Many thanks for helping me think this out. I appreciate it.
The part that makes it even more difficult is that the names on the hunks of meat varies from one store to another.
But it appears that I am looking for something from the sirloin.
I don't remember seeing the 190* thing for breaking meat down, but I did the eye round to an internal of 200+ and it was tender but intrinsically dry. Gravy solves that problem and my extremely abnormal family and their kids all love completely over cooked eye round with gravy or on sandwiches the next day without gravy. We are crazy. But I am perhaps too old to change.
However, 160 to 170* internal didn't do it which confirms your research.
But I am looking for a great roast beef sandwich so I have to change a little. I saw pictures of a cooked sliced whole sirloin top butt and it looked right.
I tried the CI method, let it cool, put it in the fridge overnight to slice thin, and I thought it was too tough. I even bought a slicer and I couldn't slice it thin enough to be tender to me. Think about that.
Other more normal people came by and had a sandwich and they said it was Ok. I guess nobody likes eye round sandwiches.
I am not an expert but I read somewhere that collagen coats the muscle fibers. I read somewhere that it begins to break down at 160* internal. When the collagen breaks down, it forms gelatin. And hence tougher meats are more tender.
The pot roast last night went 8 hours and the internal was 161.5 and it wasn't tender, so I lowered the oven to 170* and let it go for 6 more hours. The final internal was 172.3 (seemed weird) and it still wasn't fall apart tender.
Previously, I did one in a crock pot on low for 12 hours and the internal temp was over 200, and it was tender, but a little dry. Remember I am making sandwiches and I slice it thin when it is cold. I reheat the meat and rehydrate it some (an add flavor) by soaking the sliced meat in the juice (not gravy).
So this last attempt was to hold the meat above 160 internal for a long time and then remove the meat when it was tender. It didn't happen. I made a rock. 200* meat in the crock pot is better. My crock pot is old.
My Warner Ware Magnelite 4265-P arrived today. It is essentially a pot. I got no plan for the next meat attempt and I got a rock sitting in the fridge.
So I will get some chuck at Costco. What is the minimum weight that I should cook. I don't want to cook the whole thing. I would like to try 1/4 of the roast so I can try it twice and if I hate it I can grind the remainder as burger.
Additionally, I will get some cooked roast beef at the deli at the grocery store and see it I like that. I will try it cold and also reheated in the juice. What is that made out of (store bought roast beef)?
Arby's is better then my sandwich. They have a better slicer.
If you will, the next time you make a left over cold roast chuck sandwich, make the sandwich as you normally would, cut it in half and take a bite or two from one of the halves. Put it back on the plate and take a picture of the two halves in one picture so we can see the meat color of the uneaten side and the texture of the bitten side and the bun crushing (if any).
Thanks for listening and offering help. In the past, I have solved all the food problems that I have encountered (or I gave up). It takes time and attempts.
A few years ago, I tried to figure out if thin or thick pizza was better. I have been making pizza for years. But I am an artisan and each pizza was different.
I can't remember the exact numbers (I will review my notes), but I think it was 120 grams of dough (69.4% hydration ratio), 85 grams of sauce, I can't remember the cheese but it was probably 112 grams and 10 slices of pepperoni. That is it.
And I varied the diameter of the pizza and cooked it on the stone. Initially, they were all good. 8" was good as was 10". And then I kept making the diameter larger using exactly the same ingredients and the thin pizza was definitely better. Each pizza had 6 slices and each slice had the same calories regardless of the diameter. Thin is better.
I can't make a decent cheese steak bun and I have been trying for years. However, the birds don't seem to mind finding chopped up cheese steak bun in the yard. And I have been making bread for years and it is really hard making great bread at home. You need a good oven.
But I am Ok at bagels and hamburger buns and rolls that you can eat with spaghetti. The loaves are good for toast but not sandwiches. Everyone says the bagels are top notch. I do the poppy seed. and the cinnamon raisin. Bagels are easy. Mucho bang for the buck. Definitely.
I will start some threads in the future and offer advice on some of these subjects, but I am stuck on making a great leftover roast beef sandwich.
