August 8, 2009

Grilled Hamburgers

Who doesn't love a delicious grilled hamburger? Okay, I know there are those out there who do not care for grilled burgers, even if that is the case that does not mean they cannot use the recipe below for homemade hamburger buns. My sister made these wonderful buns for dinner over a month ago and I have been wanting to make them ever since. So, when I decided to have a little end of semester dinner for my friend I figured that was the perfect opportunity to make the buns especially since she is a huge fan of grilled hamburgers.

Grilled Hamburgers
from Sparky
Print Recipe

To prepare the hamburger patties for grilling, I placed the ground beef in a bowl, added 3/4 of a chopped red onion, and some Worcestershire sauce. If you have mushrooms and your family doesn't mind them, I highly recommend adding them to the burger as they help keep the burgers moist. Alas, my dear, sweet husband prefers not to eat mushrooms so I chose not to add them. To help keep the burgers flat as they grill I formed the patties with a hole in the middle. (The hole will fill in as they cook and that way the burgers won't bubble up in the middle.) Grill the burgers until done, top with cheese (or not), and place on a wonderful homemade bun with all your favorite condiments.

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Homemade Hamburger Buns

from Sparky
Print Recipe

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp salt
6 1/2 cups bread flour - high protein (very yummy)
whole wheat flour or cornmeal for pan to prevent sticking (or use a Silpat)

Mix yeast, salt, and water. Then add in flour. Cover (not airtight), rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Dough is sticky so wet hands to form buns or put dough in the refrigerator to make it easier to work with. Flour can also be used to prevent sticking. Let buns rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or until brown and firm. The buns turn out especially delicious if you put the boiler pan on the bottom rack and add 1 cup hot water when you put the buns in to bake.

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These turned out great. Well at least the first batch. The second batch was okay. I think my sister's turned out tons better; however, PE said they were just as good even if they weren't as big as hers. So to keep my baking self-esteem at an appropriate level I think I will go with his opinion and not mine.

A side note - Baking bread related items is really not my thing. Items that have to rise or be formed are just not the easiest items for me to make. Sure you may think, "How difficult is it to make round balls or disks of dough?" Well, I tell you "It is VERY difficult for me." I don't know what it is but my rolls, soft wrap bread, etc. never come out uniform. I try. Really I do. It just never works. I think they look round and about the same size and then they rise or bake and they come out all NOT uniform. This lack of uniformity is what I believe leads me to dislike baking items that have to be formed by hand.

When I bake cookies, I use a scoop and they all come out relatively the same size and shape. . . LOVELY!!! So in turn I enjoy baking cookies. Muffins are another example of an item I enjoy baking. Even I can't screw up scooping batter into muffin tins (big or small). Cakes for the most part aren't too difficult to make uniform. I know, it is only one pan. I know you just pour in the batter. But do you know that sometimes (especially in jelly roll/half sheet pans) cakes sometimes come out sort of wavy no matter how hard I tried to level the batter? They do. I am seriously challenged in that way. I have come to terms with it. After all, who doesn't love the part of the cake where you added extra topping to make the top look flat?

So ends my ramblings on baking (for now at least).

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