Quick and Easy Burger Buns

I love summer. Easy living, late nights, sleepy mornings and all the in-season and fresh fruits and veggies. We love using our grill in the summertime, and while I do keep some store-bought burger buns as backup in my freezer, these quick and easy burger buns taste SO much better and only take an hour, start to finish. They are the perfect burger bun for your next grilling party or when you want dinner to taste delicious. If you have a little more time, I love these delicious brioche burger buns, but for quick and easy these buns are my go-to recipe.

Quick Yeast Risen Burger Buns

These burger buns are quick-mixed and kneaded to develop the gluten. After kneading, shape the dough into buns and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes until they are ready to bake…all of this happens in just about an hour. If you are preparing dinner and want a quick/easy/delicious burger bun, make these first! By the time your dinner is ready, these buns will have risen and baked, leaving you with the most delicious dinner.

  • 20 minute Mix/knead/rest/shape
  • 30 minute Rise time
  • 15 minute Bake

Mixing Burger Bun Dough

To make this process quicker and easier, I like to use a stand mixer to mix the burger bun dough. For large batches of dough, I prefer using the Bosch Mixer. For smaller batches of dough and when I don’t want to clean my Bosch, I will pull out my trusty KitchenAid mixer. This recipe would do well in either of those mixers, or you could mix the dough by hand, though it will take a little longer. Pour the warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, egg and oil to the bottom of a stand mixer. With the dough hook running, add the flour a cup at a time. Watch as the flour incorporates into the dough and add more after it’s been absorbed. To know that no more flour is needed, pinch off a piece of dough and roll it up into a ball in your fingers. If you can form a ball with just a bit of sticky residue left, it is ready. The dough should be tacky but not overly sticky. You can also check the sides of your mixing bowl. When the dough pulls away from the sides or is all on one side (Bosch), stop adding flour. Make sure to knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes to develop the gluten and add a little bit more flour as necessary during this process. If you choose to knead by hand, add a few minutes to the kneading process.

Does Yeast Bread Need a Bulk Rise?

Most yeast-based recipes call for a bulk rise, or first rise before shaping the bread dough. This first rise is especially important if using dry active yeast or sourdough to raise bread. A first rise before shaping the dough also can help the dough to have more flavor, better gluten development and a better crumb. The question is: how much better? For these quick and easy burger buns, we may sacrifice a tiny bit of flavor/crumb/gluten development but we get a delicious scratch-made yeast bun in about an hour. This is made possible using instant yeast. Typically, I like using a first/bulk rise in most of my bread recipes. But for burger buns, when I’m in a time crunch, I’ll take these delicious buns any day. If you would like to add a first rise to this recipe, go ahead and splash a little oil in a bowl. Transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover and let rise. Then proceed with the recipe as written.

How to Shape Burger Buns

Burger buns are shaped the same way as a typical roll recipe. First separate the dough into 12 equal pieces. Take each piece of dough and pull/pinch up the sides until it forms a ball. Roll the ball on the counter using your hand in a cupping shape (as seen in the video below) to seal the balls and create tension for the dough to rise. I also like rolling the ball of dough on the countertop between my two hands to create tension. After rolling the balls and placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, take your hand and press down on the tops of the buns just a bit to flatten them. This will help them bake into more of a burger shape than a traditional roll.

Quick, 30 Minute Rise

Allow the burger buns to rise for about 30 minutes. To accomplish a fast rise in the hot summer is easy. Cover with a dishtowel and place them out on your counter to rise. If your kitchen runs cool or you are baking them on a cold day, cover the buns and stick them in your oven with the pilot light turned on. DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON. The heat from the pilot light and closed oven will act as a “proofing” box to help the buns to rise quickly. Once they have puffed up, remove them from the oven and egg wash before baking.

Egg Wash Burger Buns for Golden Brown Finish

Egg wash is one of those steps that I always regret when I forget! Adding egg wash to the top of burger buns makes them look so much more professional and taste delicious. For buns that only bake for 15 minutes, they help them get the brown color you look for in a burger bun while still being soft and chewy inside. Lightly beat an egg with a fork in a small bowl. Add a splash of water and whip together with the fork. Using a pastry brush (I’ve also used a paper towel in a pinch), gently top each bun with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Delicious and Fast Burger Buns

Bake the burger buns at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Let them cool completely before slicing, toasting and using for a delicious burger. These burger buns are perfect for your next summer BBQ. They hold up to ALL the toppings and make each bite of burger a little bit of heaven. I’m not sure if I like the bun or the burger better!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does yeast dough only need to rise once?