I bought the eye round again at Costco. It comes in two halves. I cut each in half and salted them and wrapped in plastic and set in the fridge for 36 hours.
Then I froze 3.
I dried and then coated the last one with oil and peppered it a lot. I then seared it until it was beautiful.
I bought something to lift the beef in the pot by 1/2" and I put the seared roast in the pot in the thing that holds it off the bottom. I deglazed the pan with mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and a smidge of tomato paste, a smidge of wine and a can of beef broth until the pan was clean.
I poured it on the beef in the pot. I added a sheet of tinfoil and the lid and put in a 175 degF oven and checked it in 2 hours.
At 2 hours the internal temperature was 146. I watched the oven temp and it was between 170 and 180'ish. It seem stable. I flipped the meat.
At 3 hours the internal temp was 155.
At 4 hours it was 159. I flipped it.
At 5 hours it was 160.5. The collagen should be breaking down.
At 6 hours it was 161.5. The collagen should be breaking down. I flipped it.
I increased the oven temp to 180.
At 7 hours it was 162. I flipped it. It doesn't feel tender.
I have been above 160 for at least 2 hours. I will check in 15 minutes.
I think I am proving that I can't cook an eye round that I like a lot for the roast beef sandwich of my dreams. How can Roy Rogers do it so easily? Maybe they don't use eye round.
I had a BLT the other day and it was good. The ATK site said to put the bacon in a pan and cover with water. So I did it. It can't be worse then the roast beef sandwiches that I have been eating.
The bacon was great. The bacon cooked great and wasn't curling or having lumps and the stove wasn't a mess when it was done. I will try this again.
I got the non flip up mixer and I got something called an FGA. I am thinking that means food grinder attachment. I think these are the same for all KA stuff. The same with pasta makers which we will talk about later.
The FGA is white plastic with two blades (dies) to grind the meat. $42.95 if you are Amazon Prime. And you can have it before you wake up.
The flap that I have been getting has been butterflied. It is somewhere on the belly. It is a muscle that has been used a lot and therefore has a lot of flavor. It looks like an ugly cut of flank. It looks like the crap that poor people eat. It looks like crap to me. There are other names for it (Wikipedia and other places). I like it so much I am beginning to think that I am poor.
I got Choice flank steak at Costco and it is good and repeatable. I am assuming that everyone in the world can get flank steak. Costco doesn't have flap which should probably cost $2 per pound but they have flank at about 5 or 6. As best I can tell, flank has a smidge less fat but tastes great too.
Once you get the grinder, grind something.
A friend lent me his pasta rollers for the KA. They are a nice thing. It is easy. I am not sure if you had fresh pasta, but it is good. But not with a hamburger.
You definitely need a good bun.
When I started making fresh ground burgers at home - and I am not proud to say this - I also made buns and it was too hard. For a burger I made 55 and 60 and 65 and 70 and 75 and 80 and 85 gram balls of dough for a bun. I let them rise and baked them off. The 65 gram ball was the best answer at that time for a bun.
My suggestion is to get some flank and grind it up. If you can get flap, get it. First you need to try a little piece before you determine what meat YOU like.
But the meat is also good for taco's and spaghetti and meatballs and chili (grind thick) and hot dog chili (grind a few times).
If you have a KB&B around you, you could have it today.
I read all your posts. I am trying to make the best roast beef sandwich and I have wasted many hours searching. Your name comes up all the time. You are an expert. So I take what you say as true.
My Dad was an engineer and I am too. It is a curse. But it is a blessing too. I tend to take notes and I measure everything. I use two probes in a hunk of beef, and I confirm it with the Thermopen.
I love ATK and all their derivatives. I like it when Jack tricks Chris into picking the wrong one.
I get on kicks trying to figure out how to make the best "blank" at home.
I think you do too.
I mean this in no awful way, but I got that episode DVR'ed and the one where Kenji made the Shake Shake burger. Friends come over to watch them shows.
I thought they said flap too and that is what I got. I live in Manassas VA and I shop at Shoppers. They had flap. $4.99 per pound. It looked like a crapy piece of meat, and when I ground it once, it was bright red. I would never in the past bought such a fatty piece of meat. It had fat running all through it.
