***Warning: this post contains evidence of a baking fail***
What a surprise. I don’t really get baking. Hot hands and a cold heart maybe.
Anyway, one thing I always liked about American restaurants and bars is that they serve up burgers in a brioche bap. Makes the whole burger thing that little more decandent.
Now in the UK you can get brioche loaves. You can get brioche finger rolls. You can get brioche with chocolate and brioche with jam. You can get things that are almost baps but they are called cholla (they even taste the same as brioche).
But for someone like me, suffering raging OCD, that will not do. I want brioche baps. So I decided to make my own. And that meant yeast. And that meant ‘oh dear’.
For the brioche baps
- 400g strong white flour
- 50ml milk
- 1 sachet (2½ level tsp) easy-blend yeast
- 4 large eggs, plus 3 yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 level tsp salt
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
For the burgers
- Some fatty (ground) beef mince (I used about 2 lbs of assorted mince with about 20% fat content)
- Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ finely chopped onion, fried gently in a bit of oil to soften
- 4 baking potatoes, cut into quarters
- Slices of leerdammer cheese
- Smoked back bacon
- Beefsteak tomato
- Gem lettuce
- Tomato ketchup
- American mustard
To make the buns
Heat the milk in a pan until boiling, pour into a jug and top up with warm water to bring it back to 50ml. Stir in the yeast.
Weigh the flour and take out 2 tbsp to add to the yeast mixture.
Stir well, cover the jug with a saucer and leave for 30 minutes.
Impressive yeast action…
Beat the eggs, sugar and salt in a bowl, then pour in the yeast.
Add the flour and stir until it forms a dough. Cover the bowl and leave for 30 minutes without touching it. Scrape the dough on to a board and add the butter. The instructions said I would make loads of mess and I didn’t really – so I started thinking that I was doing something wrong at this point.
Work the butter into the dough stretching it backwards and forwards. The instructions said do it quick but not for how long and I think this is where it started going wrong – I didn’t knead it enough!
Now the instructions said the dough could be chilled in the fridge for 2 days. So I did. And here I think it continued going wrong. I mean the dough starts rising and I bung it in a really cold place for two days – that doesn’t make much sense to me.
Anyway time to bake. Take the dough out the fridge and divide into equal parts about the size of tangerines. The dough was really wet and sticky but I kept going. Then place on a baking tray and cover with cloths.
I also put a piece of parchment paper on top because the cloth would have stuck to the dough and made a hash of everything. The dough was supposed to rise for two hours but I don’t think it got over the fridge episode and it more kind of spread out:
Brush each bun with egg wash and cook in an oven at 220 centigrade for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 160 centigrade and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. The final fail. The instructions were for making loaves so I should have adjusted for smaller units. And I didn’t. So what I got were kind of flat and kind of burned.
But, on the positive side, they did taste like brioche, just a little dry.
Now to finish this marathon – I mean by now there are children milling around whining about being hungry.
So I got the beef in a bowl and added the other burger related ingredients (no exact measures just go with the flow).
Then I took handfuls and used food rings to create burger shapes – the secret is not to push the meat in too tightly – otherwise they get tough and dry.
Put on the griddle and/or under the grill and cook on a low heat to make sure the meat is cooked through. Then wack up the heat to brown off.
Time to build the burgers.
I go with burger – cheese – bacon – tomato – lettuce – sauces. And serve with potato wedges and pickles:
Liberal splashes of mustard is essential:
I still have a few left after 4 days….