Follow the easy recipe and instructions. A step-by-step video is also provided to make the process easier. Happy baking!

This is a quick recipe and is not the authentic ciabatta that is originally made with a biga (starter). You will still get air holes in your bread but not as much as with the original recipe or the 100% Hydration Ciabatta recipe. For beginner bakers, I would advise to start off with this recipe and then move on to the other recipes.

What are the instructions if I want to make this bread with a machine mixer? Ok, that is simple: Add the flour, yeast, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on at a medium speed and slowly add the water and oil. Beat for at least 5 – 8 minutes. Continue as from point 6 in the recipe instructions, see below. DO NOT expect big air holes using this method.

Why is the water measured in grams and not milliliters? I have zillions of measuring cups and jugs… and not one of them is correct. Therefore I believe in weighing the water rather than to hope it is the right amount. Electronic scales are really not that expensive and I would recommend using one instead of measuring cups.

Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread

This is a super-easy way to always have a fresh loaf of bread ready for any occasion.

You are probably thinking how is this possible? How can you not knead a yeasted bread? Well, the short answer is: water and time.

Hydration (i.e. water)

When it comes to bread baking, you will always hear us talk about the hydration levels. Now that refers to the amount of water compared to the amount of flour we use in a recipe. A normal yeasted bread that you have to knead will be around 60% hydration. The more water we use, the sloppier the dough and that makes it impossible to knead by hand. Therefore we give high hydration dough’s, time to rest so that the gluten-strands can develop as if it was needed. There is only one method, called the stretch and fold method, that you will have to do before you let it rest overnight, which I will explain by means of videos.

To calculate the hydration levels of a bread recipe all you need to do is add all the flour together and all the water (and other liquid ingredients) together and get the percentage thereof: For example, If the recipe reads: 300g Bread Flour, 200g Cake Flour, 275g Water and 50g Oil, you will have a total of 500g flour and 325g oil. The hydration percentage will be 325 divided by 500 and multiplied by 100 and that equals a 65% hydration level. FOR SOURDOUGH BAKERS: remember to add the flour and water of the starter to the formula to calculate the hydration level.

Time

A high hydration (that is not kneaded) needs to proof longer (at cooler temperatures) than lower hydration breads so that the gluten-strands can develop by allowing the flour to absorb all the water. If you are using commercial yeast, you will have a bulk proof of about 2 – 3 hours at room temperature and then you will rest the dough in the fridge for a further 12 – 24 hours before use. Not only does this improve the gluten-strands but it also creates a beautiful “sourdough” taste. The longer it rests, the better it tastes. This type of dough can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. So if you make a large batch of this dough, you can simply cut a chunk off, shape it into a loaf. Let it rest on the prepared baking tray until doubled in size and then bake… As easy as A, B, C.

About the videos on this page

All videos used on this page to demonstrate the different methods and techniques were created with an 80% (super wet) hydration dough.

Video 1: Stretch and Fold Method

Video 2: Shaping the Loaf

Video 3: Ready to Bake

Basic Focaccia

Focaccia
Focaccia

This dough requires you to use the stretch and fold method. Watch this easy video tutorial on how to do it.

Hot Cross Buns