I think it has less then 10% fat. That shows you what I know. I didn't even add butter like they did. It was good.
Now that I think about it, you are right. I would chill the meat to slice it thin across the grain in the beginning, but then it would be a breeze. The food processor is nice as is the grinding attachment to the KA. But if you want the best burger, doing it the hard way gives you all the control and it has to be better.
Additionally, and I think this is key, anyone who can keep a sharp knife and has access to beef can "grind" their own burger and experience for themselves the true goodness of an old fashioned burger (prior to the pink stuff).
You are a little more then 114% right.
Flap is good, flank is good too.
"Since we started grinding our beef, we will no longer eat burgers in restaurants. It was always a disappointment."
Some restaurants make a great burger so you can enjoy them and not have to do the dishes. But I will do your dishes for $10 if you are lazy.
You are 2000% right. The burgers at home at at least as good as the ones in the restaurants.
I tried for years to make burgers out of store bought burger. You can't do it. It always sucks.
My own ground burger is great. There is nothing better.
I like to go out to Chipotle for Mexican food. I am willing to pay them to do the dishes because they make a lot of stuff and it is good.
I can make a burger at home. You are right.
I can't believe that people let their grinding attachment sit for 4 years before they use it. Mine only sat for about two years before I tried it and it was great. I haven't bought ground meat for a long time and everything is better (taco's, chili, meatloaf, hot dog chili (ground twice) and spaghetti. And meatballs. Did I mention burgers?
Where can you get the pink slime? Maybe that will make it better?
I do to. I am constantly worried when I am grinding meat. It is amazing when you are grinding or cutting beef or other meat how many times you touch other stuff.
I don't mind being too safe if all it takes is a little bleach and some vinegar.
Thanks Bushwickgirl. We need to be reminded of this on occasion.
Plus 30,000 on grind your own. I tried mixing various meats, but the flap meat is good by itself. I am getting flank steak at Costco and it is good too. These meats are in the neighborhood of 90/10.
I got the grinder for the Kitchenaid and it couldn't be simpler. Cut the meat in 1 inch cubes, freeze for 30 minutes or so, grind it up into a bowl. I use the smaller die on the grinder and I grind it once. Use a couple of slices of bread to push the meat out of the grinder and turn it off when the bread starts to come through. Very little waste.
Weigh out 4 ounces (a small patty) and then add some fresh ground pepper. On a plate, loosely form the patty. Add salt to that side. Flip it with a spatula on the plate so you can salt the other side. Be careful because it might break. You want it loose.
Heat a stainless steal pan with a teaspoon of oil in it until it is smoking hot. 2 minutes on each side. Let the burger rest on a clean plate for a minute or so. It is ready. There is no pink, but it isn't dry. I tried for 1:45 minutes per side with little difference. If you want it pink or more red, try 1:30. Or just make the burger thicker.
If you want an 8 ounce burger, you should probably finish in the oven and use a meat thermometer to get the temperature right. I think the general consensus is use a 300 degF oven to sneak up on your desired temperature.
The bun varies to match your toppings. A Wonder bun is Ok if buttered and toasted if the burger is nearly plain (one or two condiments). The Martin's potato rolls can handle more toppings. Then you progress to the Kaiser roll.
In my testing, the goal is twofold: when they bite it their brain should send a signal to their mouth to exclaim "this is the best burger I have ever had" while at the same time the brain sends a signal to the teeth to "not stop chewing". They essentially mumble, but you know exactly what they mean.
Another really good test is if they get juice or condiments on their face, but they refuse to put down the burger to clean themselves up at this time - maybe in another bite or two.
Those are the only two tests that I can think of that give you true feedback.
Another feature of the 4 ounce burger is that many people can eat more then one. It is amazing how much more they pay attention to the process once they have had one.
And on the second one they mumble and allow stuff to be on their face for a few bites until they come up for air. You can tell they really like it.
One Saturday I invited friends over for burgers. They straggled in which was part of the plan. Everyone that arrived early stayed around to watch the next person eat a burger. They are that good.
Grind your own. No question about it. I have stuck with flap and flank, and I got no reason to try anything else. Chuck you might grind twice to help break up the connective tissues. For flap or flank, I grind once with the small die with partially frozen meat.
