tell me what’s better than a juicy bacon-y cheeseburger being shoveled into your face… nothing…. nothing is better than that. It’s the definition of “glorious”, which is why I wanted to share with you how to do it, from scratch.
Sure, you can head out to a nice restaurant and dish out $20 for one, or you can do it yourself at home for the same cost, but being able to feed like 4 people instead, which they’ll definitely appreciate. Plus its fun to adjust the toppings to whatever you want. My wife went classic with hers doing it up with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a smear of mayo. I decided to do it up right with a fried egg, avocado, and a caramelized onion mayo. GOOD LAWD was it tasty, especially using homemade brioche buns. Yes I went all fancy pants and did up my own homemade buns, because that’s what I do (so much better than the store bought crap). I cooked these ahead of time during the weekend when I do all my bread baking, which will save you the headache once it comes time to make the meal, and that recipe is below.
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 Tbsp warm milk
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 cup sourdough starter)
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Large Eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Whisk together water, milk, yeast and sugar, then beat 1 egg
- In bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours, salt, and butter and w/ the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients until butter is the size of crumbs
- stir in the yeast mix and the egg, and run the mixer on medium low until a dough forms (scraping bowl down if necessary)
- once that’s done, shape the dough into a ball, and rest in the bowl covered, and let it rise until it double in size (if using sourdough starter, it’ll take longer than active dry yeast to rise, just a side note)
- Line a baking sheet w/ parchment paper, and divide the risen dough into 8 equal pieces
- shape each piece into its own ball, and transfer to the baking sheet, a few inches apart from each other, slight flattening out a bit
- cover, and let those rest for another few hours or until risen again
- take the other egg and make an egg wash (1 egg w/ splash of water, whisked up), and once buns are finished with this second rise, gently brush each one with the egg wash (which gives it that glisten/glossy look)
- Preheat oven to 400°F and place a skillet or baking dish in bottom of oven (or lowest rack) before the buns go in
- add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan (to create steam) and keep the buns from drying out
- add the buns in at that time as well and bake for about 15-20 mins or until nicely browned.
- once finished, transfer to a wire cooling rack and cool COMPLETELY
To prep a few other things ahead of time so I wasn’t rushing around like a mad man trying to get everything done at once, I decided to caramelize the onions for my onion/mayo spread.
Caramelized Onion Mayo
- 1 medium white onion sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves smashed
- 3 tbsp butter/oil
- pinch of salt
- approx. 4 tbsp Mayo
once you get the onions and garlic cooked down (slowly on a medium low heat) to that delicious brown mushy consistency, let it cool, then smashed into the mayonnaise until its all incorporated together into a “spread” consistency
during this, I was also crisping up the bacon a bit to get it ready. My favorite way, and also what I think works the best, is to do it on a sheet tray in the oven. The bacon cooks flat, and renders off all the excess grease and gets nice and crisp.
I typically line up the slices on the tray and put it in the oven at 400° for around 40ish minutes (or until you get to the crispiness you prefer).
NOTE: put bacon into the oven while its cold, NOT preheated.
Next up, just prep any toppings you’d want, which I got the shredded cheese ready, and sliced up some Avocado.
For the Burgers
- 1-2 lbs of fresh ground hamburger
- salt/pepper to season
- cast iron skillet
- take a portion of meat and make into the size of around a baseball, and then flatten into 1/4 – 1/2 inch or so thick burger patties
- preheat a cast iron on Medium heat
- place a couple patties in at a time, DO NOT OVERCROWD, and get a nice crust on each side of the burgers, cooking approx. 3 mins each side or so depending how thick you have them, and how done you want them
- at the last minute before the burgers are finished on the second side, add a small pile of shredded cheese (or if you have slices, you can lay them on) and get it all nice and melty
While the burgers cook, i’ll usually start slicing and toasting the insides of the buns in a separate pan with a little butter/oil. This is when i’ll also start cooking a few eggs “sunny side up” in another pan. Once everything is done, just start layering it all on!
I served mine with a side of baked French fries and some dill pickle slices. It was so good y’all. My prego wife was in a bit of burger heaven, I had to give her a moment before asking her how they were. The approval rating was HIGH.