Hey guys! I don't know how I could have forgotten to share this important news on my last post, but truth is--I've got some buns in the oven. It was quite unexpected you could say, as I wasn't planning on it at all this week nor the next. Heck. I really didn't think this could happen at least within the next few years even! I sincerely believed that life would take me in a different direction but alas, I came up with these beautiful and fluffy whole wheat buns after much daydreaming of making galettes for the first time. ;) I'll tackle those galettes soon enough.
It has been a long time since I've baked up some yeasty bread because as you might have guessed, it's one ingredient that I seem to steer away from due to "bad" experiences. Well, I think it's fair to say that once you give yeast a second (or third or fourth) chance and don't go too crazy with the ingredients on your first few tries, it's actually really easy to work with. With that in mind, I didn't make these into 100% wheat as I was afraid I'd end up with gummy bread. I kept it safe by using part whole wheat and part white flour.
I've got to say...Mandy sure knows how to engage you with her volatile writing (read: angry) and amazing food! Her gorgeous photos are sure to make you go gahhhhhhh in front of your screen and ummmmm I think she has the power to take fear away? Fear of making fluffy yeast bread, as evidenced by the upcoming recipe. Although my recipe is far from the ingredients she used, I have to credit her for the all the inspiration and slight adaptations in my own recipe. Note: the next few paragraphs can be quite long so feel free to skip to the recipe.
Trust me in this. You really want to try these cute buns slathered with zesty lavender butter cream! The sweetness mainly comes from the cream of course, but the whole idea of eating fluffy bread with such a fragrant addition is akin to running through lavender fields in France. Not that I've done that...yet. You want to know a fun fact? Back when I was in high school my best class was French. I loved everything about it...everything from the grammar to the tests (yes, I said that), to the cultural lessons, and the fact that I excelled in it. Pretty much the only subject I was good at, hehe. But I digress. Since I was so in love with it all I often contemplated whether I should study abroad in France. Sometimes the dream felt so real. I specifically remember my teacher suggesting to little ol' me that I should take that leap of faith and study abroad. I mean, my teacher liked me? She really really liked me? Enough to want to recommend me to certain universities in France, where lavender fields and endless amount of perfect food await this foodie?! Well, you can probably guess how that went. After prayer and spending time in God's presence I knew that it wasn't the right path for me. Despite my own desires He said no; you see, only He knew best and what marvelous dreams He had in store for me. Yes, at the time I still held on to my honest doubts, wondering if I had heard correctly from Him, but as time went on, those doubts gently faded as I was able to experience more and meet the perfect people for me. Also known as, Greg (and everyone else who has been making a difference in my life).
So where am I going with this? Well first of all, I just wanted to share a bit more about my young(er) days. But I'm also surprised at how much something as seemingly neutral as food can take me back to those fun memories. I may not be able to be in France or run through lavender fields a la Julie Andrews style, but at least I'm able to kick back with a mug of piping hot coffee and these buns slathered in lavender cream. Enjoy, dear friends! And I mean, enjoy whatever you have at the moment because you never know where God is leading you.
Now onto the recipe.
Fluffy Whole Wheat Buns with Lavender Cream
Makes 13-14 servings
Ingredients for whole wheat buns
1 cup+2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp milk of choice
1 large egg+1 egg white
4 tbsp softened butter, diced small
Ingredients for lavender cream
4 tbsp room temperature butter, cubed
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp crushed dry lavender buds
lemon zest of 1/4 of lemon
some lemon juice to smooth out cream
Use your standmixer (or hand mixer) with dough hook attachment. First mix the first three ingredients. Then add honey, salt, and the rest of the ingredients and knead on medium speed for a few minutes until everything is "glued" together. Add tiny bits of white flour if it's too sticky and knead a little longer. It should be somewhat sticky, but still easy to transfer to a large bowl.
After you place it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 50 min.-1 hour. I refrigerated it after that through the night, but I think it's still best to let it rise for 1-2 hours right before baking instead. If you do refrigerate overnight make sure to put it in a warm area to finish up rising for about 1 hour. After that, take small balls with dusted hands and gently stretch them on a lined cookie sheet. Fold it in a taco unto itself, and then two more times in different directions. (kind of like folding towels) Gently make into ball shape and place about 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 18 minutes or golden on top.
Let cool down and make lavender cream. For the cream, just beat all the ingredients and add more lemon juice if it's too rough, but you shouldn't need much of it. With serrated knife slice through the middle of the bread horizontally. Fill with butter cream and voila!
These are extremely soft on the inside, and butter cream has a mild aroma but far from soapy.
Have you studied abroad? Or been to France? What were your experiences like?
Favorite lavender recipe?