Typically yeast dough needs a first rise and second rise (and sometimes even a third rise!). Using instant yeast allows some yeast dough to cut out the first rise. Instead the dough is kneaded, shaped and then allowed to proof (or rise) before being baked. You may sacrifice a little on texture, flavor and gluten development but with a proper proofing and instant yeast, the difference is negligible for burger buns.

How do I store leftover homemade burger buns?

Burger buns can be left out up to 12 hours. After 12 hours, stick the leftover buns in a ziplock bag and freeze. When ready to use, pull out a bun and let it come to room temperature. Toast if desired, and use.

How can I encourage dough to rise more quickly?

Cover the dough and place it in an oven with the pilot light on. DO NOT TURN ON THE OVEN. Let the dough rise in this “make-shift” proofing box until ready.

Can this dough be used to make hot dog buns too?

Yes. This dough is perfect for hot dog buns. Instead of rolling the dough into balls, shape them into logs and proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Looking for another great one-hour recipe? Try out these one-hour or less yeast rolls!

Quick and Easy Burger Buns

Burger buns that take an hour from start to finish. These buns are light, tender and the perfect complement to a nice juicy burger. Life is too short for store-bought burger buns! Give these a try for your next family BBQ.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rise time: 30 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 buns

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups warm water temperature of baby's bathwater
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 – 6 cups flour see recipe notes
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • splash of water for egg wash
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling on top if desired

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm water, instant yeast and sugar. Wait until you smell a yeasty smell from the mixture which tells you the yeast is active and ready to work.
  • Add the lightly beaten egg, olive oil and salt to the stand mixer.
  • With the dough hook running, add the flour a cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Pinch off a chunk of dough. It should roll into a ball in your fingers with just a little bit of sticky residue remaining. If it doesn't, add a little bit more flour a few Tablespoons at a time until no more flour is needed. Knead the dough for 8 minutes until soft and tacky. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten.
  • Lightly flour a surface and turn the dough out onto your work surface. Tip: If you'd like to let the dough bulk rise, shape the dough into a ball, splash a little oil in a bowl and lightly cover the dough with oil. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled. Then proceed with the recipe as written.
  • Cut the dough into twelve equal pieces. Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Pull pieces of the dough up into the center, forming a tight ball. You can see how I shape rolls here.
  • Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet (affiliate link). Put your hand on top of each roll and lightly push down to form a wider burger shape.
  • Cover the rolls and place them in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Sometimes I will leave them in the oven with the pilot light on (do not turn the oven on) to encourage a good, quick rise.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the oven preheats, mix together the egg wash: crack the egg and add a splash of water. Lightly brush the egg wash over each bun. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  • Bake the buns for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and enjoying with your burgers.

Notes

Flour: I prefer to use bread flour (a higher protein content) with these burger buns. If you use bread flour you will need about 5-5.5 cups of flour. I’ve also made these buns with all purpose flour (lower protein content) and they’ve turned out well. I use about 6 cups of flour when using all purpose flour.  
Keyword burger bun

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

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The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

I had big dreams this year of planting a large beautiful garden and watching it grow all summer long. This did not happen. My big beautiful garden did not grow very well this summer (thank you bunnies, weird weather and a somewhat last-minute long-distance road trip that kept me from tending to the garden much throughout the summer). I was hoping for big, beautiful zucchini to sauté as a side to any meal, turn into our favorite zucchini boats or make many loaves of this amazing zucchini bread. This zucchini bread is light, tender, fluffy and uses up some of the sourdough discard that I always seem to have lurking in the back of my fridge. Lucky for me, my local farmers market and grocery store carry lots of zucchini this time of year.

Sourdough Discard in Zucchini Bread

If you have zucchini coming out your ears and sourdough discard taking over your fridge, this recipe is for you! I love using sourdough discard in recipes, not only for the little tang it gives but also because I’m not a fan of wasting food. This recipe uses ½ cup of sourdough discard directly from your fridge (you can also use bubbly sourdough starter) and it enhances the flavor of this delicious zucchini bread. If you don’t have sourdough starter, don’t worry. You can still make an awesome loaf of zucchini bread: Omit the sourdough starter. Add 2 cups of flour instead of 1 2/3 cups and 1/4 cup of milk to the batter. That’s it. I made both recipes side by side (pictured above) and both were delicious. You don’t need sourdough starter to make this delicious loaf, but if you have it on hand, it is the perfect way to use up some of your sourdough discard.

