Hamburgers on Homemade Buns with French Fries and Candied Jalapenos

For most of my life I have really been more a hot dog person than a hamburger person. Every bbq or festival or event growing up if there were hot dogs, I’d go with that. I blame this on the fact that there are a lot of bad burgers in the world. They just really did not excite me. Once we started making them at home though, I’m a total convert.

My husband has a meat grinder because he makes homemade sausage and other things, so we grind our own beef for burgers and it makes such a different burger than store ground beef, although I now realize you can make a good burger with that too. Its all in the bread and the toppings.

I have a few recipes I use for burger buns. I sometimes use kaiser rolls or brioche buns depending on what exactly we are eating, but I really love this regular hamburger bun recipe from KAF (link at the bottom). It makes soft, delicious, perfect hamburger buns. I have a tutorial here on making your own bread, and making these buns is almost identical to that, other than the shaping, which I will show you below. I do modify it slightly from the original recipe.

We like to put a lot of toppings on our burgers. All the standard stuff – lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, mayo, mustard, pickles, cheese… but also sometimes pimento cheese, or these amazing candied jalapenos I’m including the recipe for below, or fried shallots which we having today (info in this post on how to fry shallots). All the extras are what make the burger in my opinion.

For the burger patties:

2-3 lbs chuck roast

1 lb sirloin steak

1 1/2 lbs boneless short ribs

Grind all the meats together in a meat grinder and season with salt/pepper and whatever other seasonings you want. We usually use some season salt. Shape into patties. My husband cooks ours on a charcoal grill, which gives great flavor.

Burger Buns:

  • 3 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp softened butter or oil
  • 1 large egg (room temp)
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • egg wash and seeds for topping if you like

Using room temp egg here is important because adding a cold egg to the dough will greatly slow down the fermentation of the yeast and it will take much longer for your dough to rise. A great trick if you only have refrigerated eggs and you need a room tmep one is to fill a bowl with warm/hot tap water (not boiling water because you will start cooking the egg, just warm from your tap) and let the egg sit in it for 10 minutes, changing the water after 5 when it cools. Mix all of the ingredients in a stand mixer with dough hook (or by hand) until the dough is smooth and supple and passes the window pane test.

Place in a greased bowl or dough rising bucket (my favorite dough rising bucket is here) and allow to rise for 1-2 hours until doubled. Once doubled, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured counter and cut into 8-10 pieces depending on how big you want your buns. I usually do 10 and find those plenty large for a burger. I use my scale to weight my dough balls so they are all equal. Take the corners of each piece of dough and bring to the center to roughly form a ball.

Then cup your hand around the ball and slowly rotate your hand to smooth and stretch the surface until you have a smooth round ball of dough that comes together at the bottom center. Here is a video of what this looks like:

Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with greased plastic. Allow to rise until puffy, about another 45-60 minutes. You can check they are ready to bake by lightly poking one with a greased finger. If the dent doesn’t bounce back they are ready.

If you want seeded rolls, brush with egg wash and sprinkle seeds on. Bake in 375 degree oven for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. If testing the temp they should be above 197 in the center. You can gently brush these with some melted butter after they come out too for a nice finish.

I use the double fry method to make homemade fries. I like it because it gives a better end result and also it allows cooking multiple batches of fries more quickly right when you are ready to serve them. I peel, cut and soak my fries at least a few hours ahead of cooking them. This helps remove some of the starch and gives crispier fries.

French Fries:

  • 4-5 russet potatoes (depends on how many people, I use about 4 potatoes for 5 people)
  • salt/season salt
  • oil to fry

Peel and slice your potatoes into fry shape pieces. Soak in a bowl of cold water for at least a few hours. Heat a big pot of oil to 300. Drain some of your potatoes on paper towels and pat dry. Water in hot oil will pop and explode and gives the worst burns, so make sure they are dry! Cook batches of fries at 300 for about 4 minutes. They shouldn’t get any color on them, they are just getting partially cooked, so that when you fry them later at high temp they cook quickly. Drain them on paper towels, and cover with another paper towel if you aren’t going to refry right away because they will turn brown.

Once you have fried all the fries at low temp, heat your oil to 375. Fry small batches of the fries at this temp until golden and crisp. Don’t overcrowd the oil or they won’t be as crispy. Sprinkle the drained fries with salt or season salt and serve. So yummy!!

These candied jalapenos are amazing on burgers. They are also great on sandwiches, crostini, with eggs, really with most things. They keep well in the fridge for quite a while so you can make a jar to keep in your fridge and throw them onto whatever you are making.

Candied Jalapenos:

  • 4 jalapenos sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Add the vinegar, sugar and garlic powder to a sauce pot over medium and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes and add the peppers. Stir for 3-4 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, remove the peppers to a canning jar or heat safe container. Boil the liquid for another 5 minutes until it has reduced by about half. Pour over the peppers and allow to cool before placing in the the fridge.

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