Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns

Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns

I love a good cheeseburger. It has to have the perfect balance between a juicy and quality burger, the perfect sauce, crispy bacon (yes bacon has to be there), and a soft, airy, fresh bun. And if you are going crazy you can throw in an egg too... fried or grilled. Whichever you prefer.
So off course this is complicated to get. Whenever I eat a cheeseburger at a restaurant I always end up with the feeling that it wasn’t really worth it. Either the meat was not fresh, or it was too dry, or there was not enough cheese, or the bacon was not crispy enough, but most of the time, because the bread is not good: it is too old, or too dry or there’s too much bread compared to the size of the burger, or it is not soft enough. The list could go on and on. But I think I made my point so I’ll stop.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Setting aside the toppings you choose for your burger, the first and most important balance that needs to be established is the one between the meat and the bread. Because the bun is to cheeseburger as bread is to butter. Vital. And this is why I bring to you a really good, pretty straightforward burger bun recipe. I tested other recipes, but either they were too dry (for my taste) or a little too complicated for our first time making bread together. So I went for this one, which I thought was kind of perfect.
Having solved this very important issue, I proceeded to do a little introspection, meditate and be honest about what I like in my burger. You’ll probably find this funny, or a little weird even, but I actually prefer it without sauce. Yes you read correctly. No sauce. With one exception only: BBQ sauce. And this is totally new. So, seeing that I am a newly declared fan I have put together a delicious BBQ sauce recipe.
But just to be clear, I love cheeseburger without sauce! I stand by it. :)
Moving on to toppings, these are my chosen ones: provolone cheese (if you can get your hands on it, raclette is a good alternative, as far as cheese is concerned), crispy bacon and caramelized onions. Option 2: A fried egg and no onions. Or you can maybe try both.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
I have to come clean and confess this is the first time I’ve put so much effort in making burgers at home. And it was worth my while. There’s no going back now. Not ever.
Let’s get to it then!
Happy Cooking!
For the Buns
It makes 8 100 g buns

Bread flour (T65 or 00) 450 g
Water 240 g
Butter 45 g
Egg yolk 2 u
Sugar 45 g
Salt 8 g
Bakers yeast 14g (or 7 g of dry yeast)
Sesame seeds
Egg 1

For the BBQ Sauce

Olive oil
Onion 1 u
Garlic clove 1 u
Honey 40 g (2 tbs)
Brown sugar 1 generous pinch
Crushed pepper flakes (aji molido)
Red wine vinegar 30 g
Worcester sauce (or soy sauce + a dash of lime juice) 20 g
Ketchup 250 g

For the Burger
It makes 8 burgers

Grounded beef 500 g (The better quality your beef, the better your burger will be!!)
Grounded pork 200 g
Scallions 3 u
Shallots 3 u
Butter 20 g
Egg yolk 2
Crushed red pepper flakes
Grounded pepper
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
For the Caramelized Onions

