hamburger heaven

You know what can be irritating? Hamburger and hot dog buns only (mostly, at least here, maybe it’s different elsewhere) come in packages of 8. And most of the time, even if you freeze them to use later, when you use them later, they’re pretty much inedible. That’s par for the course for something that’s usually stuffed with preservatives and all kinds of chemical crap. I can’t really think of an instance, misanthropic, antisocial, non-dinner party having nerds that Erik and I are, in which I would need to make 8 hot dogs or hamburgers. Not even the bottomless pit that is my husband puts away more than 1 burger at dinner time. But, fear not people, because I’ve solved the too many buns problem. If Erik can be the Masa King, I get to be the Yeast Queen, and that means HOMEMADE HAMBURGER BUNS. As little or as many as I want. I’m a firm believer that the almighty hamburger (or cheeseburger, or veggie burger, whateverburger) should be contained within a vessel that is every bit as delicious and awesome as the burger itself. They should have a sturdy structure but also a nice, pillowy texture. And I stumbled across it recently, a recipe even better than one I linked to another burger in this blog a long time ago. If the prospect of your very own from scratch, fluffy burger buns isn’t hamburger heaven, I just don’t know what is.

P.S: you’re getting a bonus recipe here because I made an excellent cheeseburger for dinner to go with these lovely buns. You’re freaking welcome.

Hamburger Buns
recipe from Fake Ginger (and I’m including her recipe that makes 8 buns but I halved it. If you want to make all 8 and freeze them, go for it).

You Need:
1 cup warm water (warmish, not too hot to kill the yeast but not too cold to not activate it either)
2 Tablespoons softened butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast (I used instant yeast)
1 teaspoon onion powder
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (this is another instance of “this exact amount of flour is incorrect for what I’m coming up with.” In this case, I need a bit more flour for my dough. Just add your flour and combine until you have the right consistency, that is, not sticky and wet, but a soft, pliable ball of dough)

In the bowl of your stand mixer (fit with the paddle attachment), combine the water, butter, egg, sugar, salt, yeast and onion powder. Mix to combine. Add the flour in a little at a time until you have a soft, not super sticky but not stiff, pliable dough. Dump it on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Or, just keep it in your mixer and use the dough hook to knead it. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise double its size, about an hour. Punch the dough down and divide it into 8 equal sized balls. I rolled my balls (hee hee) until they were nice and even on all sides and then lightly smushed them down on greased baking sheets. Cover them again and let them rise another 40 minutes to a full hour. Heat your oven to 375 F. Bake your buns until they’re puffy and lightly golden brown. Cool them, split them, then burger those babies up. Preferably with a recipe such as this one:

Jalapeno Cheddar Burgers
recipe heavily adapted from Simply So Good

You need:
enough ground beef for a couple good sized hamburgers
white onion, finely diced
a serrano or jalapeno chile, diced (remove seeds and innards if you want a milder burger)
a garlic clove, finely minced or crushed with a press
a couple Tablespoons worth of cilantro, finely chopped
ground cumin, say a teaspoon
pinch of pepper
couple pinches salt
bacon, cooked crisp
cheddar jack cheese slices
tomato slices, romaine lettuce, chopped scallions, avocado mashed with salt, pepper and lime juice, mustard, ketchup, and whatever you like to top your burger with

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, serrano or jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Form patties. Cook on a cast iron skillet or a grill pan, set to high to sear the outsides, then lowered to cook the burgers the rest of the way through (to your desired level of done-ness). Off heat place your cheese slice on top of the burger, cover it, and let it melt. Lay your burger on your bottom bun. Spread the mashed avocado on the top bun. Place your bacon on the burger, then layer your tomatoes, scallions, lettuce, whatever. Serve with hand cut french fries.


Cooking music: The Decemberists, The King is Dead

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5 Comments

Filed under Cow is Yum, fun with yeast

5 responses to “hamburger heaven

  1. it’s not just there, it’s here too. i usually end up putting our burgers on sandwich bread, because i just feel so damn guilty purchasing 8 buns when i only need two. i do believe it’s time to make my own burger buns.. um how much active dry yeast do you think i should use in this recipe?

    • rebekah

      I would just use the same amount of regular yeast (1 teaspoon) and dissolve it in the water with the sugar and let it activate. The only difference with the instant yeast is that you can skip that part and just combine everything together. In past yeasty recipes, I’ve just dumped in a whole packet of yeast even if it called for a teaspoon and everything went just fine.

      • rebekah

        also, i meant to say these freeze a lot better than store bought buns. wrap well and immediately freeze the ones you don’t eat that baking day.

  2. jewelboxer

    two things:
    1 – YUM i love homemade burgers on homemade buns

    2 – the yeast queen rolling her balls. haha.

  3. rebekah

    >:) i just like talking about balls. it’s the 12 year old boy in me.

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