Wring Out the Zucchini 

Did you know that 1 cup of chopped zucchini is made up of 90% water? Because of this high water content, it’s important to wring out the zucchini a bit before adding it to the recipe. The pictures below show the easy way I do this. Take a box grater, shred the zucchini and then use a paper towel to wring the zucchini. I give it about three squeezes over my sink and call it good. This little extra step will help your zucchini bread to turn out perfectly moist and delicious.

Baking Temperature and Time

One of the tricks I’ve learned over the years I’ve been baking is to bake quickbread, like zucchini bread, at a high temperature for the first 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to finish the longer bake time. The high heat helps activate the baking powder giving a nice lift and rounded dome shape to your loaf of zucchini bread. This zucchini bread takes about an hour to bake. I like to stick a knife or toothpick in the center to see if it’s completely baked all the way through. Depending on the temperature of your oven it may need more or less time.

Quick Mix. Long Bake. Delicious Zucchini Bread

Whatever way you slice it, this zucchini bread is delicious. It is tender, moist and perfect to gift this time of year. It is my kids’ favorite way to eat zucchini. They do eat other preparations of zucchini, though maybe not as willingly. If I only had to make one zucchini bread recipe for the rest of my life, this would be the one. It is that good! I hope you enjoy it too.

The Best Zucchini Bread with Sourdough Discard

Amy
Light, fluffy, tender and absolutely delicious, this zucchini bread recipe is perfect for using up garden zucchini and sourdough discard.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Bread, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf of zucchini bread

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 Tablespoons Greek Yogurt (sour cream can be substituted in a pinch)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line an 8.5 by 4.5 loaf pan (you can also use a 9 by 5 loaf pan) with parchment paper.
  • Wash 1 lb of zucchini and chop off the ends. Use a box grater (affiliate link) to shred the zucchini. Grab a sheet or two of paper towel. Add the shredded zucchini to the middle of the paper towel and wrap the zucchini up to form a ball. Squeeze the paper-towel ball of zucchini over the sink 2-3 times to wring most of the water out of the zucchini. Continue this process until you have 1 ½ cups of shredded zucchini.
  • To a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Stir together with a fork until fluffy and combined. Add the zucchini and stir until the zucchini is spread throughout the dry mixture and thoroughly combined.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure out ½ cup of sourdough starter. Add the eggs, vegetable oil and greek yogurt. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the liquids to the dry ingredients. Mix together with a fork or spoon until just combined (over-mixing will result in tough zucchini bread and nobody wants that).
  • Pour the zucchini bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. This helps ensure a nicely domed loaf of bread.
  • After 10 minutes reduce the temperature to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Insert a toothpick or sharp knife into the center of the bread to check if it is ready. If it comes out clean with no streaks of batter, it is ready! If it has streaks of wet batter, bake it a little longer and check again.
  • Allow the zucchini loaf to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf pans. Move the loaf to a cooling rack and cool completely before digging in. Enjoy!

Notes

To make an absolutely amazing loaf of zucchini bread without the sourdough discard, omit the sourdough discard. Increase the all purpose flour to 2 cups. Add ¼ of milk  to the liquid ingredients before mixing with the batter.
 

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a very small amount from qualifying purchases.

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas. Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

I love oatmeal. My kids love oatmeal. It is one of those comforting foods that reminds me of childhood. When I was little, my grandma used to make giant pots of oatmeal on the stove, which she called “mush.” I remember picking fresh raspberries to add to my “mush” from her raspberry bushes. My mom, also an oatmeal lover, would serve our oatmeal with a bowl of brown sugar and a miniature pitcher of fresh, heavy cream. What little kid wouldn’t want to put mounds of brown sugar and cream on oats with a few raspberries thrown in? It was heaven!

I am sorry to say that when I became a mom my kids did not have the same access to the mounds of brown sugar and heavy cream that I did as a child (eeek!). Instead I love mixing their oatmeal with applesauce, fresh berries and a small teaspoon of brown sugar on the top. My kids still love it and I can rest a little easier knowing it is healthier than what I was served as a child! All this to say that we love anything oats around our house…and this honey oat bread is no exception.

I love the texture the oats bring to this bread and the subtle sweetness from the honey (or brown sugar if you choose). I pulse the oats in a blender before adding them to this recipe, which breaks them down a bit and lends to a more tender crumb. This bread is so delicious straight out of the oven, or even a few days later if you slice and freeze it. It is soft, tender but still sturdy enough for sandwiches. I think it’s almost as good as a bowl of hot oatmeal with some cream and sugar. I hope you enjoy it too.

