Monday, July 5, 2010

Baking Low Sodium Bread - Favorite Buns and Rolls - Part 7

As promised, here are some of my favorite low sodium buns and rolls recipes. I keep the individual rolls in my freezer. That way I’ve always got the makings for a quick breakfast or lunch. Please note that I always decrease the salt and yeast amounts accordingly. Other than with bagels, the dough for rolls should be fairly soft, so I try very hard to not add too much flour to the dough. That’s especially true when working with whole wheat flour. I usually hold back anywhere from 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of whole wheat flour and only add more during kneading if the dough seems excessively sticky. And to avoid incorporating too much flour, I always shape the rolls on a Silpat mat. During shaping, I cover the dough I’m not using with a piece of plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

Bagels

I love them! But the ones you can buy at grocery stores are always disappointing. Soft and fluffy instead of dense and chewy. That’s the real reason why I wanted to make them myself. Lowering the salt content was a side benefit. Although there are several steps, making bagels is a rather simple process. I just dump the ingredients in my Zojirushi and let it do all the hard work. It easily handles the rather dense dough. Then it’s simply a matter of shaping, boiling, and baking. Sounds like a lot of work, but it is worth it. The bagels come out properly chewy and are fabulous toasted. King Arthur Flour has several good recipes. I use the one for water bagels. The recipe calls for malted milk powder. I’m able to find Carnation brand at my local grocery stores. Other recipes call for non-diastatic malt . This is what professional bagel makers use. I bought some and use it sometimes too.

The only real change I have made to the recipe (other than reducing both salt and yeast quantities) is to use only 2 tablespoons of malt in the dough. Depending on my mood, I sometimes substitute 1-2 cups of white whole wheat flour. Because whole wheat flour has a tendency to suck up moisture, I may end up adding a tablespoon or more of water to the dough during the kneading phase.

Sandwich/Hamburger Buns

I really like the recipe for White Sourdough Bread from Beth Hensperger’s “The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.” I make dough for the two pound loaf and divide into 12 pieces for wonderfully light yet chewy sandwich buns. The buns are sturdy and not squishy soft, so they hold up to drippy toppings and sauces. They’re also not very sweet.

I let my machine knead and rise the dough. Then I weigh the dough ball and divide by 12. Once I get an approximate weight for individual dough pieces, I divide the dough ball up, weigh and adjust each piece, roll the pieces into balls, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and flatten them. Depending on my mood, I may brush the rolls with cream or an egg wash. If I use an egg wash, I might sprinkle sesame or poppy seeds on the top too. They’re baked at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

These buns really lend themselves to flavor additions. My favorites are dried onion flakes and either dill seed or caraway seed. Another combination I like is chopped fresh rosemary and coarsely ground black pepper.

White Sourdough Buns
Beth Hensperger

(Printable Recipe)
2-pound dough:
1 cup sourdough starter
¾ cup fat-free milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt (I use 1 tsp)
2¼ teaspoons bread machine yeast (I use 1 1/8 tsp)

When I want a softer bun, I use King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Beautiful Burger Buns. These are soft and slightly sweet and enriched by egg. Another good recipe from King Arthur is Soft Sandwich Rolls. These soft rolls are made with potato flour or flakes.

Dinner Rolls

I like having dinner rolls in my freezer. Sometimes a meal seems rather skimpy, but just adding a warm dinner roll makes it special. Their small size makes them perfect for quick snacks too. Not hungry enough for a full sandwich? A dinner roll is the perfect size for a mini sandwich or slider.

I generally follow the same procedure as for sandwich buns. I let my machine knead and rise the dough. Then I weigh the dough ball and divide by 15. Once I get an approximate weight for individual dough pieces, I divide the dough ball up, weigh and adjust each piece, roll the pieces into balls, and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Depending on my mood, I may brush the rolls with cream or an egg wash. They’re baked at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. I transfer them to a cooling rack and separate them before freezing.

I mainly make whole wheat rolls, so I usually hold back anywhere from 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of whole wheat flour and only add more during kneading if the dough seems excessively sticky. Also, because whole wheat flour has a tendency to suck up moisture, I may end up adding a tablespoon or more of water to the dough during the kneading phase.

I discovered this recipe from Hodgson Mills quite a while ago. I was searching for another way to get bran into our diets. I like bran muffins but sometimes get tired of the sweetness. I was looking for something more like a yeast bread. This recipe for High Fiber Bran Bread was written for the bread machine, but I make it into dinner rolls. A couple of these rolls warmed up in the microwave and spread with a bit of butter are a perfect bran-filled breakfast. I always add 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten to the dough.

