Whole wheat burger buns

We forgot to buy some bread for the week for lunches and such so I decided I’d give my hand at making a burger bun to use for sandwiches.  I perused a few different recipes online and cobbled together my own version as below.

Ingredients:

  • Warm milk – 1.5 cups
  • Egg – 1 large
  • Melted butter – 4 Tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 Tbsp
  • Active Dry Yeast – 1 Tbsp
  • Salt – 1.5 tsp
  • Whole wheat flour – 3 cups
  • All-purpose flour – 1.5 cups
  1.  Mix warm milk, egg, melted butter, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and incorporate  until frothy.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2.  In a separate bowl, mix the 2 types of flours and the salt.
  3.  Add wet to dry and mix.
  4.  Dump mixture onto countertop and knead for 5-7 minutes.
  5.  Form into ball and place in oiled bowl and allow to rise (double in size) – ~45 min to 2 hours.
  6.  Punch down, pour onto countertop and separate into 8-10 pieces.
  7.  Let rest for 10 minutes before forming into balls.
  8.  Form each piece into a ball and then flattened to get more hamburger bun shape.
  9.  Allow to rise (mine didn’t rise as much as I’d like).
  10.  Apply egg wash to each bun.
  11.  Pre-heat oven to 380 F
  12.  Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (I did 19 minutes).
  13.  Cover with kitchen towel for 15 minutes – I read this is supposed to help keep the bread rolls soft.

Continue reading “Whole wheat burger buns”

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Pizza dough comparison

Last month I tried a new pizza dough recipe.  A few months before that, I had read in Men’s Health about an easy pizza dough that did not require hours of preparation (I had been using a no-knead dough recipe that required an 18 hour rise (more details below).  I am always looking for both more efficient and tasty recipes for pizza dough.  My wife enjoys the one I had been making but I am all for tweaking and improving so I decided to try this new (to me) recipe.  I was fairly certain I had left the magazine in a spot in my treadmill room but lo and behold it wasn’t there.  I resorted to trying to google the same recipe and don’t know if it was the exact one I had read about initially but I went with it.

Quicker pizza dough ingredients:

  • 6 cups AP flour
  • 2 1/4 cups room temperature water (recipe called for cold water)
  • 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  1.  Add 3 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp yeast to 2 1/4 cups of water in a large bowl and combine
  2. In a separate bowl, mix remaining 3 cups of flour with the salt.
  3. I then added in the flour mix to the flour-water combination (from step 1) and kneaded it within the bowl for about 5 minutes.
  4. I let the dough rest – covered – for 30 minutes.
  5. The dough was separated into 4 (relatively) parts and 3 of them saved in saran wrap and frozen for later use.
  6. I split the dough into 2 balls and made pizzas from them.

Continue reading “Pizza dough comparison”

2017 Year-end wrap-up

2017 Year-end wrap-up

I know that I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time.  Honestly I ran out of steam.  With the way that this year has gone (from everything in the world to everything in my little world), I just lost all motivation to post.  I drastically decreased my baking though still kept up with running (just not to the degree I had been doing it earlier this year).  I didn’t have any races after my Spring ones so didn’t feel the urge to run a ton and post about it.  I did work on increasing my running intensity (doing intervals on the treadmill and outside), which I think is good for my overall fitness.

There have been a lot of other big things going on such as re-doing our entire kitchen and taking up a new hobby.  Since I know this blog isn’t really read regularly or even much at all, I’m going to jot down some notes/thoughts from the past year mostly so I remember it.

Early 2017 involved some big changes at work with new co-workers that I worked with closely.  I enjoyed it as I got to put on a different work hat — that of being a mentor.  Also there were a ton of staffing changes and something I’ve started to be more comfortable with, which is change.  I’ve always been the type to like everything to stay fairly constant.  Change is/was always a scary word to me.  I need to take the advice of my father, who has the philosophy to “go with the flow” (of the river…or life).  I think that at least with regards to work, I’ve become better at adjusting to changes.

