I found a new grain at a whole foods store and fell in love with the name: Kamut.
My hard white wheat is on the left, the Kamut is on the right.
What is Kamut?
It is Khorasan wheat, a close relative to durum wheat, with a very high protein content (40% more protein than traditional wheat). It is considered a high energy wheat, and loses very little nutritional content when ground. Many stories surround the origin of this wheat; one says this grain was found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, hence the popular nickname, “King Tut’s Wheat.”
This wheat has a golden color and a buttery, sweet taste. You can cut down the amount of sugar in your wheat recipes when you use Kamut.
TIP #1: Make sure your ingredients are between 100°-110°F. If hotter than this, you can kill your yeast. I put my cold eggs into a glass and fill it with HOT tap water and let it sit for 10 minutes.
TIP #2: Use Vital Wheat Gluten with your wheat breads. This is a whole wheat protein powder that will improve the texture, shape, volume, and shelf life of your bread. I only use 1 Tablespoon for every 4-5 cups of flour.
TIP #3: Try “Sponging” your dough. This means combining at least half of your wheat flour with your yeast, vital wheat gluten, and salt with ALL of your wet ingredients (milk, water, oil, honey and eggs) and letting it sit for 20-30 minutes. The wheat flour acts like a “sponge,” soaking up all the wet ingredients.
Sponging accomplishes two things: activates your yeast, and softens the bran in your wheat, giving your bread a lighter texture. You should see little, tiny, bubbles on the surface of your dough, indicating that your yeast is alive and active.
Add the rest of your wheat flour and knead until the dough clings to the hook, and almost cleans the sides. The dough should feel smooth, elastic, tacky, but not sticky.
TIP #5: Use the “windowpane test.” Take a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your fingers. If you are able to pull it without it tearing in the middle and see some light shine through it, you have passed the test for gluten development. If the dough tears in the middle, knead it a couple of minutes longer.
Why is the windowpane test important? It lets you know if you have enough gluten development in your dough to give your bread structure, great rise, crust, and crumb. Breads without this gluten development are usually more dense.
Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap, cover your dough and let it rise in a warm place till double in size.
I love to use a knotted “rosette” shape for my hamburger buns. It is as simple as tying a knot. After shaping, and rising in the pan, I spritz the rolls with water and sprinkle chopped rolled oats on top.
I think King Tut would be happy with this hamburger bun, don’t you think?
King Tut’s Hamburger Buns
- 5 – 5 1/2 cups Kamut flour
- 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Vital Wheat Gluten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil, butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs, room temperature
Bring cold eggs to room temperature by placing whole, uncracked eggs into a bowl or drinking glass and fill with hot tap water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain water.
Put 3 cups of wheat flour into the bowl of electric mixer. Add yeast, gluten, and salt. Mix.
In a separate, microwave safe bowl, combine milk, water, oil and honey. Microwave for 3 minutes, power 50%. Temperature should be between 100°-110°F. Add eggs and pour mixture over wheat flour. Stir and let mixture sit covered, for 20-30 minutes. (Sponging)
Add rest of flour and knead for 10 minutes. Dough should cling to the dough hook, almost clean the sides of the bowl, be soft and tacky, but not sticky. Stretch a small piece of dough between your fingers. Dough should give a “windowpane” without tearing in the middle and allow light to show through.
Cover dough with a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until double in size, 30 – 60 minutes.
Shape as desired. This recipe makes 12 large hamburger buns. Put rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet, Silpat or parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rolls rise till double, about 30-45 minutes.
Bake in a 350°F oven for 18-20 minutes.
Let cool on a wire rack, split and toast for your favorite hamburger.