I'll take a time warp here and jump back to Saturday. I don't think it's particular necessary to write about my food making adventures after I've already discussed them in depth. However, I'll do it anyway because I have some close up pictures of the hamburgers I made. So self promoting, I know. I must be a really awful person somehow.
Most things I learn online so much of what follows can be credited to that. I picked up half a pumpkin at the store and baked it for about 35-40 minutes per the instructions for making a pumpkin puree. Then the skin is scraped off which is surprisingly tasty to eat. Then it's chopped into chunks and crushed with a potato smasher. Then I blended it as best as possible. It came out more like canned pumpkin consistency but truth be told I prefer the thickness. This made about 4 cups of pumpkin. 3 cups went into bags to stay in the freezer for future use.
After preparing the pumpkin I went on to make these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting inside. I've never made muffins by myself but I don't let my inexperience stop me from trying. There was a butter/cinnamon/flour crumb on top which kind of melted into the batter during cooking. These were wonderful. I'll make these again for sure. Next time I need to leave the batter more lumpy. It's funny how after I bake something I go and look for pertinent information on the process only to find out I did things somewhat wrong. Regardless, most of what I make doesn't come out bad.
Somewhere between everything I had going on in the kitchen, I made up this batch of vanilla extract. It won't be ready for 2 months but I can wait. Essentially you take 8oz of cheap vodka and split about three vanilla beans. Then you combine the two in a jar, bottle, or container that is easily sealed tight. In the end you have a very lovely vanilla extract to use for baking, mixed drinks, or whatever else you can imagine. I loved the suggestion of having a vanilla infused glass of coke. That sounds great. I enjoyed vanilla coke back in the day and sometimes wish I still could have it. In 2 months I might just make it myself.
Kaiser rolls. I don't even know what a kaiser roll is. But they sure sounded and looked delicious. I've been on the hunt for a legit hamburger bun recipe and so far the two recipes I made were somewhat lacking. The first ones were too yeasty and dense. The second ones were too flat and the flavor wasn't impressive. I somehow stumbled upon a blog where the author was using kaiser rolls for burger buns. They looked wonderful paired together. Kaiser rolls are traditionally used on deli type sandwiches but they can be eaten alone or with anything. These were by far the most time consuming process of my baking over the weekend. I made an initial dough that was fermented one hour at room temperature, then was left overnight in the fridge. The following day during my other baking activities I let the dough come back to room temperature. I then took the fermented dough and added an entire new batch of dough to it that I had just made. The second recipe had a few extra ingredients but was relatively similar to the first batch of dough. The two doughs were then worked together and after kneading were left for about 2 hours to rise. Following that the dough was then weighed into equal size balls and formed into kaiser roll shapes. Then the rolls were sheeted and left to rise another 2 hours prior to baking. In the end these rolls came out better than I could imagine. Even today (Monday) the rolls still have great texture and flavor. Don't forget that I made these mostly for hamburgers so lets move on to that which was on Sunday.
Can't get much more typical American than this. I was grinning when I took this picture. My lovely burger making station. Perfectly laid out. Everything I need within an arms reach. Great for me. I'm enjoying the added flexibility of cooking options with the grill I bought. As Dad put it, nothing beats meat cooked over fire. I'll never disagree. Lets take a closer look at those toasted kaiser rolls that were the foundation for my burger patties.
That's what I'm talking about. THOSE are hamburger buns. I stepped into another level of burger making with these golden nuggets of starch and yeast.
There is the assembled burger in all its glory. Next time I'll make my burgers a bit thinner to fit the kaiser rolls better. It might be a strange layering of toppings too. Oh well, I burger at my own discretion. I ate two of these along with a small side of french fries. Couldn't forget those now could we? Reminds me of many a meal back home. Typically delicious in the most basic of ways. Let people laugh at Americans all they want for their supposed burger and pizza culture. They don't know what they are missing.
Now if I can only manage to ration myself on those pumpkin muffins and remaining rolls...