I’m an advocate for #baketherapy if you hadn’t guessed or I hadn’t mentioned it already. And with the chaos that feels so active in our expereince these days, I take to the kitchen and to the flours in the pantry a lot. Whatever you have to do to relax your mind, right? Some people prefer running on the pavement, or blasting their favorite song, or sitting in silence, I choose to punch pillows of dough. That allows works for me.
I think it needs reminding that we shouldn’t drown ourselves in our problems and/or America’s problems to a point that all we celebrate and talk about is the negative stuff. It’s hard to do this if you allow yourself to get sucked into habits that foster your participation in the drama of the media. My news channels post nothing that make me smile, and now even facebook is becoming a place like that. On my phone I have access to a news real, that automatically updates with the published news stories throughout the day. At one point, as soon as I would wake up, I’d push the bar right to discover a trail of disaster headlines. After a week of this, I felt exhausted, drained, and not too optimistic about the future. It wasn’t a healthy way to start the day. How can you come from a place of love and support and forward movement if you’re constantly drained and haven’t taken the time to feed yourself positive thoughts? Yes we should be aware of the happenings around us, yes we should care, but we need to realize at the same time how these constant streams of horror stories make us feel: hopeless, scared, angry. None of these feelings are conducive to forward movement. In fact, sitting in silence or punching a wobbly and sticky ball of dough first, has proven to be much more helpful.
If you’re like me and want to do some stress-relieving kitchen-baking and self love, here’s a recipe you can try. It’s soft and yummy whole wheat burger buns. They’re sans eggs, nutty and sweetened naturally with honey–although I don’t see why you couldn’t use maple syrup instead if you want to make it vegan–and they’ll go perfectly on this week’s veggie burgers. Batch cooking can also be batch baking I’ve discovered, just give them a freeze after letting them cool straight out of the oven.
Here’s how I made these buns:
- 4 flaxeggs (4 tbsp flaxseeds mixed with 3/4 cup hot water)
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 4 tbsp honey, divided
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tbsp neutral oil, plus more for oiling everything that may ever come in contact with the dough
- 3 1/2 cups -4 cups white whole wheat flour (you can sub in some unbleached all-purpose flour too if you want the buns even softer)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds, for sprinkling (I used black)
Combine the ingredients for the flaxeggs and allow them atleast 10 minutes to thicken.
While it’s thickening, in a small bowl combine the hot water with 1 tbsp of the honey. Sprinkle the packet of yeast over the top, and allow it about 5 minutes to bloom and begin to foam.
In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the bloomed yeast, thickened flaxegg, the rest of the honey, and the oil, and mix until combined. Then add in 3 1/2 cup of the flour and continue to knead until it comes together into a sticky mass, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on low, add more flour a little at a time until the dough starts to come off the sides of the bowl but sticks to the bottom, about 2 more minutes.
Oil your hands, and remove the dough from the bowl, and shape into a ball. It should be sticky but hold it’s shape, otherwise it needs more flour worked into it. Transfer the dough to a cleaned oiled bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap and clean, damp cloth and keep it in a warm place to double in size, about 1 hours. I usually keep it in the oven while it’s turned off. Sometimes I even turn the oven up to warm for 5 minutes, then turn it off completely, and then put the covered dough inside. This makes sure the dough has a little warmth to help it rise quickly.
Remove the risen dough from the oven. This is the fun part: punch it down with your fist and let the air escape. Then cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, and roll them gently in your palm until they’re smooth balls.
Place them on a liberally oiled sheet pan, brush the tops with more oil, sprinkle them with sesame seeds, and cover them loosely with plastic wrap.
Keep them in a warm dark place for another 20-30 more minutes, or until they’ve puffed and basically doubled in size.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake them in a 375 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes or until they’re nice and golden brown on top.
Cut in half and serve warm. Enjoy!
I’ve been waking up with abnormal but intense upper back pain these past two weeks, almost like a nerve in my spine got twisted somewhere back there. The pain has been radiating from my heart chakra (my legs and hands on the right side have been achy too though), so today I practiced yoga for a bit, yoga to heal a broken heart, and felt lots of the tension up there subside. Yoga For a Broken Heart with Adriene video.