With the Kitchenaid, it is easy cleanup. $50 for the attachment.
If the meat is perfect, the condiments and the bun just need to be the right scale.
People that grind their own meat tell people that don't grind their own meat to grind their own meat to make a better burger. It goes in one ear of the people that don't grind their own meat and then out the other side. The non-grinders think they just need to buy different store bough burger such as chuck or sirloin and either get it fattier or leaner. They don't get "it".
I made a burger with fresh ground meat and let it sit in the fridge covered in plastic for 24 hours and cooked it with the same technique. The burger was tough. Apparently the meat glued itself back together. I did not salt it. I salted it just prior to cooking.
It is the sear, the quick cooking of the meat, and the cut of meat that makes all the difference. And grinding your own. Keep the meat loose until you form a patty and then cook it immediately and quickly.
I live in Manassas VA and if a non-meat grinder wants a great burger, let me know. I would be more then happy to make you a burger just to see your face when you bite it. It is consistently that good.
Forget topping, if the meat is great, the rest is easy.
Attached is a pic of the burger with nacho cheese on a buttered and toasted Wonder bun. It is not my preference, but it was good. My son (the kid in the background) loved it.
C2 and T,
You need to get a meat probe and keep and eye on the internal temperature. Get one that you stick in the meat and has a cable that comes out the oven door and you can see the temperature and set a temperature limit and it alarms.
Another good thing is that you can see how much the meat temperature climbs even when removed from the oven. It lets you "see" what is happening. It makes is easier to replicate recipes the first or perhaps the second time. 20 bucks and you won't have to guess anymore.
Fourunder keeps mentioning temperature targets so he obviously is measuring the temperature of the meat. However his "senior moment" makes me think he doesn't continuously measure the temp but he checks it at certain intervals. I can't be sure.
But he (Fourunder) is slowly convincing me to try chuck roast in an oven uncovered at low oven temps. I am trying to make roast beef sandwiches that is reheated in the juice prior to serving on a bun.
For some unknown reason I continue to try and use eye round roast. If I exaggerate a lot, my latest results are almost decent. I did the CI method and it wasn't tender enough. Please note that I let the roast cool and then refrigerated over night for thin slicing and reheated in the juice. It sucked to me.
I crocked potted it for 10 hours on low (the old method) and it was better, but I couldn't mask the intrinsic dryness even when it warmed in the juice for 5 minutes. It is decent if you like really dry meat.
FYI, I am not a fan of red or pink meat so that might be my problem.
I would appreciate any suggestions from anyone.
On Tuesday my Wagner Ware Magnelite Sidney O 4265-P will be here and I will pot roast something covered in the oven at 175 degF for as long as it takes. The pressure cooker comes next (although I have my doubts). It seems to go against the low and slow method that I think is the key to tenderness.
Someone From Culinary Cookware called me the other day. I am hoping they are still alive.
I ordered one from eBay to continue my testing of pot roast sandwiches.
I hope they are alive. I was reading stuff on the web and they were looking for investors years ago so they could build an inventory. So I think inventory is their issue. I am waiting for them to respond.
We will see. FYI. I got a used one on eBay (the 4265-P) a few days ago and it will be here in a few days.
I am a softy on American made stuff. However, I would like a new one that is just as good as an old one. We will see. And I will let you know.
I am trying to make a great roast beef sandwich similar to you. I am having a hard time getting the meat to the correct tenderness, but my au jus is good.
I used eye round and seared it in a hot pan with oil. It was beautiful and the house was full of smoke. I removed the roast. I added mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, garlic and tomato paste. And then some wine and then some beef broth. And I reduced it and strained it. I think this yields about 1/4 cup. I was disappointed to say the least. I put this in the fridge and let the fat rise to the top so I could remove it.
I cooked the roast using the CI method and I did everything they said. I let it cool and then put in the fridge overnight for sandwiches the next day.
I sliced it thin. Yes, I bought a slicer. I reheated the previously cooked eye round sliced and dunked into hot au jus. The meat turned into leather instantly. The au jus temperature is important. I think you want it around 130 - 140 degF. You don't want it hotter then the temperature that you want the final meat doneness level.
