Homemade "Sandwich Thin" Buns

from My Retro Kitchen

adapted from food.com

1 1/3 cups warm water

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 tsp yeast

3 cups whole wheat flour (I like to use white whole wheat flour, it has a milder flavor and texture but just the same benefits of regular whole wheat flour.)

1/2 cup wheat bran

2 Tbsp vital wheat gluten

1 tsp salt

1 egg

2 teaspoons canola oil

rolled oats for sprinkling on top

Don't be afraid of yeast! Seriously, baking bread is so easy! First you need to "proof" the yeast. Pour the warm water into the bowl of your stand mixer then add the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to stand for 10 minutes. This is going to be your "sponge" for the dough. (If you don't have a stand mixer, that is perfectly fine!  Just use a regular bowl and do the kneading with your hands.  A mixer isn't necessary, just makes things a little easier and faster.)

Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.

After ten minutes are up, add the canola oil and egg to the bowl of the stand mixer. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer on low and mix.  Add in 1 ½ cups of the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and let rest 1 hour.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and knead for 5 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.  Divide dough into 16 equal portions. It is recommended to weighed the entire ball of dough to figure out the weight of each bun, but since I do not yet own a food scale, I just eyeball it.  Good enough for me!

Roll each portion of dough in your hands to form a ball, and then flatten it between your palms.  Place it on the baking sheet and press down, working the dough into a thin 5-inch round.

Brush the tops with water and then sprinkle with rolled oats. Lightly press down to help them stick. Adding the oats isn't necessary, but it does make them look pretty. Sometimes I add the oats, sometimes I am just lazy and skip them.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow the buns to rest for 30 minutes on the baking sheets so they can double in bulk.  After this time you can choose to "dock" the buns.  This means poking small holes into the dough.  They actually have a special tool for this called creatively enough, a Dough Docker.  But a fork or the small end of a chop stick works just as well.  What docking does is prevents air bubbles from forming, keeping them nice and thin.  I have forgotten to dock them at times and never had any issues with bubbles.  But I must say, docking does make them look prettier! After resting, bake for 10-12 minutes.  Do NOT over bake.  You want the sandwich thins to be soft and light and only very lightly golden brown.  10 1/2 minutes of baking time is perfect for my oven.  Just be sure to keep an eye on them.

Let cool completely before slicing with a bread knife.

Each bun has 108 Calories; 1g Fat; 5g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 13mg Cholesterol.