The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

hamburger

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Chausiubao's picture
Chausiubao

More then a few times now I've stroked my ego and declared, “grilled burgers with handmade hamburger buns!” Each time I might add, it has been in front of the eyes and stomachs of my friends. Whatever they happened to think of my attempts and the results that they ate, I knew the truth. They were horrible! Not surprising, considering my experience up until this point has not been in straight doughs, has not been in hamburger buns, and I really didn't know what I was talking about. Give me some dough to laminate, some brioche to mix. I can make several different types of hearth bread shapes, but more “American” type breads I am ashamed to say I am somewhat ignorant.

That last statement would be true up until about two months ago when I started working at an establishment that focused on making hamburger buns and dinner rolls. Sure there are some other types of breads, brioche pullman loaves for example (brioche toast for breakfast?), but more then anything else, we make thousands and thousands of rolls and burgers. And it really blew my mind, one of those steps. It makes sense though, if you want a wide, squat, cylindrical bread, your bread shape has to be wide, squat and cylindrical. You take a nice well rounded roll, let it proof up, then you smash it flat. I must admit, it hurt to flatten my little burger babies.

 

Sure at the other bakery I worked at we did the same thing. But we didn't do it anywhere near to the same extent. We didn't let them proof up, but more like like them rest. We didn't flatten them completely either, seeing as how they weren't particularly relaxed after being rounded. Just a gentle love tap all across the top. They were slightly flattened, and it was visible in the final product, a somewhat squat, yet quite tall, “hamburger bun”. But what they have me doing now, its totally different. Everything gets smashed flat. All the burgers that is. Kaiser rolls too, and the result is just like at the grocery store! Which is not necessarily a good thing, or a bad thing for that matter. It is different. A different shape for a different job I imagine. So tonight, having gotten out of work early armed with the knowledge working at an American bakery has equipped me with, I will be having hamburgers tonight.


cranbo's picture
cranbo

I had read on Chowhound in a 2003 post that Puritan Bakery in Carson, CA supplies most notable SoCal burger chains (including InNOut, Fatburger, and Tommy's, among others) with their buns. 


Interesting article in last week's Orange County Register about Puritan & their process:


From "The secret behind SoCal's best burgers" by Nancy Luna



Puritan buns are made the same way your grandmother used to bake bread in the kitchen – only at a much larger scale... Flour, water, shortening and yeast are mixed and set aside in a large trough where it rises and develops flavor...


At the end of the four- to six-hour fermentation process, the mixture (not considered dough, yet) bubbles up – becoming a taffy-like blob.


Plant workers and machines then take the sponge mixture and add sugar, yeast, salt, flour and water to make dough, which is then shaped into buns before baking. The end result of the seven-hour process is a spongy, pliable bun...


While its base sponge-dough recipe is the same, Puritan customizes buns for restaurants and chains with specific needs. For example, In-N-Out's four-inch buns are "tweaked" (Puritan won't say how) for better grilling results. Tommy's buns are made to better support its heavy chili slathered burgers. Islands restaurants use a larger, five-inch bun. Seeded buns are delivered to The Habit.



Full article at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/puritan-293345-burger-bakery.html


I think it's interesting that the sponge has shortening in it.... Haven't seen that before in a sponge, is it uncommon? Not to mention that their entire process (from sponge to finished product) is about 7 hours.


I also wonder about the "tweaks" for better grilling results; more sugar or shortening for better browning? Any other ideas of what tweaks they might be applying, for example, for support of heavier burgers?

I learned from the photos that Puritan does use hamburger bun pans. In the photo gallery, there is a decent photo showing the bun texture

kjknits's picture
kjknits

So, I haven't posted here in Quite A While, but I made some hamburger buns the other day and thought I would share my results. I have always wanted to make my own burger buns, but the last time I tried over a year ago, they were heavy and too bready for burgers. We couldn't even finish our burgers, the night I served them on those buns! So I sort of let that idea pass away. But then a few weeks ago, I found a recipe posted on King Arthur's baking blog. I was intrigued by the method of forming the buns cinnamon-roll style, and I loved the idea of the onion swirl! So I gave them a try.

KAF burger buns

Well, first of all, they turned out beautiful. How pretty are those? The egg wash and poppy seeds really dressed them up. And the onion flavor from the dried onion swirl was really nice. Subtle, but still tasty. I added a little too much flour to this batch, though, and so they were a little more dense and heavy than I wanted. I really want homemade taste, but supermarket fluff, in my hamburger buns. So I tried them again the next weekend, added less flour (PJ says the dough should be tacky like tape, not sticky like glue, and that description helped me a lot). They were much lighter with less flour. So, I think the key to these is to avoid adding too much flour. I might try adding some milk instead of water sometime, too. It makes super light and fluffy dinner rolls, so it might also work well in hamburger buns.

(No, we didn't have french fries with our burgers that night. Instead, we had fried okra, straight from the farmer's market! Yum.)

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I wanted to make dill bread so used Floyd’s wonderful recipe for Potato Rosemary Rolls yesterday but replaced the rosemary and sage for a huge pile of fresh baby dill.  Then I added another huge pile of freshly ground black Tellicherry pepper.  We really like things spicy but I was afraid the amount of pepper I used would overpower the dill.  Not having made dill bread before (Tingull's looks so good) I also wanted to try using fresh dill to get a feel for the amount desired.  I ended up using 2 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground pepper and roughly 4 packed tablespoons of chopped fresh baby dill.  The flavor was outstanding.  My husband loved them!

I really love the way these taste not only because of the potato and potato water, which also helps them keep longer, but just the richness of the dough and texture when you bite into it.  It has a kind of chewiness to the crust but still moist and the crumb is great for juicy hamburgers.  We did have grilled ground sirloin burgers with fresh chopped garlic mixed into the meat and grilled sliced Vidalia onions.  It made a fabulous hamburger. 

Besides adding quite a bit of extra pepper and substituting fresh dill instead of rosemary and sage I didn't make any other change to Floyd's recipe.  I did brush the top of the buns with unsalted butter when they were hot from the oven. 

Inspired by Floyd's, Potato Rosemary Rolls:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/potatorosemaryrolls

And Tingull's, Country Dill Bread:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/3298/country-dill

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