So au jus temperature is really important. Always remember that.
As best I have read, any liquid that is used to reheat and flavor meat is a two way street. The au jus flavors the meat and the meat flavors the au jus. Osmosis at it's finest.
The first roast was so bad that I cooked a flank steak on the charcoal grill with some mesquit and let it cool to be sliced thin the next day. I cooked it just the way CI said to cook a flank steak.
I sliced it thin and dunked it in not so hot au jus. It was good. It wasn't great, it was good. I was working with really quick dunk times at that point. Maybe 10 seconds or maybe 15 seconds. Really short dunk times.
Then I sliced more of the eye round and dunked for various times at various temperatures and the lower temp longer time was better. I am still working on it.
But your question was about delicious au jus. The answer is that it gets better the more you dunk stuff into it. After a few weeks, my au jus is awesome. It wasn't awesome the first day. I needed to add beef broth and reduce. When it starts to get cloudy from all the particles in it, strain it through a paper towel and it will be perfectly clear again. When the liquid starts to get low, add some more beef broth.
I did another eye round in the crock pot with all the onions and carrots, etc added to the crock pot and cooked on low for 10 hours. The meat is not the best in the world, but the au jus created by the crock pot was pretty good. Cook then strain and add some beef broth and reduced. Just keep concentration the flavors.
If you use wine to help deglaze the pan, add a little. The best I have read, don't add it to a crock pot recipe or use even less. I don't like it when too much wine is added. I don't want my au jus tasting like wine.
In summary, sear the meat for flavor. Use the pan dripping to start the au jus. The searing of the meat adds flavor that is picked up by the au jus. The au jus gets better over time. It you have crazy pieces of beef left over, throw them in the au jus. It only gets better.
Find a good bun. People's taste's vary on this. If you are going to dunk it, it should be crispy. Just wet the bun and toast it off in a toaster oven.
I hope this helps. The au jus keeps expanding and getting better.
I went to their site a few weeks ago (after spending way too much time trying to determine if they still exist) and tried to place an order and the site blew up. Later, I was clearing out messages on the home phone and they had called about my order and left me a phone number (440-602-7800).
I called today and all their agents were busy so I left a message and gave them my cell number.
I also went to their site and sent them a message.
I will let everyone know. I am interested in their Magnalite roasters.
I agree with you 115 to 200%. If you make it a true "event", it has to be better. And in time people figure out what they need to bring to an "event". Hell yeah.
And if people bring it, it doesn't cost the company anything. And it will be a mllion times better. And maybe we will do it more often.
Remain slightly biased but don't do it everyday.
I have a company lunch cookout tomorrow. I am looking forward to a frozen burger cooked badly over a gas grill with an ill treated bun. Or a really bad badly cooked hot dog on the wrong ill treated bun with all the wrong toppings. And really bad potato and/or macaroni salad. And chips.
You are too negative.
When you say potato, do you mean baked potato? If so, what does he like on it? Salt? Pepper? Butter? Sour Cream? Etc. Does he eat the skin?
How does he like a roast? Cooked forever (like I do) or pink and juicy and tough?
How does he like his burger? Does he buy frozen burgers? Charcoal or gas?
Fried rice is easy.
My son is 13 so I know what you are going through. I enjoy it. The changes are incremental at first.
I have a buddy who's oldest boy is picky. I can't fix this but I try. My buddy is a great taste tester when I am in the experimentation mode, but I always have dough on hand that day so I can make a really plain cheese pizza cooked on a stone to perfection that the picky eater loves. Then I can make my latest experiment for the rest of the people.
On one occasion, I also made homemade potato chips and he wouldn't try one. No thanks.
My son, who I can trick to help in the process, will at least try it once. We watch ATK or CI or DDD's, and if we see something good, we make it.
He hates onions. All of them. I convinced him to split a Big Mac and he loved it. I made a great steak on the grill and I made fries and onion rings. He hates onions. He now loves onion rings.
The more he likes to cook, the easier my job is.
I invite people over for testing foods. It is hard to make the greatest hamburger in the world without making it over and over again. So when we think we have developed something special, I invite people over and we get to test our skills and build up our repetitions.
