I’m willing it to be summer.  I’m so tired of the gray winter days we’ve been having, even the days with snow get washed out with a few hours of rain leaving everything a mushy, nasty mess.  I love snow but I like to enjoy it for more than a minute.

Spring is only a couple of days away but summer is what I look forward to the most.  My oven can take a few months off while I cook 90 percent of our meals outside on the grill.  And the food…..is anyone else tired of eating root vegetables?  I can’t wait to eat a tomato that’s just been picked off the vine.  Not one that’s been on a truck for a week and then tossed around by a grumpy teenager working in the produce department.

I will then carefully slice my freshly picked tomato into thick disks to place onto of my even thicker, juicy burger!  This burger will be sitting on top of a homemade Honey Wheat Bun, soft and sweet but big and hearty.  Top that burger with whatever you want….carmelized onions, bacon, cheese, mayonnaise…hey, I won’t judge.  But don’t wimp out on the buns.  They are to.die.for.

And if you run out of steam after making the buns and don’t feel like making a burger….make a huge deli sandwich, throw some pulled pork on it, grill a chicken breast….or do what I did and slather that baby with a thick coating of butter and call it a day.

But make the rolls, you will love them!

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns (or Rolls…whatever you want to call them)

Makes 8 large buns

3/4 cup warm water

2 Tablespoons dry active yeast

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

3 cups bread flour, sifted

1 cup whole wheat flour, sifted

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup 2% milk

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup honey

2 tablespoons water

In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the bread flour, whole wheat flour and salt.  Set aside.

Pour the yeast mixture, into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.  On low-speed, mix together the yeast mixture, canola oil, milk, egg and honey until thoroughly combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until the dough forms a ball. Continue kneading the dough in the mixer, or by hand, for approximately 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Allow the dough to rise in a warm location for approximately two hours or until it has doubled in size.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal size balls.  Place the dough balls on the baking sheet and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Let the dough rise in a warm location for an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and water.  Using a pastry brush, lightly cover each bun with the egg wash.

Bake the buns for 15-18 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

The buns are best if enjoyed within three days.  Alternatively, you can wrap them each in plastic wrap and foil to freeze them for up to 6 weeks.

Honey Wheat Hamburger Buns