Burgers and Buns

In preparation for the holiday weekend, Friday at lunch I pulled together some hamburger bun dough. I know this seems insane, since I work full time. If I didn’t have a KitchenAid, I wouldn’t do it. It only took about 15 minutes to do.

Instead of letting it rise, punching down, etc. I put the dough in the fridge to be dealt with later.

The buns are from Peter Reinhart’s book “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.” I chose version 2 only because I didn’t have any whole milk in the house but I had some buttermilk. I think I would like to try the recipe with whole milk because I thought these came out a little crumbly, but I live at altitude. But, it’s totally worth making these even if it is the only bread you make.


Homemade Hamburger Buns

4 ¼ c. unbleached bread flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

3T sugar

2 tsp. instant yeast

1 large egg, slightly beaten at room temperature

¼ c Butter, margarine or shortening at room temp.

1 ½ buttermilk or whole milk at room temperature

1 egg wisked with 1tsp water until frothy, for egg wash

Sesame or poppy seeds for garnish

  1. Mix together flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the electric mixer. Pour in the egg, butter and 1 ½ cups plus 1T water. Mix on low speed with the paddle attachment till all flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems very stiff and dry, trickle in more water until the dough is soft and supple.

  2. Mix on med. Speed with the dough hook adding more flour if necessary to create a dough that is soft, supple and tacky but not sticky. Continue mixing for 6-8 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl, but stick slightly to the bottom. Dough should pass the windowpane test and register 80°F. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 ½ or 2 hours or until double in bulk (the length of time will depend on the room temperature).

  4. Remove the fermented dough, turn onto a floured board and divide into 12-3 oz. pieces. Shape pieces into tight rounds. Mist the dough lightly with spray oil and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rest about 20 minutes.

  5. Line 2 sheet pans with baking parchment or a Silpat. Gently press down on the rolls to form desired shape. Transfer to the sheet pans.

  6. Mist tops of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Proof the dough at room temperature for 60-90 minutes or until it nearly doubles in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the buns with the egg wash and garnish with poppy or sesame seeds if desired.

  8. Bake the buns for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown and register just above 180°F in the center.

  9. Buns should cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

Gourmet Burgers

Burgers are one of those things that you can make into whatever you want. There are endless combinations and ideas for what you can make them out of, stuff them with, or top them with. Take these as options as suggestions, but make them your own. Be as creative as you can!

Serves 6

2 ¼ Lb. Ground Beef

Salt & Pepper



Shredded Parmesan Cheese for Frico

Blue Cheese

Onion Jam



Homemade BBQ Sauce (Stay Tuned…)

Divide the meat into 6 oz. portions. Shape into balls then press into hamburgers gently trying not to compact the meat too tightly. Make a slight indentation with your thumb in the middle of each patty (one side only). If possible, let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Season the patties with coarse salt and pepper. Grill over high heat for 4-5 minutes, flip and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Remove from grill and let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving. Top with any combination of ingredients that suits your fancy! Some suggestions: BBQ with Blue Cheese or Onion Jam with Frico. What are your favorites?

To make Frico, heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add ¼ c. of cheese to the center of the pan. Let cook until the cheese firms up enough to flip it over. Take a spatula and gently flip the frico, let crisp on the other side. Remove from pan and let cool on a Silpat or parchment. The frico will be pliable when warm and you can place it over a bowl or cup to shape it for other uses. For burgers, just let cool into a disc to be placed on top.

Burger with frico and onion jam…yum!

Do your life to spice up your burger or do you prefer something more traditional? Tell me about your favorites!!




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