Since it's BBQ season here in the northern hemisphere, I figured it was past time to break out a hamburger recipe. I remember my mom making hamburgers as a kid, shaking and squeezing ingredients into a large bowl, deftly mixing everything, then shaping the patties with sure, swift movements, hands moving smoothly around and around. I make them the same way, though my patties always seem to have rough edges. I've received many compliments on my hamburgers and upon reflection and comparison with other recipes I think the secret ingredient is the ketchup. You totally need ketchup. In the patty, on the patty and as dip for the burger. One of my friends buys sugar free ketchup from the U.S., but I like the regular variety.
As for buns, I've tried out a new recipe today since I love those hamburger thins that you can buy. It wouldn't be The Cookery if I hadn't tweaked it, so I made some substitutions based on what I like. The President's Choice ones have a nutty chewy texture, so I added some oats to try to replicate that.
1 lb lean ground beef or bison
1 tbsp. ketchup
3-4 good squirts of Worcestershire sauce (though I was out. Damn! I used soya sauce instead)
1/4 - 1/2 c. bread crumbs (I was out again! I used oats instead)
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme
Dump everything in your mixer and stir until just combined. Using wet hands, take a handful at a time and shape into patties. This recipe should make 6-8 depending on how thick you want your burgers.
Cook or freeze individually, wrapped in parchment or wax paper.
Hamburger/Sandwich Thins (Whole grain)
1 1/2 c. warm water
1/8 c. sugar
1 tbsp. yeast
2 tsp. oil
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. quick cooking oats
1/4 c. lightly pulsed flax seed (to open up the seed)
2 tsp. whole flax seed
1 1/2 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
1 tsp. salt
Mix water, yeast and sugar until dissolved. Add egg and oil and beat lightly.
In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Mix well then add half of the dry mixture to the wet. Let rise 30-45 minutes.
Once risen, add the remaining flour mixture and knead in your mixer for 5 minutes. I ended up having a screaming toddler situation, so it ended up being more like 10 for me. The dough will be very wet and sticky. Weigh it and divide by 16 (mine worked out to just about 2 ounces per bun).
Spread parchment paper on two cookie sheets. Watching your scale, and working with wet hands, shape one bun at a time. One recipe mentioned using a 4 inch biscuit cutter as a guide then smooshing the dough to fit, but I just slapped it on the cookie sheet and spread it around. The edges weren't as pretty, but it worked well.
Once you have all 16 rounds on your sheets, let rise for another 30-45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350F, with the racks in the middle and bottom third positions.
Once risen, poke a few holes in each round using a wet straw or a wet chopstick. If you want fluffier buns, omit this step. Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Let cool on sheets. They'll seem really thin, but they're solid. Cut in half for buns.
And here's the final product! We had leftovers for another meal and it was just as good the second time. Yummah!