Let’s start with a confession: we are not big fans of burgers. The NextGens, however, see this quite differently, which is why today we are presenting a version of a burger that also we think is great.
The basic concept is taken from the “Oklahoma Onion Burger”. Legend has it that this was created during the Great Depression from the end of the 1920s onwards, when meat was very expensive and was therefore partially replaced with onions.
We add blue cheese to this idea, which brings a wonderful, sharp-spicy contrast to the sweet taste of the onions. However, we work this cheese into the burger patties.
What we don’t like about most burgers are the buns. We especially find the bread from the shops pretty awful.
Luckily, a great YouTuber from Austria has thought about this and, with what must have taken a lot of time and effort, has come up with an ingenious solution, a brioche-style burger bun. You can see it in this video from his highly recommended YouTube channel, starting at minute 4:35.
However, you can’t make the dough for these buns properly without a food processor. We always recommend the KitchenAid Artisan as such, but it is not cheap and of course not available in every household. If you don’t have a food processor, you can bake excellent buns according to the first recipe in the same video.
So, let’s get to work:
First, take your blue cheese – we’re using Gorgonzola today, but it can be any other blue cheese, such as Stilton – and put it in the freezer. When it’s really hard and frozen, it’s very easy to process later.
Now it’s time for the dough. You will need a flour that contains at least 12 g of albumen per 100 g. Put 375 g of this in your food processor together with 40 g sugar, 10 g salt, a packet of dry yeast, 75 g milk, 100 g butter at room temperature and 3 eggs.
By the way, in Europe there are usually 7 grams in a packet of dry yeast and 42 grams in a cube of fresh yeast. One packet of dry yeast corresponds to half a cube of fresh yeast, so one packet of dry yeast corresponds to the proofing power of 21 g of fresh yeast. A rule of thumb for quick yeast dough is: one packet of dry yeast or half a cube of fresh yeast for 500 g of flour. Note: This is a rule of thumb and not a recipe.
Let the machine work, and for a very long time, following the instructions in the video linked above.
After five minutes it looks like this:
After 10 minutes, the dough has already become much more homogeneous:
After 25 minutes, all the dough has come away from the edge of the bowl and has a very nice, smooth texture:
Once the dough is smooth and shiny, cover it and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least an hour, or even longer.
You will be able to bake 6 – 8 buns with this dough, excess buns can be frozen very well.
Half a large vegetable onion is needed per burger – or a whole medium-sized onion. We halve and peel the onions and then cut them into fine strips across the grain.
In many recipes, the onion is processed raw, but we prefer to sauté it over medium-high heat for a good 10 minutes and also season it with a little salt and a little sugar, about a small pinch per burger.
The now cold dough is kneaded once briefly and then divided into portions of around 90 g, from which you form balls. We like our burgers smaller and decided on around 80 g, which resulted in eight buns. Turn on the oven light only – no extra heat – place the dough balls on a baking tray with baking paper and leave them in the oven for about an hour and a half until they have almost doubled in size. Alternatively, cover the dough balls with a clean cloth and put them in another warm place.
Then preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius with convection. If your oven does not have a convection function, you will need 185 degrees, and this is also a rule of thumb: with convection usually 20 degrees less than with top/bottom heat and vice versa. Place an ovenproof dish on the bottom of the oven and pour at least one litre of hot water into it. This is used for steaming during baking, which allows the dough to rise well and form a beautiful crust.
Brush the balls of dough with a beaten egg….
…and then the buns go into the hot oven. After 5 minutes, the water tray can be removed, and another 10 minutes later the buns are baked.
You can now easily cut the frozen blue cheese into very fine pieces….
…and then mix it into the meat. Believe us, it tastes incredibly better in the end than if you just put it on the patties.
The meat itself should be beef and have a fat content of 20 – 25 %. It’s best to buy it from your local butcher and have it minced there. Neck, breast and (high) rib are very suitable.
As mentioned, we prefer smaller burgers and use only 120 – 140 g of meat for a patty. The standard is probably 180 g, but that’s too much for us.
Seasoning burger patties is a matter of taste and sometimes even dogma. We don’t add salt to the meat at first, especially since the cheese is already salty. However, we like to grind two turns of black pepper from the mill per patty and mix that in too.
Now we provide only three more things: some grated cheddar, slices of pickled cucumber and honey mustard, which you can buy or mix yourself to taste from medium-hot, fine mustard and honey. No other things go on our burgers, especially not the usual suspects like tomatoes and lettuce.
We divide the seasoned meat, weigh it to the desired size and delicately form balls from it.
And now the finale:
We cut the buns in the middle and toast them without fat in a hot, heavy pan…
…until they are golden.
Now we put a future patty in the pan – hot, level 8 of 10 in our case – and flatten the ball vigorously with a flat spatula. Hence: Smash Burger.
We season the patty with a little salt and pepper and add a generous portion of our prepared onions on top.
After two minutes, we carefully lift the patty with a spatula to see if it has browned as desired. As soon as this is the case, we turn it over together with the onions.
Now we also season the fried side with a little salt and pepper and immediately add some grated cheddar on top – this is optional, of course.
The toasted bun can now be placed on top to heat up, first the bottom with the cut surface facing downwards and the top – well, on top.
After a total of three to four minutes, depending on your pan, the meat is perfectly cooked. If you are unsure, you can carefully poke it with a knife to see what the meat looks like inside and serve it to your liking.
Remove the top of the bun, slide a spatula under the onions, hold the bottom of the bun from above, turn everything over once more and place the almost finished burger on a plate.
Place the cucumber slices on top and add honey mustard to taste.
And our Onion Blue Cheese Smash Burger is ready:
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 4 hungry people):
375 g flour with 12 g or more albumen
40 g sugar
10 g salt
1 packet of dry yeast (7 g)
75 g milk
100 g butter
3 eggs plus one more to brush
Patties (per burger):
130 – 180 g beef minced
20 g blue cheese (frozen and chopped)
Salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion per burger
30 – 40 g cheddar (optional)