What to wrap around your burger?
For me, the problem seems to be the burger bun. Invariably, it's a brioche-style bun that is far too sweet for my taste and also not substantial enough to handle a decent-sized patty.
I can be quite a fussy eater. I tend to like the patty and the bread and that's about it. When I watch people piling on cheese, onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, gherkins, sauce and whatever, it becomes clear that a sugary, eggy brioche isn't structurally sound enough to hold it all together. If it doesn't break apart at the first bite, then by the time the juices from the inners have found their way into the outer bun, everything will have probably disintegrated.
I'm not sure the problem is the same with a hot dog. I think a soft doughy roll works quite well with a sausage. Give me a week or so and I'll deal with that issue in another post. I'll probably do something on the brioche later as well....
So, that got me thinking. If the French are so protective of their brioche, then what do they favour wrapped around their hamburger?
Sadly, the arrival of fast food outlets across France has meant that the sweet brioche bun predominates. However, there is still a resistance that favours using the traditional French bread mix - formed into the short baguette, a pain de compagne or a pain brié. In other words, a bread roll.
So, we need a roll that is soft on the inside but with a structural integrity that will hold everything together until the last bite. It has to be able to be frozen and be just as fresh when thawed as it was when first cooled from the oven. It must stand a quick 'toast' - although why people do that beats me.
Ingredients (for a 70% hydration)
500 gms strong white bread flour
350 ml of cool water
1 tablespoon sugar (I use muscovado but, for this recipe, caster sugar works just as well)
2 tablespoons dried milk
1 tea spoon sea salt
1 oz of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon instant yeast
egg wash (egg yolk mixed with a little milk)
sesame seeds (garnish)
Add the wet ingredients and the salt into the bowl or pan and then add the dry ingredients, adding the yeast last.
Use a basic dough setting on your machine (2hrs 20 mins) or, if you're mixing by hand, work it into a soft dough and then prove under a floured cloth for a good hour or until it has doubled in size.
The dough should look like this. The mix produced 972 gms of dough - for 8 buns, that's 121 gms per roll.