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CLASSIC BURGERS with Beef and Horopito Pepper on homemade buns

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This recipe is in collaboration with 





Burgers are a go-to in our house, such an easy weeknight meal. And if you have the time at the weekend, then fresh and fluffy homemade buns will take it to another level! I love how these homemade buns help to absorb the sauce and juice from the beef burger without it becoming soggy. I've used Silver Fern Farms Beef Burgers here, which have a slight hint of horopito - I love that added pepperiness from a New Zealand native. I've kept the fillings pretty classic - I love lots of veggies in my burgers to balance everything out, and  I have my favourite homemade burger sauce recipe below too. The secret to the sauce is in the pickle base, mellowed out with the mayo, and the dijon mustard gives it a slight kick. This is one to satisfy both those pickle lovers and haters. 



TIME: 3 hours for buns (including 2+ hours proofing) + 20 minutes cooking 



For the buns (makes 4 large) 

3/4 cup lukewarm water 

1 teaspoon castor sugar 

2 teaspoons active dry yeast 

3 cups flour 

2 tablespoons castor sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

1 large egg, beaten 

+ an extra egg white for brushing on at the end 

Sesame seeds 

2 tablespoons butter, melted 


Burger sauce 

1/2 cup of thick mayonnaise 

1/4 onion, very finely diced 

1-2 tablespoons pickle juice or rice wine vinegar 

1-2 tablespoons gherkin relish 

1 teaspoon dijon mustard 

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 


For the filling 

Silver Fern Farms Honest Beef Burgers with Horopito Pepper

4x cheese slices 

Cos lettuce, washed & dried

Sliced tomatoes 

Onion rings 

Tomato sauce (optional) 


To make the buns, begin by combining the lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside in a warm spot for 10-15 minutes or until it is foamy. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment fitted (or you can do this step by hand in a large bowl), add the flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt, and mix to combine. Pour in the foamy yeast mixture and the beaten egg, and mix until you have a nice soft dough. Next, tip out the dough to a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky - if you need to, only add very minimal amounts of flour. The more you add, the tougher the buns will be. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and set aside in a warm spot to double in size...1-2 hours. While the dough is proving you can make the burger sauce and prepare the fillings. 


For the burger sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Start with 1 tablespoon each of the pickle juice or vinegar and gherkin relish and add more to taste. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. 


Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 180 and line a tray with baking paper. Gently knock the air from the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions. You can eye-ball this, but I weighed my dough to get accurate quantities. Shape into buns and arrange on the tray leaving spacing between them, then gently flatten down slightly with the palm of your hand. Set aside and let them proof for a final 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, whisk the egg white with a little cold water, and press the buns down again (this is to encourage them to bake outward as well). Brush the buns with the egg white and top with sesame seeds. Bake in the centre of the oven for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Once they come out, gently brush the tops with the melted butter and set them aside. 


For the burgers, remove the Beef Burgers with Horopito Pepper from the packaging to bloom at room temperature for 10 minutes. Then heat a little oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat for around 4 minutes. Flip, and add the slice of cheese and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. To make the burgers, spread some of the burger sauce on the bun, add the lettuce, the beef burger with cheese, followed by tomatoes and onions. If using, add some tomato sauce to the top bun, sandwich together and enjoy! 



If I am not making buns from scratch, and am using store-bought, for example, I like to "refresh" these and get them toasty and soft. Before you cook the burgers, first spread the buns with a little butter or drizzle over some garlic-infused olive oil and toast them on a skillet until they are golden brown. Next, I like to individually wrap the buns in foil so they go nice and soft and stay warm. Set these aside while you make the rest of the burger

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