This burger was christened Burger King (I know it’s hardly original) after the hubs took a glance at the scale of the burger buns that came out of the oven. It’s larger than the normal-sized ones and he suggested that I can compete with those at Eagles Deli & Restaurant.
Obviously, I’m in no desire and capacity to compete but am ever eager to create my own burger. Summer calls for all sorts of burgers since it’s the season to grill and barbecue (are they the same?) and so, let me attempt my very first (almost) home-made burger!
Thankfully, ‘The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A year in the life of a restaurant‘ was ready to be loaned and the following recipes came in handy!
House-made buns (Makes about 7 big buns/ 20 small ones)
1 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for coating the bowl
3 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, + extra for dusting
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Put the milk in a small suacepan and warm it over very low heat until lukewarm. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir, and set it aside for 5 minutes to activate (yeast is most active btw 90-100F).
Meanwhile, butter a large bowl and set it aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the yeast mixture with half the flour on low speed. Then, over a 1-minute period, add the remaining flour along with the sugar, salt, egg and butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Then turn the speed to high and mix for 2 minutes more. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and set it aside in a warm area for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide it into 7 equal pieces (use weighing scale!) and arrange them in a row on the surface. Keeping the other portions covered with a kitchen towel so they won’t dry out, roll each piece into a ball. Leave them, covered on the surface for another 10 minutes to relax the gluten. Then, using a rolling pin, flatten the balls into rounds that are 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter. Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, put the baking sheet inside a large plastic bag, and tie the open end closed. Place the pan in a warm area of the kitchen and let the buns rise until they have doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
( I would divide the dough into 18-20 pieces because the recipe yields really BIG buns).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Remove the sheet pan from the bag, brush each bun with water and then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Slice in half and serve.
Next is the homemade mayonnaise. The following recipe yields 1 cup and will keep up to 3 days under refrigeration.
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups canola oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the egg yolks with a few drops of lemon juice and the mustard in a nonreactive mixing bowl. Start to form a stable emulsion by adding a little of the oil, a few drops at a time, while whisking vigorously. Continue adding the oil in a thin stream-you want to do this slowly to ensure that the oil is fully emulsified into the yolks from the get-go. Once you’ve incorporated about 1 cup of the oil (the mixture should be very thick at this point), add 1 tbsp water and a few more drops of lemon juice. Season with the salt and pepper, and then continue to slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup oil while whisking vigorously. Transfer the mayonnaise to a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
Top the bun with cheese, lettuce and tomato slices & cilantro and you are good to go!