As soon as he replicates the skills that you are teaching him ... to other people, your job gets easier.
Palates need to evolve.
No. The spaghetti sauce stays great in the freezer for months. Please note that there are no noodles in the sauce when frozen.
I am surprised that you oven is off so much. Is it clean? How did you figure it was 25 off? Make sure you allow time for the oven to preheat. Give it plenty of time and don't open it that often. If you are sure it is 25 off, raise the temperature 25.
Plan for leftovers. When dinner is done, pack the extra food in a container that is ready for lunch. I think the FDA says you got 3 days on leftovers in the fridge so you don't have to eat something for dinner and again the next day for lunch. You got a few days.
Alfredo over pasta with chicken and broccoli is pretty good and easy. Some of the jar Alfredo is decent. If you cook the chicken when you cook burgers on the grill, the chicken will be ready. If you like it, make a double batch and freeze the other 1/2 for dinner next week.
All the casserole ideas are really good ideas. Get it ready the day before and store in the fridge ready for the next day.
Once you get a routine, the pots and pans and utensils that you need will become apparent. You can spend a zillion dollars on stuff.
And if a recipe fails (and they do), cut your losses.
And if you are tired on Wednesday, you can always get a pizza from one of the chains and bring it home. There are always deals to be had.
I think I had the same problem you do. I now cook some stuff in batches like spaghetti sauce or chili. The key is to have correctly sized containers that will hold a family dinner serving. So you make a big batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze a few meals too. The same with chili, etc. My freezer is full of raw frozen meat and a bunch of cooked stuff (ready to go).
Do your or your wife pack your own lunch? I love pot roast just for the sandwiches. Make a pot roast that is more then you need. Canned gravy isn't that bad, but your own will be a lot better.
Good bread is always good as a starch. I like butter.
A friend likes chicken cheese steak sandwiches. So you have to balance the sub buns that you buy with the chicken that you cook. Everything that you buy at the grocery store is relatively cheap - unless you don't eat it all and it turns to mush or blue or smells rancid.
No one mentioned ... and a house salad. You can buy the bag o' salad and see how it goes.
A salad and spaghetti and broiled bread (buttered with garlic powder and a little salt and some Parmesan cheese) makes me hungry just saying it.
A salad and pot roast with gravy and boiled new potato's (the purple ones) with butter and salt and pepper with a piece of corn on the cob makes me hungry.
Cook like your parents used to. Cook the things that you like. Someone mentioned to come up with 20 things you like. I think the number should start with 7 and then expand.
Other thoughts ... Chicken ala creole over pasta, Red Bean gumbo over rice, jambalaya. This list of batch cooking goes on and on.
When you have time and the family is together, cook out on the grill. Combine cooking a meal with cooking the next meal.
I have been working on making great hamburgers. And I confess to inviting friends over to help eat the experiments. I don't pay them and they still come by so I must be doing something right. But that is not the point. I grind my own burger and it is so good I don't care about the mess.
When people are over and we are freezing meat or grinding meat or making the hamburger buns by hand, I am also smoking some meat with my electric smoker (I love it) and I will make a roast too. Tomorrow, I will make smoked roast beef sandwiches sliced really thin.
You can make today's meal and tomorrow's meal today. Combine tasks.
Food is good. My son is 13 and it is finally clicking with him. We love ATK and we really love Diner's Drive-in's and Dives. We watch it for ideas. They don't tell you exactly how to cook it. We watch it for fun and ideas.
Do you have decent cookware and utensils?
Maybe we need to get you some good stuff for Christmas.
Many thanks to Hungry Celeste for reminding me to order some "dough conditioners". I ordered some and I am getting happier each day.
A "basic" batch consists of ...
2 cups of Flour (I haven't figured the correct flour (AP, Wheat, Bread)
The last batch I made used 1/2 wheat and 1/2 all purpose. The buns were great the day I made them and the next day also. I also made a test loaf and it was good the next day (day 3) and it appears that it would be good today.
