I’ve never been a big fan of substitutes. Ironically a couple weeks ago I was a substitute. Well, maybe not ironically, since the position I held for two days at a local school wasn’t a ton of fun, and I didn’t feel like a fan of myself. Really I shouldn’t complain; I’m grateful to have had a chance to get back in the classroom briefly, and realized I do kind of miss not working at a school. But anyway, this is not really a post about what I miss in life or substitute teachers, but rather food substitutes.
I am not willing to buy foods that claim to be something they are not, for example I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, and foods with names like Tofurkey, and Not Dogs. These foods are rarely simple foods that could be made at home. Veggie burgers are one exception to my list of substitutes I will allow, but only if they are homemade. The same would be true for gluten-free hamburger buns, but I haven’t really wanted to attempt those… until now.
I love baking bread, and that’s the main reason why I always make homemade hamburger buns. However, in attempting to meet the needs of members of my extended family I was unsure of how to enjoy a meal of burgers with them and still honor both my from-scratch love as well as my localism tendencies.
Then one afternoon I noticed a big round potato. It seemed to kind of resemble a bun of sorts. I realized that this vision would allow me to do the two things I wanted to do—make a “bun” that was gluten-free and local. This bun would be easier to make than the English muffins we like to make for burgers, and just as tasty, albeit in a totally different way!
I’m happy to say that it worked great! We’ve made them twice now and both times they were great. Rather than write a formal looking recipe, I’ll just give a short explanation of the process.
All you need to do is find a large round potato, slice it in half, and then slice each half again to form two sets of buns. The outer round part becomes the top of the bun, the inner flat part the bottom. Lightly oil a baking sheet, and lightly salt the potatoes, then roast them at 425 for 15 minutes, then flip and roast 15 minutes more (longer for potato slices thicker than ½ inch), or until they are golden and beginning to bubble. Treat the bun the way you would treat any hamburger bun—put on your favourite condiments and enjoy!
We’ve made them with regular locally and ethically raised beef burgers as well as with Oh She Glows’ “Perfect Veggie Burger” and both were great with the potato buns. They’d also go quite nicely with The Sweet Life’s Beet Sliders, since beets and potatoes pair very well. And hey, even if you’re not a gluten-free eater, you might as well try these buns just to change it up and keep things fresh!
Sharing at Nomday Monday.