Onions 2 u
Butter 15 g

For the Finishing Touches

Provolone Cheese
Arugula (optional)
For the Buns
1. Petrissage or Kneading
With a Stand Mixer
Dissolve the yeast in water (not hot water or it will kill the yeast! It should be slightly warm; 20 degrees Celsius would be perfect!). In the bowl put all of the ingredients together, except for the butter. Knead at a low speed (using the hook attachment) for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the butter at room temperature, and continue to knead at a low speed until the butter has incorporated into the batter.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Knead for an extra 8 minutes on medium to high speed.
By Hand
Dissolve the yeast in the water.
On the kitchen counter make a fountain with the flour, the sugar, the salt. Make a hole in the middle and pour the egg yolk and half of the water. Using your fingers start mixing bringing in the flour around. Add the rest of the water and finish mixing the ingredients together. Add the butter at room temperature.
Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the kitchen counter. To knead you should tap the dough against your counter, fold it and repeat the movement.
2. "Pointage" or First Fermentation
Shape your bread into a ball and let it rest for an hour covered with a humid kitchen towel. It should have at least doubled in size.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
3. "Façonnage" or Bread Shaping
Divide your bread dough into 8 equal parts. If you have a scale, each one should way around 100 g.
Now we are going to shape the bread. This is very important because it is what’s going to allow your bun to grow nicely during the fermentation process and in the oven. It gives it strength. This is called "façonnage" in French. We are going to be shaping each piece into a small tight ball.
Watch the video to see how this is done:
Beat 1 egg. Transfer the sesame seed onto a small shallow dish.
After you have shaped all of the buns, using a brush paint each bun with the beaten egg, and then turn over your bun and dip into the sesame seeds. Place on a oven tray lined with parchment paper.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
4. Second Fermentation
Cover and let them rest for about 1 hour, or until they have doubled in size (if this happens before the hour, it's OK).
5. Cooking
15 minutes before the end of the fermentation pre heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and place an empty tray at the bottom of your oven.
Just before putting your buns in pour 1/2 a glass of water onto the empty tray.
Cook for about 15 to 17 min, or until golden brown.
Transfer onto a rack and let them cool down.
If you are not going to use them right away, you can wrap them in plastic paper and freeze them. Just re-heat before using again!
Before second fermentation:
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
After second fermentation:
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
For the Caramelized Onions
Slice the onions as thinly as you can. The proper French technical term would be "émincer". You can watch how to do this in the video below.
Melt the butter in a pot at very very low heat (my burners go up to 6, and I did the whole procedure at number 2!). Add the sliced onions and cook slowly until they are soft, really soft, and caramelized. The key to this process is being patient, and stir from time to time. We don’t want coloration! That’s why I cook the onions very slowly. Also, some people add sugar to make caramelized onions... I don’t. They are sweet enough without adding anything extra. Try it out!
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Season once they are nicely cooked and set aside.
For the BBQ Sauce
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. In the mean time chop the onion or in as French would say "ciseler". Separate the green part of the scallions from the white part and chop the white part. Set aside the greens. Crush the garlic clove using the blade of your knife and the palm of your hand.
Once the olive oil has heated up add the scallions (white part only), the shallots and the garlic. Cook over medium low heat, removing from time to time. After 10 minutes add the honey, the brown sugar, the paprika and the crushed red pepper flakes. Bring it to a simmer and let it reduce. Add the vinegar and the soy sauce with the splash of limejuice and let it reduce once again.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Finally add the ketchup and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you obtain the desired consistency for your sauce.
I reduced quite a bit, because for the burgers I prefer a less runny sauce. But for other uses, a little less reduced would be good.
Make a big batch. It preserves well in the fridge in jam jars. You can then use the sauce for other recipes, as chicken wings, or ribs, or just as a sauce for your grilled meat.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
For the Burgers
Chop the shallots and the scallions (white part). Slice the green part of the scallions as thinly as possible. Remember to use the ones you set aside when preparing the BBQ sauce.
In a sauté pan melt the butter and add the shallots and scallions (white part). Cook over medium heat until they are transparent. Add the sliced green part of the scallions, plus the red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper. Cook for an extra 2 minutes.
Transfer to a container and let it cool. If there is excess of butter, strain.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Season the grounded beef and pork with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix together the beef, the pork, the egg yolks, and the cooked shallot/scallion mixture once it has cooled off a bit.
Make 8 balls using your hands, and place over parchment paper. Proceed to flatten the balls into a burger shape.
We are almost ready to actually cook the burgers!
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
For the Crispy Bacon
Heat a sauté pan. Once it’s really hot and over high heat, brown your bacon on both sides. Extra fat is not necessary; bacon has enough of that by itself.
For the Finishing Touches
Once your bread is in the oven, or when you have already baked your buns, whatever your timeline is, you can start cooking your burgers.
On a sauté pan (or a grill if you are lucky enough to have one!), drizzle a drop of olive oil. Once it is very very hot, place your burgers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the burgers and place a spoonful of caramelized onions, plus a slice of provolone over each burger and cover your pan. Cook for three minutes. Remove the cover. If the cheese is not melted enough cover again and continue cooking.
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
If your provolone cheese comes in thin slices the way I suggested above is the way to go. If you get your provolone in one big thick disk, as I did, then you probably want to go another direction. Before cooking the burgers, melt the provolone disk. Remove for the sauté pan, and also remove some of the excess fat (it is the provolone’s fat!). Cook your burgers using this fat, and don’t add any extra olive oil!
Once you turn your burgers, proceed exactly as I said before, except your cheese will already be melted, it will just need some extra heat!
Any other cheese that you would like to use would be ok. I would go with Swiss cheese if you can’t find or don’t especially enjoy provolone!
Slice your buns in the middle, and spread the BBQ on the bottom cover. Add the arugula (if you have any). Transfer the burgers onto the buns; add the crispy bacon and close the burger!
Cheeseburger with Homemade Buns
Just enjoy it!
Bon appétit!
If you do a big batch of burgers you can freeze them and eat them at another occasion.
Preparation Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
8 servings
Calories: 956 cal
Carbohydrate: 101 g
Fat: 46 g
Protein: 46 g
Sodium: 1248 mg
Sugar: 22 g
Keywords: cheeseburger,bacon,caramelized onions,barbecue sauce,bread,homemade buns
Cuisine: American

Comments (2)

Average Rating:
(2 ratings)
by | |
Today I made the hamburger buns and they were perfect! Thank you for the recipe!!!
Reply from Belula | Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hello Donna,
So happy to hear they turned out good! I loved making them and eating them even more :)

by | |
I made this today and it was absolutely the best burger Me and my husband ever had.
Reply from Belula | Tuesday, January 31, 2017

HI Maya! AHHH I'm so happy to hear this!!! I'm glad you guys enjoyed them :)

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