I love hamburgers. Well, cheeseburgers, actually.
I also love the smell of fresh baked bread. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t, do you?
It’s a perfect match: Fresh baked hamburger buns for a great homemade hamburger.
Well, a cheeseburger is what I have in mind…
Did I mention I made this dough by hand? Yeah, I don’t have a stand mixer. I used the French slap & fold technique. Just follow the kneading technique in this video by Richard Bertinet:
Wait. Mmmm. Can you smell it? Yep, fresh baked bread. Man am I hungry. They’re just about done…
While the buns were cooling, I was thinking of hamburger toppings.
This was the second batch of brioche buns (I’ve been working on a recipe…). The first batch did not rise, possibly because I used old active dry yeast. Or, because I am still learning how to knead bread… I threw that batch of old yeast in the rubbish bin and bought a fresh batch. Much better.
Resist all temptation to immediately have at these buns. You must allow them to properly cool, to redistribute the moisture in the crumb. They are actually better the next day. I couldn’t wait that long…
Note: It is more accurate to weigh your ingredients, rather than measure by volume, especially for flour, therefore, I have provided the amount of flour in weight, rather than cups. Make sure you use fresh active dry yeast. If your active dry yeast is more than six months old, toss it in the rubbish bin and buy some new active dry yeast.
How did I end up here? Well…
I found a beer from Garage Project, a local Wellington brewery. The beer is called Umami Monster. Yeah, Umami Monster. Imagine a beer made with Japanese dashi stock. Umami flavours in a beer should pair well with grilled meats.
So, we’ve endured cold, wet Southerly conditions here in Wellington for about 7 days in a row, except for today. This morning the wind turned northerly and it was sunny – excellent BBQ weather, even in Winter.
So, I set up The Mighty Hibachi with hardwood charcoal – the good stuff, mind you – great chunks of charcoal, fist sized bits straight from the bag. I could really use a bigger BBQ, but that’s a different post for a different day…
I figured, as you do, that a grilled umami burger with Umami Monster beer would hit you like an Umami Tsunami. Oh, never mind.
Back to the umami burger… I made a miso-dijon mustard with dijon mustard, miso paste, and xioxing wine (would have used rice wine, but didn’t have it). I grilled red onions (heaps of umami there…). I grilled 200g of beef mince over hardwood charcoal, basting the burger with the miso-dijon mustard as it cooked. I topped the burger with a mixture of grated aged cheddar and Grana Padano cheese and covered the burger on the grill until the cheese melted.
When the burger was cooked medium rare, I took it off the grill and let it rest for a bit while I got the rest of the burger ready. I spread kewpie mayonnaise on the toasted bottom bun, then topped the bottom bun with cos lettuce, bread & butter pickles, and a couple of tomato slices. I placed the burger on top of all that, then placed the grilled onions on top of the burger. On the top bun I spread some miso-dijon mayonnaise, then assembled the burger and plated it.
I served the umami burger with Umami Monster beer…
It was an Umami Tsunami.
Would I do it again? Probably not, but it was a fun culinary exercise.
The jar of homemade refrigerator dill pickles has been getting happy in the fridge over the last few days. I tasted a couple pickles this morning (purely for quality control, mind you) and decided they were ready to be used.
I made a batch of homemade mayonnaise this morning and noticed a red onion sitting in the basket and fresh beef mince and vintage cheddar cheese in the fridge…
A perfectly good excuse to practice cooking a cheeseburger.
The pickles were great on the burger and balanced the richness of the cheese and burger juices. Delicious.
Fried in a cast iron pan until medium rare, then removed to rest and topped with sliced Colby cheese. Whilst the meat rested, the bun was toasted in butter and sliced onions were grilled in the pan juices in the cast iron pan. The meat was slipped under the broiler to melt the cheese, then placed on top of the grilled onions on the bun.
That is all.
No tomato chutney, no plum sauce, no beetroot, no salad. Why must hamburgers be so defiled in New Zealand?
Just a plain cheeseburger. Delicious.
The other day I baked a batch of light brioche hamburger buns.
There is only one thing to be done with burger buns: make a cheeseburger.
California Burger: Medium Rare Pan Seared Hamburger with Aged Cheddar, Fire Roasted Jalapeño, and Roasted Pepper Mayonnaise on a Home-Made Light Brioche Hamburger Bun.