Yield: 2 loaves of bread

Time: 10 minute mix, 2-3 hours rise, 35-40 minute bake

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of old fashioned (rolled) oats
  • 2 ½ cups warm water
  • 6 Tablespoons honey (or brown sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • ¼ cup of vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups bread flour

Directions:

Let the dough rise just a little above the loaf pan before baking. It will rise more in the oven.
  1. Pour your oats into a blender and pulse a couple of times. You want to break down the oats just a little bit. You will still have some bigger oats but most of them will be fairly small.
  2. Mix the warm water, instant yeast and sugar in a stand mixer and let sit for a minute. If you are using dry active yeast, allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has fully activated. 
  3. With the dough hook running on the mixer, add the vegetable oil, salt, lightly ground oats and flour a cup at a time. As the dough comes together, continue adding flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. I tend to add flour based on feel instead of measurement. The dough should be a little sticky but easy to work with. 
  4. After kneading for 5 minutes, pull off a small chunk of dough and roll it into a ball. If it rolls into a ball with a little residue left on your fingers, you don’t need to add anymore flour.
  5. Put a drop of oil in a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel (or plastic wrap) and let rise in a warm place. To encourage rising I will sometimes turn the light on in my oven (don’t turn the oven on) and place my covered dough inside the oven (not directly under the light). This acts as a “proofing” box and will keep the temperature warm for a quicker rise.
  6. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn the dough out onto the counter. Cut the dough in half (this recipe makes two loaves of bread) and working with the first half, shape into a rectangle. You will be rolling the dough into a cylinder shape. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll up the dough. Take care to press in the dough at the seam after each roll and pinch the seam closed at the end.
  7. Transfer the dough, seam side-down to a bread pan. I use an 8.5 by 4.5 bread pan. Repeat with the second loaf of bread. Cover and let rise again, about an hour in a warm place. The dough should just rise a little bit over the top of the bread pan (it will rise more in the oven). 
  8. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top. Top with melted butter if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: If you’d like to add some nuts, seeds or dried fruit to this recipe, I think they would work well here. Add them in after the first rise when you deflate the dough, shape it and put it in the pans to rise. You can also egg wash the top of the bread loaves and add some oats to the top if you wish.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Easy White Dinner Rolls

Did you grow up eating a special weekly dinner with your family? Maybe every night was a home-cooked meal. In my family we would look forward to the weekly Sunday dinners my dad cooked. It usually consisted of meat and potatoes or “rice-a-roni” (my childhood favorite). We would sit at our big dining room table and pass around plates of steaming hot food, family-style. Green beans, cheesy broccoli, pan fried pork, salmon, steak, the list goes on. Every Sunday was a little bit different but always delicious. When I started contributing to the meal I’d often make crescent rolls or bake some bread using our ancient bread machine. If only I’d had the recipe for these easy white rolls, I’m sure they would have made many appearances at our dinner table.

These rolls are fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness and one of the simplest recipes you can make. If you’re looking for an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe to start with, make these! They won’t disappoint. You can even make them into hamburger buns (my favorite is with pulled pork and coleslaw on top) or with a dab of butter inside. Whatever way you choose to eat them pull out these simple SIX ingredients and get baking. 

Notes: I always double this recipe and make a big batch of these rolls because my kids gobble them up. They are easy to freeze, a big crowd pleaser and let’s face it…when I don’t know what to make for dinner and can pull these out to put with some fruit, nuts and meat my kids think my kitchen skills are top notch 🙂 I also portion my rolls fairly small. You can change the portion size depending on your preference. If you do, you may need to adjust for baking time.

Yield: 24 small rolls

Time: 15 minutes mix/knead, 2 hours rise, 10-12 minutes bake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3/4 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar (honey, or other sweetener)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 -4 cups all purpose flour (I’ve made them with whole wheat flour before too, they won’t be quite as fluffy…half whole wheat and half all purpose will yield best results and adding a little vital wheat gluten helps with the tenderness)

Directions

1. Mix together water, instant yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt and 3 cups of flour. Use a mixer or your hands. As you add in your final cup of flour, check the dough. If it’s overly sticky, keep adding flour. The dough should be able to roll into a ball in your hand but should still be a little sticky. That’s the feeling you are looking for. Continue mixing the dough (mixer with dough hook or attachment) 3-5 minutes OR turn it out on a floured surface and knead about 5 minutes. Add more flour as needed (it should still be a little sticky but form a ball).

2. Put a teaspoon of oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Coat the dough with the small amount of oil (this keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl). Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place about an hour or until doubled in size. 

3. Turn risen dough out onto your workspace and portion into 24 pieces. I eyeball the dough and use my dough cutter (or a sharp knife). If you use a kitchen scale each ball should be about 1.4 ounces.

