Fluffy Hamburger Buns

Fluffy Hamburger Buns_n

Tempting to eat straight from the oven, these soft rolls are perfect for any savory filling. The dough can be shaped to accommodate big burgers, sliders, or even hot dogs. Most recently, we enjoyed them with barbecued turkey sandwiches made from Christmas dinner leftovers.

I first made these soft and delicious buns to go with Jack’s Bison Sloppy Joes with Roasted Bell Peppers.  They came out perfectly soft and fluffy with no trace of doughiness. I’ve since made variations by adding dried onions into the dough as well as different toppings, such as sesame seeds. This recipe is now the go-to recipe for buns in our home.

Perfect Hamburger Buns


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2  1/4 tsp yeast


  1. Place all the dough ingredients into the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Set machine to dough setting. Start machine.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Turn finished dough onto a lightly oiled work surface.
  5. Knead for 2 – 3 minutes.
  6. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces.
  7. Take each piece and roll into ball using cupped hands.
  8. Place dough balls onto baking sheet.
  9. Flatten each dough ball into bun-size and shape. Dough balls should be about an inch thick.
  10. Cover with a cloth and let dough rise for 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Bake rolls for 12 minutes, or until tops are golden.
  13. Cool on wire rack before slicing.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com.

Bagels 3 Ways: Blue Poppy Seed, Roasted Sesame Seed and Onion

Just the way we like them – chewy on the outside and soft on the inside, these bagels are topped with Penzey’s minced onion, blue poppy seeds, and roasted sesame seeds.

I let the Zojirushi bread machine do the first steps of mixing, rising, and kneading the bagel dough while I tended to other things today. After about one and a half hours, it was my turn to finish the bagels by shaping them, boiling them and baking them. When the finished bagels came out of the oven, we knew the dinner menu would feature these beauties smeared with cream cheese and topped with Jack’s smoked salmon.

Bread Machine Bagels


  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 quarts boiling water
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • toppings of your choice


  1. Place first 5 ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough setting.
  2. When cycle is complete, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and let rest.
  3. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add 3 tbsp of white sugar.
  4. While water is coming to a boil, cut dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten balls into discs about 1/2 inch thick. Poke a hole in each disc and twirl the disk around your finger to enlarge the hole. Place bagels back on the lightly floured surface to rest until the water boils.
  5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  7. When water is boiling, place bagels in water. Boil for 1 minute, then flip to boil for an additional minute. (I fit 4 bagels at a time in my pot.)
  8. After bagels have boiled, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon or strainer spoon made for frying. Place bagels on a clean, dry towel.
  9. Arrange bagels on baking sheet. Brush tops of bagels with beaten egg. Sprinkle with topping of your choice, or leave plain.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until well browned.

Bread Machine Oatmeal Walnut Wheat Bread

This hearty but soft wheat bread has crunchy walnuts and a hint of honey. The aromas while baking are magnificent! Jack says each bread I make is his new favorite. I think he really means it, too.

Oatmeal Walnut Wheat Bread


  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp instant yeast


  1. Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Start machine
  3. Wait impatiently for cycle to finish armed with butter and honey and a knife.

Recipe adapted from 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.

Salmon Calzone

Number four in the Salmon Recipe Challenge. Savory salmon in a creamy cheese mixture enhanced with red bell peppers and spinach; all neatly wrapped in a warm Parmesan crust.

The salmon challenge was intended for Jack. After all, he is the master chef. But after a night of studying (I’m going for a master’s in education technology), I relaxed by surfing cooking and baking blogs where I came across a photo of a delicious-looking calzone. “Wouldn’t a salmon stuffed calzone be divine?” I thought.

I would start this recipe by saying that we dusted off our favorite mechanical kitchen device, our Zojirushi bread machine, but the truth is this machine never has time to collect dust. We use it once a week on slow weeks and more frequently than that on most weeks. We love our Zojirushi bread machine so much that we wrote a review on it for the company from which we bought it. Among the advantages a good bread machine offers is that it solves the often vexing problem of having the right environment for dough to rise.

The calzone dough is a standard pizza dough recipe adapted from the book 300 Best Bread Machine Recipes by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt.

Dough Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 nonfat dry milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  1. Measure ingredients into baking pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle.
  2. Remove dough to a lightly floured board. Cover with a large inverted bowl and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes. Divide dough into 10 portions. Roll out each into a 6-inch circle and let rest.
  3. Prepare filling.
Filling Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls of fresh spinach, cleaned and stemmed
  • 1 fillet salmon, approximately a pound
  • 8-oz. brick of cream cheese, softened (simply leave out at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
  • 2 tsp dry tarragon
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4. In medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 4 – 5 minutes. Add bell pepper; sauté for 3 – 4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add garlic and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Set aside.

5. Season salmon with salt and pepper. I also added a garlic herb mix. Broil salmon, skin side down. After salmon cools, flake salmon and set aside.
6. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Gradually add ricotta cheese, beating until combined. Stir in onion mixture, tarragon, oregano, salt and pepper, then add Swiss cheese and flaked salmon.

7.  Place filling on one half of each circle. Fold calzone over, sealing the edges tightly with your fingertips making a scalloped edge. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 30 – 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

8. When calzones are formed, brush with 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

9. Bake in preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the calzones sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

These calzones were terrific out of the oven. They make great lunches, too.