Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vietnamese Sub Buns - Banh Mi Baguettes


In preparation for a Mothers Day feast I started cooking yesterday and ended up getting involved in numerous projects. The main goals were to make ricotta cheese for ricotta gnocchi and grind pork butt to make hot Italian sausage. When I was starting out we didn't have dinner plans and tried to make my efforts stretch over a couple meals that were totally different but still used some of the base components of each other. When making fresh cheese you end up with the cheese curds and liquid whey. I had read somewhere that the liquid whey is great to use when making bread as opposed to just water. I am glad that I read that because I made amazing baguettes for Vietnamese subs.
The buns had a great golden crust and light fluffy middles.
Here is the link for making cheese to get the whey:   Homemade Cheese 
Something magical happened when I was making the dough for these buns. I added all the ingredients to the stand mixer and started the dough hook. When it got going it formed a dough ball that cleaned the sides of the bowl and proofed quickly doubling in size. I have always had to play around with the liquid/flour ratio to get a nice consistency, (this could probably be avoided if I weighed and sifted my flour instead of flinging it into the bowl straight out of the flour bag).


Ingredients:
  •  4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups warm whey (I took it from the pot right after I was done heating the milk)
Directions:

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and whey in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to double in volume (10 min).
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix with the dough hook for a around 10 mins.
  3. When a smooth dough ball forms, lightly oil the bowl and place the ball in it to proof until it doubles in size. I covered mine with plastic wrap and a tea towel then left it in the warm oven for an hour.
  4. Punch down the dough popping all the little bubbles that have formed.
  5. Divide the dough into however many baguettes you want, then form them into the baguettes. I made four (there is a technique of rolling the dough but I didn't bother with it as I already was struggling with making about 4 other things at the same time).
  6. Put the loaves on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for another 30- 40 mins. Cut a line down the middle of the buns.
  7. Bake at 425, for 20 mins, or until they are golden brown. I put a little water in another dish in the oven to get more moisture into the buns.
I baked all four buns on one baking tray and there were too close to each other so the sides didn't get as golden as I wanted.

 
 

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