Hello and Ack Ack Ack!
How are you?
Thinking about road trips in the southwest of the US, the first thing that came to mind was California, the beaches, the surfers and, of course, the Beach Boys. And I said to myself, why not make a healthy California recipe?
I did some research and indeed, they do have a few very healthy recipes, but nothing that would inspire me and that would be a representative recipe for our road trip. So I discarded this idea.
Then I said to myself, why not make a traditional recipe from one of the indigenous people living in the states the road trip goes through? After much searching, I unfortunately did not find anything representative for our trip and easy to make at home. However, I have learned a lot about the different tribes in the area and it is very possible that I will present you such a recipe one day.
I kept thinking about it and I said to myself: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of American food? Well, actually, probably like many of you, what came to mind was a hamburger. Actually, in the US they have many varieties of hamburger recipes and each state, it seems, has its specialties, although that is not very clear to me yet.
Among the many hamburger recipes I found there also was a classic, the California Burger. You can find this burger in many areas of the US. In the western part it usually designates a cheese burger with avocado.
I’m not a big fan of hamburgers, but, as always, if they are homemade they are a delight.
Well, we already have the recipe, but we also need a geek side. How do we link the California Burger with our road trips across the southwest of the US in search of aliens? Well, what better than looking for UFOs! So why not make a UFO burger?
I have to say that it was not easy to make a UFO burger and the result is not, to be honest, spectacular. Our flying saucer unfortunately lasted only a few seconds before it crashed in Area 51… but it was still fun to do.
Like any good flying saucer, it should have a ring that stands out from its structure and some colored lights. To make the ring, I decided to make an avocado jelly since avocado is one of the California Burger’s ingredients. It was interesting from a visual point of view, but I must say that it left something to be desired from a taste point of view.
So let’s go to the recipe. Beam me up, Scotty!
Today I present you a recipe to create a very tasty burger with a good homemade bun (hamburger bun).
Recipe for Buns (hamburger buns):
It’s a great recipe from Joshua Weissman. You will find this recipe in his video in English.
Ingredients for 6 Buns:
For the first part of the dough:
- whole milk: 60 g = 4 tbsp
- water: 27 g = 2 tbsp
- flour: 20 g = 2 tbsp
For the second part of the dough:
- milk at 35 °C: 120 g = ½ cup
- dry yeast: 9 g = 1 tsp
- flour: 320 g = 2 cups
- sugar: 35 g = 2 ½ tbsp
- fine salt: 7 g = 1 tsp
- eggs: 2 whole eggs and 1 yolk
- butter at room temperature: 42 g = 3 tbsp
Time for preparation: 30 minutes + 1,5 h first time rising + 15 minutes preparation + 2 h second time rising
Time for baking: 16-18 minutes at 190 °C, preheated oven
Let’s get to work!
Start with the first part of the dough. Put a saucepan on medium-low heat and add the milk, water and flour. Mix without stopping until a thick dough forms, similar to a thick béchamel sauce. Set this dough aside.
In a small bowl or large glass mix the milk at 35 °C with the dry yeast. Let it rest for about 8 minutes.
In the bowl of your robot add and mix well the rest of the flour, with the sugar and salt. Use the bread kneading tool and start the robot on a slow speed. Add the milk you had previously mixed with the dry yeast. Knead for a few seconds and add the first dough that we had prepared and set aside. Continue kneading for about 20-30 seconds and add a whole egg and and a yolk. Increase the kneading speed to half speed. When the ingredients are fully integrated, add the butter at room temperature little by little. Leave to knead for 5 to 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
Prepare a bowl and brush the sides with oil. Form a ball with the dough and place it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave the dough to rise in a warm area protected from draughts for 1 – 1,5 hours.
After this time, prick the ball to let the air out. Cut the dough into pieces of between 95 – 105 g. Use each of these pieces to form a ball (see the pictures below or the video from minute 4:40 for the technique).
Place each ball on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place a second tray upside down on the tray with the balls so that they are covered and let them rise again for 1 – 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 190 °C. Beat an egg and add a little milk. Brush the balls with this and they will be ready to go in the oven. Optionally, if you like, you can add sesame seeds. Put the balls in the oven and bake them for 16 – 18 minutes.
