What is it?: Buns with a difference
Occasion: Those days when you just need a burger
I have to confess that I actually made these buns some time before Christmas, but didn’t get around to blogging it, so please excuse the retrospective-thing I have going on here. It was in the depths of the winter when the daylight hours are short and everything seems quite bleak and depressing. I was having a particular stressful week at work and was constantly tired, so all good intentions around healthy eating quickly went out of the window and I went on yet-another bread binge. Whilst rooting through the freezer to see what I had stashed in there, I came across some pretty luxe burgers that we had bought for a late autumn BBQ that never happened, and the idea just came to me. I was going to create one badass burger and, for the first time, attempt making my own burger buns. In my experience, it is always the buns that seem to let down the burger – many a time have I sat in one of those nameless chain pubs with a white bap disintegrating in my fingers, or have (shock! horror!) been served a burger in a crusty roll. You know, the kind you can buy in packs of six in supermarket bakeries that threaten to break your teeth if you don’t eat them on the day of purchase. I love the kind of brioche buns you get at MEATLiquor, Patty and Bun and Motherflipper et. al., but sadly they are not always the norm. Making my own seemed like the best option.
I was intrigued by the addition of carrot to these buns. Despite my bravado, I am, in fact, the worst junk-food fiend ever and am always trying to find ways to sneak in some healthy ingredients. Carrot and cumin had to ge a good flavour combination, right? To start with, there is rather a lot of carrot in this recipe, so much so that I had to check it three times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. This, along with the amount of liquid, seemed to result in a very wet dough. Fighting the urge to add more flour to it, I instead scraped it off the side and mixed it in the Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attachment which brought it together nicely. Very little kneading is actually needed, so I was concerned the mixer might overwork it, but it turned out well after all – properly risen and nicely baked.
Although these buns are slightly denser than your archetypal white bap, they are still quite bouncy and do add rather a nice dimension to a burger. The carrot and cumin works well with flavours of the meat and pretty much any toppings you would wish to add. I created an enormous burger with plenty of ketchup and slappy cheese which was ace but, if I can be honest, I much preferred the buns filled with some strong cheddar cheese and a good chutney, as was my lunch the following day.
In other news:
Last night was our Band of Bakers ‘British Classics’ event at The Old Nun’s Head in Nunhead. It was an excellent evening with 35 bakers baking everything from Eccles cakes, lemon meringue pie and all manner of biscuits, scones and cakes. My highlight of the evening was a cheese and onion pie made by the talented Naomi.