You're going to make your own buns, right? Because you could just waffle some hamburger meat, slap it between two buns from a bag and call it a day.
But then you might as well just cook your hamburger in a frying pan like a normal person. And that's not why we're here.
In Reinhart's version, the buns are not waffled.
I made the recipe with buttermilk, although you may substitute whole milk.
If you enjoy having buttermilk in the house for pancakes, waffles or waffled hamburger buns, but don't use it often enough to justify buying a quart, look into powdered buttermilk, which is available online and at many Whole Foods stores. It's what I used in this recipe and it works perfectly.
Makes 12 buns, waffled or unwaffled
- 4 1/4 cups (19 ounces) unbleached bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature, or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk at room temperature
1. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer.) Pour in the egg, butter or oil and the buttermilk. Mix with a large spoon (or with the paddle attachment of the mixer) until the flour is absorbed and the dough forms a ball. If the dough seems stiff, add a tiny bit of water.
2. Sprinkle the counter with flour, transfer the dough to the counter and begin kneading (or mix with the dough hook in the stand mixer). The dough should be tacky, but not sticky. If necessary, add more flour, a bit at a time. Continue kneading for about eight minutes. (If you're using a mixer, the dough should clear the sides of the bowl and stick slightly to the bottom.) Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover.
3. Let rise at room temperature for about two hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and divide it into 12 pieces. On a counter cleared of flour and wiped with a damp cloth, shape the pieces into tight rounds with the cupped palm of a single hand.
5. Assuming you will not want to waffle all 12 buns, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the dough pieces on the paper and press down to form the bun. At this point, the dough can be frozen. Just bring the pieces back to room temperature in a sealed, oiled zip-top bag before proceeding with the next step.
6. Let rise for 60 to 90 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a towel. The buns should be nearly doubled in size.
They are now ready for waffling.
[For those buns that you do not wish to waffle, brush them with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water), top them with sesame or poppy seeds, and place them in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.]
Preheat your waffle iron and brush with butter. (A silicone pastry brush will avoid tears and burns.)
Place the dough on the iron and close the lid. Check after about five minutes. You want the waffled buns to turn out golden brown and crisp.
Set aside your waffled buns. (They can be frozen and reheated in a very low oven for about 10 minutes — handy for when company drops in unexpectedly and you don't have the time to waffle them fresh buns from scratch.)
* * *
Grass-fed beef, ground
Season the beef and form it into a very thin patty. Place in the waffle iron and cook about four minutes.
When your patty has cooked, remove it from the waffle iron. If you would like a waffleburger with cheese, top the patty with cheese, place it in the waffle iron and allow to waffle very briefly — about five seconds.
Garnish with the condiments of your choice. Revel in the triumph of the ridiculous.