Once they are out of the oven, you can brush them with melted butter if you want them to be even more tender and shiny.
Did you ever eat homemade buns? Have you ever made them yourself at home?
And now for our disc for the flying saucer (UFO):
As I indicated before, for your burgers I do not recommend you make the avocado disk. Rather simply add some pieces of avocado to your burger.
Ingredients for 2-3 discs:
- ripe avocados: 2
- lime: 1
- gelatine: 9-10 sheets
Time for preparation: 15 minutes
Time for cooling down: 3 h
To make our flying saucer disc you will need a bakery ring of about 14-16 cm in diameter (all depending on the diameter of your hamburger bun) per flying saucer.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.
Peel the avocados and remove the stone. Put them in a mug for mixing, add the grated zest and the juice of the lime. Purée it until you get a cream.
Put some of the avocado cream in a saucepan to heat (4 or 5 spoons). When it starts to heat, add a sheet of gelatin well drained of water and stir quickly until it integrates perfectly. Repeat this with the rest of the gelatine leaves but always one at a time.
When you have finished adding the gelatine and turned the heatplate off, mix all the avocado cream again.
Prepare a plate with baking paper and put your metal ring on it. Fill with the avocado cream up to a thickness of 3 – 5 mm. Take it to the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.
After this time the avocado cream should have taken a good consistency and you will be able to unmold it. Use a sharp knife to ensure correct removal from the mould. Keep your disc in the fridge until use.
Do you believe in UFOs? Do you use gelatine regularly? What recipes do you make with it?
And now for our hamburger:
Ingredients for one burger:
- ground beef: 100-125 g
For a normal burger you have to count about 100 g per burger. We were a bit more greedy and wanted a thicker one so we used 140 g
- red onion: cut into rings
- tomato: with good flesh and cut into rings
- Emmental cheese: sliced
As for the cheese, you will find different cheeses to use depending on the recipe you find on the Internet. It is very common to use Cheddar cheese. The original one, as far as I understood it, is with so-called Swiss cheese, which is, apparently, Emmental cheese.
- avocado: sliced (if you have decided not to make a flying saucer)
- bacon: a slightly thick slice cut into 2 or 3 pieces per hamburger
This time, we did not use any bacon.
- grissinis: for the legs of our UFO, cut in a length of about 4 cm
- mustard: a good Dijon always comes in handy
- worcestershire sauce: optional
Time for preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Time for cooking: 10 minutes
Preparation and assembly of the California Alien Burger:
Put the ground beef in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to add a little mustard and worcestershire sauce to enhance the flavor. Mix the meat a bit without overworking it. Form a ball with the chosen weight of meat and crush it slightly to shape it into a hamburger. Think that when we fry it, we will crush it a little more.
Put a griddle pan on the hotplate (or light your barbecue) and add some oil. When it is hot enough, put your burgers in the pan. Cook each burger to your liking; personally I like it grilled on the outside, but raw on the inside, so I cook it on a strong heat and not for too long. You are flattening the burgers a little bit as you cook them. Put the onion rings in the same pan to fry them.
Cut your buns in half. Remove the burgers from the pan, or if you have enough space, put the buns with their inner face down in the pan to brown. The buns will recover the juice from the meat and will taste awesome.
Okay, we are all set for the assembly of our UFO or hamburger. I am going to explain how to build the UFO, but, obviously, you can skip the elements of the UFO (feet of the ship, disk of the saucer and little lights).
Take the base of your bread. Insert four grissini-legs to stabilise your UFO. Put some mustard and ketchup on the bun. From here on you have to do things delicately because our UFO is very sensitive since it is not used to our gravity. We will start by putting the avocado disc, then the meat, followed by the cheese, onion rings, lettuce leaves, the tomato, the avocado (if you do not do the UFO) and finally we close with the upper part of the bun. To finish our UFO, we can make some decorations like lights with alternating drops of mayonnaise and ketchup. And there it is: your UFO!
Did you know that the hamburger is originally from Germany? Do you know which city or region?
And you, do you make hamburgers at home? Do you want to share your recipes with us?