Monday, May 5, 2008

Ultimate Burgers

Burgers are so quick and easy on the grill that we make them at least once a week lately. Some of my favorites are made with ground lamb or buffalo. This is a simple but delicious burger, but what makes it is the homemade bun. We were out of hamburger buns and I wondered how long it would take to whip some up. It turns out, not too long, and they're so much better than store-bought.

Homemade Hamburger Buns - makes 4

3/4 cup warm milk
1 packet active dry yeast
1/6 cup white truffle oil (you could use veg oil, but it's not as much fun)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp brown sugar
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. italian seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder

Whisk milk and yeast together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add all other ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup flour. Mix to form a soft mass. If dough is sticky, add remainder of flour. Knead on lowest speed of mixer for 8 minutes. It should form a soft bouncy dough. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, until doubled.

Divide into 4 portions, and form 4 balls of dough. Place on an oiled baking sheet and press to flatten to size. Let rise for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F. Before baking, brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before slicing and sandwiching.

Blue Cheese Burgers - makes 2 monster burgers

1 lb. ground chuck
2 Tbsp. good blue cheese crumbles, I like gorgonzola
Worcestershire sauce for basting
4 slices cooked bacon (optional)
carmelized onions (optional)
lettuce (optional)
barbecue sauce - kansas city style

Mix blue cheese crumbles into ground chuck and form 2 huge, thick patties. Grill over highest heat, basting with Worcestershire sauce twice on each side, until a nice crust develops and burger is cooked to medium rare. Spread roll with barbecue sauce and top as desired.

Serve with a simple cucumber or caprese salad.

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