Here’s another great recipe from King Arthur Flour. These Honey Wheat Rolls are wonderful. The dough is soft and pliable and the resulting rolls are tender and moist. It’s a white flour and whole wheat flour combination. I think it would make great cinnamon roll dough too.

Pizza Dough

My favorite recipe for pizza dough comes from Beth Hensperger’s book. I’ve been using it since I first tried it. I let my machine do all the work – kneading & rising. For just the two of us, I usually divide the dough in thirds and make pizza three days in a row. A great and easy meal. I pre-heat my oven about thirty minutes at 450-475 degrees with the pizza stone on the lowest rack. I roll the dough out and stretch it over an upside down mixing bowl. I then place it on a parchment lined wooden pizza peel. Once the oven is sufficiently pre-heated, I slip the pizza with the parchment onto the stone and let it bake for about 8 minutes. Then I remove the parchment and let the pizza finish baking directly on the stone. I like this method better than baking in a pizza pan or trying to use cornmeal to keep the dough from sticking to the peel. After an additional 4-6 minutes baking, the crust should be crisp and brown. I remove it with the peel, slice, and serve.

Basic Pizza Dough
Beth Hensperger

(Printable Recipe)

1 1/3 cups water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt (cut quantity in half)
2 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast (cut quantity in half)


So there you have it. Some of my favorite recipes. And now I think it’s time to say farewell to this missive about making low sodium bread. But, I know I’ll always be experimenting and trying new recipes. And I’ll be sure to share them with you. Happy baking!

Baking Low Sodium Bread Series:

Part 1 – Introduction  

Part 2 – Beginning Basics

Part 3 – Getting Started

Part 4 – Keeping It Fresh

Part 5 – Without a Bread Machine

Part 6 – Favorite Bread Recipes



9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for taking the time to create this blog. I have hypertension and I've been on a low sodium diet for the last few months. I've been having such a difficult time adjusting to it, and your blog has given me so many great ideas and hope that I can actually do this.

shambo said...

I'm sure you can be successful. Following a low sodium diet is challenging but not impossible. It will take some careful planning ahead and creativity, but it really is doable. Good luck!

Ixokai said...

Oh, these recipes are lovely. The other parts of this series were very useful, but seeing how they are applied here is even more so.

I have taken to "mini-sandwiches" for lunch, with low-sodium mayo, sodium-free mustard, some spices and a tiny sliver of swiss cheese and 4-5 slices of certain deli meats (I found a few which this amounts to 300-400mg-- which fits into my budget for lunch) -- and its the buns which I use which start pushing things. I'm going to try baking up some homemade buns after that recipe-- they look delish!

Idle side-question: I find I'm satisfied by a meal much faster on this diet. I eat like, half of what I used to, and I feel finished/done. Did you experience anything like that when you switched to low-sodium? I wonder if its related to the sodium content or if its just a function of eating healthier in general.

(Previously known as Stephen Hansen, the last time I posted here)

shambo said...

Ixokai, I think you've hit on a great coping mechanism. You allow yourself certain deli meats but compensate for the sodium content by using low sodium spreads & cheese. You're right about grocery store sandwich buns, though. They can be pretty high in sodium, so making your own is a great idea. I wish you well.

Regarding feeling more satisfied, I wish I was you. Some days I feel like I'm a bottemless pit...

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and want to say: Thank you so much!

I love baking bread and trying to find a way to bake lower sodium bread that is tasty has literally brought me to tears. Your bread series is SUPER helpful. I can't wait to get started baking again!

shambo said...

Thank you for your kind words. Believe me, I definitely understand your frustration when it comes to baking bread with a lower sodium content. There's very little discussion about the unique challenges of baking dough with less salt. It's not really complicated, but you do need to know what to expect. However, once you get the hang of it, you can bake just about anything and have it turn out good and have a good flavor too. Good luck!

Charlene said...

Hi. I was happy to find your blog. My husband has recently been told by his doctor to cut his salt down...blood pressure and kidney issues. So, rather than tell him, "Good luck with that..." I've been preparing low sodium meals and supplying snacks and informing him of fast food info, etc. I bought a Zojirushi and have been making bread, too. I'm interested in making bagels and buns. Would you mind sharing the specifics of how much salt and yeast you are using for the bagels? You said you reduced them...just wondering by how much. I'll probably try the Beautiful Burger Buns (KA)...how much did you cut back with those? Thanks for any additional information. ~Charlene

Anonymous said...

just wanted to say thank you for all the good information.

shambo said...

Thanks for your kind words. As you can tell, I really enjoy baking yeast breads, and I also enjoy the challenge of making them good tasting and low sodium.