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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Awesome Burgers with homemade whole-wheat buns

Did you know it's not only tastier, but also healthier and cheaper to eat at home?

The tastier part comes from knowing how to cook the food well and to your own taste.  The healthier end comes from knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your food, and adjusting according to your preferences. No artificial ingredients, chemicals, additives, or cheap sweeteners are going into your food.  Cheaper, too, when you choose sale ingredients (or buy in bulk or in season) or use what you put into your own freezer or canned during the summer.

We very rarely eat out.  Maybe once a month we'll enjoy a pickup-special pizza or an affordable Mexican meal.

Instead, we cook the meal that we're craving from a restaurant and make it even better.  Here's one of those meals.  I was craving a big burger and fries.  French fries are something I don't eat much. Instead I like to bake oven fries from our homegrown potatoes.  For this meal, though, I did some skillet potatoes with garlic and onions in a cast iron skillet.  I used our all-blue, all-red, and a regular white potato variety and seasoned them with course-ground sea salt and cracked peppercorns.

The hamburger is made from grass-fed, old-fashioned pasture-raised local beef that's basically organic.  It's the best ground beef you'll ever sink your teeth into.  It's so good I only added some salt, pepper, and a dash of Worcestershire sauce to it when making the burgers.

I cooked the burgers in a cast-iron skillet, and topped them with smoked cheddar cheese for the last couple of minutes to allow a bit of melting (it's great to live on the Illinois/Wisconsin border... America's dairy land and home to the best cheese!).

I made some whole-wheat hamburger buns (recipe below).  Tip: buying whole wheat flour and yeast in bulk makes it much more affordable.

Then I topped the burgers with horseradish mustard, a bit of mayonnaise, and the last bits of lettuce from our fall garden (*sob*).

It was so good. I almost shed a tear onto the juicy burger - that's how good. Really.  And I figured that the whole meal, which was mostly organic, fed 3 people, and cost less than $5. (That's not per person. That's the whole meal. Per person would be about $1.75 each.)

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
1 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place ingredients in this order into bread machine.  Use "dough" setting.
After dough is complete, remove and place on a floured surface.  Roll out to 1" thick.  Use an upside-down cup (about 3 1/2" in diameter) to cut out the round shape.  Place on a greased baking sheet a few inches apart from each other.  Cover & let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 minutes.  Check for doneness by pressing lightly on top of the bun with your finger.  If it bounces back to shape, it is done.  If the indentation remains, cook a bit longer and check again.



1 comment:

  1. Mmmm, and I agree with you, homemade burgers ARE the best! I cook the burgers on a rack over a cookie sheet, so any extra fat drips through just like on a grill (but easier, faster, and less bother, ha ha!)