The highlight of the early part of 2017 was two-fold.  Japan (see posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) and the Big Sur Marathon.  While I was sick for the latter half of the Japan trip, it was still such an amazing place to visit and great experience.  The Big Sur Marathon was a bucket-list marathon and I’m still amazed I got in on the first go around with the lottery system.  Even though I bonked (and didn’t have the best taper leading up to the race due to Japan), I still enjoyed the experience overall.  Most likely I’ll never do it again so it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  Plus you can’t beat visiting Monterey/Carmel.

The latter half of 2017 was focused mostly on the kitchen.  At some point I’ll probably put up some posts about it since it was a big part of the year.  I’m happy with the outcome and glad that it is done with.

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Sneak peek

A trip down to San Diego at the end of the year was a nice way to cap it off as well.  Again, I somehow was sick for this trip as well so even though I didn’t feel the greatest, I still enjoyed it because it is San Diego! Continue reading “2017 Year-end wrap-up”

Paris Baguette and Back to bread (whole wheat sandwich bread)

Paris Baguette and Back to bread (whole wheat sandwich bread)

A few weeks ago I ventured out to try some new things after a doctor visit.  I had fasted overnight and before the appointment so I could get some blood pulled.  However that left me hungry after my visit.  I decided to try one of our local coffee roasters that has cold brew coffee on nitro.

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First impression was that it looked like a beer.  It had a nice foamy head and was nice and chilled.  I must say that when taps use nitro, it certainly makes for a much smoother mouth feel of the liquid.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first cold brew coffee on nitro.  I got the coffee at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters.  It’s a quaint little coffee shop that is no frills.

With my coffee in hand, I headed over to the relatively new Paris Baguette.   This chain recently moved up here to northern California after I guess it grew big in southern California.  This bakery reminds me of a Taiwanese bakery called 85 Degrees.  You walk in and grab a tray and all the bread/pastry products are out on trays or in cubbies.  You pick what you want and then take your tray to the register to pay and order drinks as well.  I ended up getting a buttered croissant, chocolate croissant, and a croissant with an italian sausage in the middle.  They were all delicious.

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———– Continue reading “Paris Baguette and Back to bread (whole wheat sandwich bread)”

Mt. Whitney Hike

Mt. Whitney Hike

***I wanted to document some past hikes/trips that I’ve taken.  I actually wrote the following shortly after the hike (way back in 2001).  I made some minor edits to the text but overall they are my words from 16 years ago. ***

It all started while I was still at school. During spring quarter of my freshman year at Northwestern University, my dad sent me an e-mail asking if I would like to participate in a hiking trip.  He informed me that the trip would be to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states.  Other aspects of the trip comprised of the group being made up of five individuals.  I was the only one under the age of fifty.  The other group members included my father, my uncle, Mr. I-fu Shih, and Mr. Hsu.

To prepare for this hiking expedition, our group held practice hikes at a nearby mountain.  Mount San Antonio, a.k.a. Mount Baldy, is the third highest peak in the southern California area.  With a peak elevation of 10,064 feet, our group traversed this peak once as an entire group.  However, each member individually climbed the peak at least twice, sometimes three times, in his own separate groups.  These climbs were to help ensure that we would be in shape and ready for hiking the many miles of Mount Whitney.  There are four different trails one can take to reach the top of Mount Baldy.  I have taken two of the four routes.  The first route requires taking a chair lift to the start of the trailhead.  From the trailhead, the peak can be reached in 3.7 miles with an elevation gain of around 2,000 feet.  The other trail is considerably more difficult.  With an elevation gain close to 3,500 feet, the trail continuously climbs upwards, pushing my body’s limit.  That trail has a length of 4.3 miles.  A separate hiking experience I had to further my training occurred while on vacation in Alaska.  One of the expeditions offered at Juneau was a hiking trip.  I decided to take this expedition to help keep myself ready for hiking in the wilderness.  One other preparation tool I had been taking advantage of was that of running.  I would jog at least a mile everyday for a few weeks prior to our trip to Mount Whitney. Continue reading “Mt. Whitney Hike”