Search This Blog

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Burger NIght

Tonight was burger night, I decided it would be interesting to try something new with this classic of the backyard grill. First off however, I needed a bun. I decided to make a small batch of butter dough for some buns. I have no idea what butter dough is, I had no recipe, and decided to wing it.

Butter Dough
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 pack Yeast
1 cup each A.P. flour and Bread flour
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
bench flour, I used whole wheat, about 1/4 cup.

With the butter still warm, I added the warm water and yeast, allowed to proof for 15 minutes. Then added sugar, allowed to dissolve. Added the 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cup water and mixed into a dough. Kneaded for 5 minutes and let rest for 30 minutes. Kneaded again and let proof for 2 hours. Divided and proofed for 4 hours in a oiled oven pan covered with plastic wrap. These were baked, in the pan, in the oven, for 40 minutes at 350F, then finished at 425F for 10 minutes on the rack. At this time, I burned myself taking them out of the oven.

In the Proof and Cook pan

Sliced and Ready for the oven

To the patties, I was lazy and opted not to grind my own. But, since I was able to get some nice grass finished Painted Hills Beef from Oregon, I felt safe that the ground beef was of a high quality. I have found the meat from Paitned Hills to be consistently high quality. This meat was no different. I formed into patties, from here, I made a variance from my normal process. I formed the meat into balls, then perforated the meat with a steel skewer. The idea was to emulate the texture of a granulated burger, a technique created by Heston Blumenthal to create a better burger patty. More on this later. Here are the patties, coated with The Rub Company Santa Maria Rub and Simply Marvelous Season-All. Yes, I seasoned them like I do tri-tip, which I figure makes sense, they are both beef.

My Ventilated Patty

You can't really see it in the photo, but, the holes through the burger were quite apparent in person. You could tell that each 1/3 pound patty had a bunch of holes in them. Maybe this shot will show them better.
See the holes?

 Oh well, they were there. These were meant to be classic burger, nothing special in terms of toppings, a true backyard burger with the exception of a home baked bun and a ventileated patty. So, some iceberg lettuce, tomato and red onion were added to the mix. I meant to buy pickles, they were missed.


A little mayo and spicy brown mustard, some fresh ground black pepper and some cheddar which was melted on while the burgers cooked on the kettle, which was set to 400F, there was a little apple wood in the charcoals. You could see a little of the effect of smoke in the reddish hue of the patties. I built the burgers, as I always saw at Nations and The Red Onion, mayo and mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, beef and the top of the bun. Served with tater tots. The tots were coated with olive oil and Simply Marvelous Sweet and Spicy Rub.

Burger and Tots

Section View

Now, I am not sure what the deal was, but, you can clearly see the effect of the butter (oddly more yellow than in real life) in the part of the bun on the back of the plate, but, the front bun is white (oddly much more white than in real life). I am sure this is a lighting issue, odd though, just could not get the color right no matter the angle. You can see the salad piled under the burger patty.

Burger Patty texture shot

Hopefully that last shot shows the texture of the patty, which was actually quite airy and still juicy. The skewer I used was quite dull, my brisket skewer to he honest, and it pushed slits through the meat, as opposed to cutting the fibers of the grind. The patty had a granular texture, the juices sitting in the voids quite nicely. In my real life, there is a thing called a peched water table, where a gravel drainage bed does not drain, becasue the pores in the gravel section are just small enough to allow fluid surface tension to bridge the gaps, desptie being porous, the liquids stay in place. This was amazing to me, as that is exactly what happened. A delicate texture, light to the teeth, meaty on the palate, bursting with juice with each bite flowing with flavor. I may never do patties the same again.


  1. How is it that you were able to bake the rolls, or buns, for the better part of an hour? At medium high to high, at that. regardless of the mass of dough, I would have thought the outside would become hard at best, or even burn. I am no baker, so I speak from ignorance only.
    Sounds like a marvelous burger, though!

  2. Looks amazing Bob! I just made the same tonight with New Zealand lamb and Gruyere on potato bread.

  3. The effect of protein and fat in combination in the bread makes the surface softer, also I had a lot of steam in the oven for the entire cook which yields a thinner softer crust.

    That sound delicious Harry, I haven't done a lamb burger in a long time.