What’s Cooking This AirFryday: Loose Buns
We are making buns this week, pretty buns that are quick and easy to make. But first, here are my 10 tips for baking bread in your air fryer.
- Use an old-fashioned loaf pan when baking bread in an air fryer, as the metal conducts heat very well and helps the batter cook evenly.
- Use the rack at the bottom of your air fryer to bake bread or rolls. The underside of the bread should also bake, and the element is on top so the placement of the rack allows air to blow under the pan in which you are baking the bread. Without the grid, the bottom of the bread could be mushy.
- Make sure there’s room around the tin for air to circulate as well as underneath. It should not fit so tightly that there is no chance of air circulating around the edges of the pan.
- Always judge cooking time based on what you know about your own machine. Just like conventional ovens, air fryer brands are all different, as are the sizes and capacity. A recipe may say cook at 180℃ for 15 minutes, but you may know from past experience with your particular machine that yours tends to take a little longer or cook a little faster. . So make a judgment based on this knowledge. My conventional gas oven has a personality of its own, nothing in a recipe ever works exactly the same. Then there is the question of convection or not. If you’ve ever used a conventional oven, in fact, you’re all too familiar with these differences and the effect they have on any given recipe. The same rule should therefore apply.
- Don’t forget to use a glaze, whether it’s a simple egg wash or brushed melted butter over whatever you’re baking. It’s easy to forget this tip when you’re focusing on your bread recipe for an air fryer.
- Split buns are a smart choice for an air fryer because the baskets tend to be on the small side and placing them so snugly makes full use of the box. I managed to fit seven buns in a small cake pan; you could handle eight at once.
- You can use your air fryer to proof your batter, if it can be set to a temperature as low as around 60℃. You put the dough in it, in a bowl that you’ve sprayed with cooking oil spray, and “bake”, for lack of a better word, for 8-10 minutes, to allow the dough to rise.
- But I prefer to heat the machine on and off, then rise the dough. Preheat your air fryer to 60℃ for a few minutes, turn it off, and put the dough in its bowl to rise, until it rises, just like you would use a heated oven to rise dough.
- Turn your baked buns into garlic bread by slicing them in half, coating the inside with garlic butter, bunching them together and baking them in the air fryer for 5 minutes at 80℃ or until the butter has melted inside. Check, because all air fryers behave idiosyncratically.
- Bread that has become hard can be refreshed quickly in your air fryer. Preheat it to, say, 60℃ and put the hard bread for 2 or 3 minutes to cool it.
Try these separate buns that cooked for 12 minutes in my air fryer but might cook faster in some models, depending on the efficiency of the model’s hot airflow.
(For 6 to 8)
450 bread flour
80g cold butter
280ml whole milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 g dry yeast
Salt to taste
1 small egg, beaten
Sift the flour into an ovenproof bowl and add the cold butter. Work it in with your fingers and palms until you get a crumbly mixture.
In a saucepan on the stove, over low heat, heat the milk with the oil until lukewarm. Don’t let it get any hotter.
Add the dry yeast to the flour. Stir in a little salt.
Make a well in the flour and pour in the lukewarm milk and oil.
Use your hands to work the dough until you can make a somewhat sticky ball of dough.
Put the dough in a bowl sprayed with oil and let it rise in your turned off air fryer basket, which you have preheated to 60℃ and with the door closed, for about 15 minutes.
Spray oil into a suitable container. I used my smallest springform pan which fits in the basket with ample space all around.
Shape small balls of dough well rounded between your hands and arrange them side by side in the mold.
Beat the egg and brush the top.
Cook in the air fryer at 180℃ for 15 minutes. DM/TGIFood
Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.