Fact: sometimes a girl can’t help but want a cheeseburger.
(More specifically, a tiny cheeseburger resplendent with sugary bun, fake cheese, pickle and compressed patty from a giant conglomerated a fast food chain. You know what I’m talking about? Yeah. That one.)
Problem being that a tiny cheeseburger doesn’t go very far in the way of a filling lunch.
(Other problem being that said hypothetical girl is also, hypothetically, really bad at just buying one cheeseburger and not also buying a medium fries, a thickshake and an apple pie to go with.)
One of the nicer additions to my social calendar this year has been the introduction of the Share House Family Dinner. Not my sharehouse, mind you, for I am far too particular (and possibly far too peculiar) to ever abide in one, but the sharehouse of my mister, Koji.
It started off with Gol and his ability to pull a roast dinner for seven out of the oven come dinner time every week or so. (Never mind that he was only ever intending to be cooking for himself and his girlfriend.)
Three roast chickens done on the Weber and coated in assorted marinades. (Quietly, the peri peri was the best – sucks to be you barbecue flavoured chicken quarter recipients). A half leg of ham. A half leg of lamb and a slab of pork belly.
The man has a way with meat.
To even out the fact that we were essentially eating our way through Gol’s supply of meat, and to relieve the burden of cooking duties somewhat, the Handyman (aka housemate #2/5) decided to throw his hat into the Tuesday night cooking ring.
“I know some Indian people who make some pretty good Indian food hey?” he said, in volunteering to provide the next feast.
“You mean your mum and dad?”
“Well, mainly my mum. But I’ll cook it. Easier than bringing her over here.”
And so we had butter chicken, lamb vindaloo, basmati rice and naan. With ice-cream for dessert.
A few rotations later (and after a rather successful meal of chicken katsu curry with cabbage salad, pickles and rice by Koji & myself), I found myself sitting around the house on a Monday night with Gol.
“Got a decent amount of mince in the freezer. Reckon I’ll do some hamburgers tomorrow.” said he, over a plastic wine glass of WE-3 and a Sweet Genius rerun.
“Was going to re-test some recipes tomorrow. I’ll stick the hamburger buns back up top of the list for you.” said I, over a tumbler of the same.
You see, I’d made them earlier that week for a dinner party with friends of mine (that I’ll tell you about later – promise!) and wanted to make sure they weren’t a fluke.
They’re no buttery brioche or sturdy sourdough. Oh no. These buns are what I like to call my “Maccas buns”. Golden on top. Dense enough to hold an over-enthusiastic sauce application and a layer of beetroot, but light enough that your tummy can fit that little bit more burger patty in than normal.
They’re a little sweet, given, but that just means you can toast them and serve them up with nutella and ice-cream for dessert.
If you’ve got any leftover that is.
(I managed to eat two giant burgers at Share House Family Dinner that night, well, two minus the half bite that I just couldn’t for the life of me squeeze into my already distended tummy. Eating in a house of five boys will do that to you.)
hamburger / slider buns
makes 8 normal sized buns or 15 slider sized buns
you will need:
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 C plain flour
Egg wash (1 egg + 1/2C water)
(optional) sesame seeds
how to do it:
1. Combine yeast and warm water in a bowl, stirring until it is dissolved. Add sugar and oil and stir to combine. Let the yeast activate by covering the bowl with a tea towel and leaving it in a warm spot for about 15 minutes.
2. Add the egg, salt and flour to the bowl and combine until it is a nice soft dough.
3. Immediately turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it is smooth and a little shiny.
4. Cut the dough into 15 pieces (for slider sized buns) or 8 (for normal hamburger sized buns). Roll them briefly into a ball to smoothen out any rough edges then place them on a baking tray, spaced well apart.
(Hint: to make the buns all the same size, press the balls into a cookie cutter or egg ring before placing them on the baking tray. This will ensure they all have the same diameter.)
5. Leave the buns in a warm place to rise for at least an hour.
6. Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Bake in a 170C oven for 10 minutes (slider sized) or 20 minutes (hamburger sized).