4. Shape each piece of dough into a round ball and place on parchment-lined (this keeps the bottoms from burning) baking sheet. Your baking sheet should be able to fit 24 of these rolls. Check out my Instagram tutorial “Easiest Rolls” for shaping help.

5. Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let rolls rise until doubled in size.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once rolls have doubled in size bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through if possible. Once the rolls brown on top, pull them out of the oven and brush melted butter on the tops. For convenience I take a stick of cold butter from my fridge and lightly touch the tops of the hot rolls for the perfect shine.

7. Enjoy warm, at room temperature or freeze a few for later. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for a simple recipe to start with, don’t hesitate to make these delicious rolls. They are a sure-fire crowd-pleaser and a great way to get your feet wet in baking with yeast. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions so shoot me a message or let me know in the comments if you give them a try. Yum!

Recipe Source Notes: Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (if you don’t follow her, you should…she’s an inspiration with all of her amazing recipes). I’ve made these so many times that I’ve upped the salt, altered the baking time and size of the rolls I bake.

Flour, Water, Yeast & Salt

Why I love bread and why I want to share that love with you

When I was a child I used to dream about bread. My obsession probably began living in Germany at a young age with a “Baeckerei” around every corner. Fresh baked bread was so delightful with a pat of butter (unsalted all the way). I loved picking up a local “broetchen” (small, circular German bread roll), adding my favorite cheese and going to town. My mom would pack my lunchbox with daily salami and butter sandwiches on crusty bread and to this day it’s one of my go-to comfort foods. 

Me (right) with my sister in our dirndls, as children living in Germany
Brotchen and Butterkaese, my favorite comfort food

As I aged I started my own culinary journey. I was mesmerized by the simplicity of flour, water, salt and yeast. I spent countless hours making homemade pizza on a rectangular baking sheet, dissecting my family’s ancient bread machine and mixing up creations in my childhood kitchen. My best friend and I had dreams of opening our own bakery by the ocean one day…oh the dreams of a teenager! 

Crazy teenager…heading to college 🙂

When I was in college, baking took a bit of a back seat to my studies, but I never lost the desire to bake and create even in a little dorm kitchen (banana bread anyone?!). I married shortly before graduating and then the real fun began…setting up my own kitchen and learning how to bake when I wasn’t teaching elementary school. We welcomed our daughter over ten years ago and I quit my day-job for a new day-job with her at home. My daughter was not quite two when we moved away from family and the western United States to begin a new adventure in Kentucky; the beautiful Bluegrass region.

Shortly after we were blessed with twin boys and even though we survived off freezer meals for the first year of their lives (luckily I have photos to remember that time…everything is so hazy), I continued baking. I spent hours willing my twins to sleep while researching how to grow my own natural leaven and then baking loaf after loaf of sourdough bread with toddlers running between my legs. I started teaching my kids the wonderful world of flour, water, yeast and salt as we created loaves and gifted them to those we loved or knew could use a pick-me-up. This small act of service helped us make friends and feel at home in our new state.

Our young family was given the opportunity to live abroad in Japan and we learned so much from the beautiful culture, kind people and opportunities to travel. We sampled delicious pastries, breads and treats from Japanese bakeries and learned to love rice, noodles and fish. I navigated the world of “hard and soft” flour and learned how to bake a batch of cookies using Japanese ingredients (lots of consumed cookie dough in that trial and error process). My bread baking days took quite the back seat for the year and a half we lived abroad because ingredients were so hard to come by, not to mention $$$. We welcomed our final baby boy during our last few months in Japan and celebrated with delicious naan bread from our favorite local Indian restaurant. 

Moving back to Kentucky brought new challenges with growing kids, making friends, a new house and teaching my kids to love whole wheat everything again; in Japan it was hard to come by. We spent our first summer with the kids out of school baking together every week and I taught my kids the basics: how to smell the ripeness of the yeast, where our flour comes from (our local mill) and how to knead a loaf of bread. Passing this tradition of bread baking to my kids and tasting the love from the hands that have kneaded and worked the bread is part of what makes bread so comforting. Bread takes time. Time to mix. Time to knead. Time to rise. Time to shape. Time to bake. Relationships take time.

Which brings me to today. Why start a blog today? 

My goal is to share with you tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way, and am continuing to learn, and empower you wherever you may fall on the baking spectrum–novice to expert. Get in the kitchen. Grab some flour, water, yeast and salt, and bake. Bake with your kids, your families, your significant other or by yourself. Create the memories. Make the messes and enjoy the experience of a fresh-baked loaf of bread. Ask questions and follow along as we use this space to share recipes, memories, tips, traditions and culture around a little bit of flour, water, yeast and salt.

Happy Baking

-Amy