How to make beer burger buns

Burgers. Having been reduced to a flavourless mess by fast food chains and their at-home microwaveable counterparts, burgers have been undergoing something of a facelift recently. People like those behind the food at The Grazing Shed, Urban Tap House and Got Beef have, amongst others, been taking the burger back from the chains and crafting incredibly tasty burgers. I simply had to get involved in this revitalising of one of my favourite foods and began devising a way to incorporate beer into a burger so that I could share my recipe with you.

The best way to do this, I thought, would be beer burger buns. After many, many, floury days with my heating running flat out I have finally sorted a recipe that will provide soft, fluffy, beer flavoured buns to stack your favourite mix of meat and toppings in. Don’t worry if you are cooking for somebody beer-averse, these buns are not overly beery and were described by one of my non beer drinking tasters as “F*cking bapalicious!”

I used The Celt Experience’s Apparition IPA from their Shapeshifter series, which was a collaboration with SommALEier Melissa Cole, writer of Let Me Tell You About Beer. This was chosen partly because I love IPAs and partly because it was the only beer I had more than one of.
Cooking with beer burger buns
Enough of my rambling, onto the cooking!
You will need the following:
For the buns:
  • 400g strong white flour (plus extra for kneading etc)
  • 7g (1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 150ml milk
  • 150ml beer
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g butter (melted)
For the burgers:
  • 750g lean beef mince
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2tbsp sweet paprika
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

For the buns:

Warm the beer in a saucepan over a low heat. (I had to guess temp as my thermometer decided that it hated its job so it quit.) It should feel warm to the touch, but not hot. Pour into a large mixing bowl, add the yeast, and stir until combined.

Mix the egg, milk, salt, sugar and oil together.

Add the flour to the mixing bowl, stir and then add the egg/milk mix. Keep stirring until you have a rough, sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, flour your hands and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth, slightly tacky, and bounce back when poked.

Clean and dry the mixing bowl, give it a fine coating of flour, then put the dough back in. Cover with cling film and leave in a very warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size. (I had to put it right next to the radiator, precariously balanced on the back of my sofa, and covered with a jacket.)

When risen, remove from the bowl and cut into 6 even pieces. Flour your hands and roll into balls, then squash them into a burger bun shape.

Put the soon-to-be buns in a tall sided baking dish lined with baking paper, leaving about 1″ spaces around each. Cover loosely with cling film. You may want to brush some oil on it to stop sticking as these rise a lot during this stage.

Return to the warm place for about 45 mins to 1 hour. When uncovered they should feel very soft to the touch (don’t poke them hard or they’ll sink) Pre-heat your oven to Gas Mark 5 (190°C, 375°F).

Brush the tops with the melted butter, then pop in the oven for 15-20 mins. They are done when they are golden brown on top.

Take out of the baking dish by the paper, and leave on a wire rack to cool.

For the burgers:

First, add the mince, salt and pepper to a large bowl, and mix with your hands, then add the egg, onions and garlic. Continue mixing and squeezing until you have what resembles a very large burger. If you have a food processor you could chuck the onion and garlic in that instead of grating. Basically you want it so fine that you don’t know it’s there.

Cover bowl with cling film and pop in the fridge for about half an hour. (You can skip this if you’re in a rush but it helps stop the fat melting out while you’re forming the burgers.) Cook the bacon while this is in the fridge and place it onto a wire rack when done.

Once chilled, take out of the fridge and split into 6 even parts.

Roll each part into a ball between your hands, push the cheese into the ball and slowly flatten out, rolling it around in your hands, until you can’t see any cheese poking out. (Put a bit of grease proof paper under each burger if you’re stacking them pre-cooking).

Fry for about 4 mins each side over a high heat, until a crust starts to form, then cook for a further 2-5 mins on low, if you prefer your burger more well done.

Take out of the pan and rest on a wire rack for a few minutes to let the fat drain off. Add bacon and sliced cheese (if using) to the top of the burger while it’s resting.

Beer time again. Clean the pan and raise the heat to high. Pop the burgers in the pan, add a splash of beer and pop a lid on the pan. Leave for about a minute to let the beer steam melt the cheese onto your burger.

Assemble with your favourite toppings. My current standard burger consists of Dijon mustard and caramelised onion chutney on the bottom bun, then lettuce, then tomato, then the burger, with bacon and beer-steamed cheese and finally capped with the top of the bun.

Why not serve with our Beer Chips? It’s a great idea and you know it.

Did you make this? What beer did you use? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter!

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One thought on “How to make beer burger buns

  1. Pingback: The Beefy Boys set to come to Cardiff |

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