In addition to the dough conditioners, as noted in the recipe above, I made a relatively wet ball of dough. Not messy wet, but by no means dry. Most all recipes that I tried kinda call for 3 cups of flour for 1 cup of liquid. That mix is unrealistically dry. I would say 1 cup of liquid to 2.25 cups of flour might be more like it.
I use plenty of yeast and plenty of sugar (see above).
I let the dough double in size (about 1/2 hour to 3/4 hour). I shape into balls (100 grams for an approx 5" bun) and I let it rise for a good 45 minutes and then a bit more as the oven preheats.
I have been making my final rise in the oven. I have a temperature sensor and I pulse the oven to keep it between 100 and 110 DegF. I also put a small pot of boiling water in the oven to add humidity. I re-boil the water every 15 minutes or so to keep the oven moist.
A 100 gram dough ball can produce a good sized bun.
I tried cooking at different temperatures, but I am convinced that hotter is better so you DON'T develop much crust. I cooked the buns at 450 degF for 12 minutes.
When the buns come out of the oven, you will think you are a failure because the crust is slightly crisp. This goes away as the buns cool. Allow the buns to cool some (maybe 15 minutes or so) and put them in a plastic zip lock bag while still a little warm. This was really important as the warm bread made all the crispy crust disappear.
As noted earlier, they were still fresh a few days later.
Tonight I am making a batch with just Bread Flour (instead of wheat and AP).
I am attaching a photo (I hope) that shows the wheat / all purpose bun on day 2.
I will write later about my test tonight. If the Bread Flour is not the solution, I will try a batch with All Purpose Flour.
I am really happy and I think I am on the right path. Additional oils and milk and butter and eggs are not necessary to make soft bread. Dough conditioners, wet balls of dough and high heat seem to be working.
Thanks to all for the help and insight.
I have declared 2007 as the year of the Hamburger Bun, Hot Dog Bun and Sub Roll. First I want to make a "store bought" bun. And then I want to move from there to what I really want.
I have been searching the web and reviewing recipes. Most of the recipes are pretty similar. And none of them produce "store bought" buns. In fact even dissimilar recipes produce similar buns. I am going batty, however I have pictures.
The best results that I have had was introducing "cake flour". It make a bigger difference then anything else I have tried. But I am still not there.
Each test batch uses one cup of liquid and 2+ cups of flour. This should make 8 4" hamburger buns or 6 5" hamburger buns. I have cooked at 350F and 450F and I think the magic number is 400F. The hotter, the thinner the crust (but less additional rise in the oven).
The last batch was ...
1 cup all purpose flour (King Arthur's)
1 cup milk
Heat the milk in the microwaver for approx 1 minute. Add the yeast, sugar, butter.
Sift the flours and salt in the mixer bowl (I bought the Kitchenaid Stand Mixer specifically to make buns and rolls). Slowly add the wet stuff to the dry stuff. I used about 1/4 more all purpose flour to make the dough "right". I think I let it mix for 10 minutes with a few minute rest in the middle. This is not a sticky dough and I don't need any dough on the counter to work the dough.
Let it rest a few minutes. Use 1/8 of the dough per bun. Shape in a ball. Put on a cookie sheet (I spray with Pam and then use cornmeal) and press the ball down until the diameter is 3". Cover with a moist towel and let rise about an hour. Cook on a middle rack at 400F for 10.5 minutes. I made two buns this way.
Take 1/4 of the dough and let it rise for an hour. Punch it down and then shape into 2 balls and press down until the diameter is 3". Blah, blah, blah. The results were the same.
Take 1/4 of the dough and let it rise in the fridge. Punch it down, make the balls, blah, blah, blah. The results were the same.
But the whole point is that cake flour made a big difference.
I am not sure what to try next. Mickey Blue above suggest more butter and eggs. In my 1 cup liquid mixture, I would do 2/3 cups milk, 1/3 cup butter, 1 egg.
What have you tried and what is working for you?
FYI, white bread has 0.5 grams of fat per slice. I would assume that a hamburger bun contains 1 gram of fat. Land O' Lakes butter has 11 grams of fat per tablespoon. The olive oil I have has 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. So the addition of fat (as best I can conclude) is not what "store bought" white bread is all about. It is something else. I have 11 more months to figure it out.