Sure, what you put inside your burger is all-important, but the quality of the bun you serve it in is just as crucial
Sat 28 May 2011 00.02 BSTFirst published on Sat 28 May 2011 00.02 BST
Poppy seed BBQ buns
Dan Lepard’s poppy seed barbecue buns: All you need now is the burger. And the relish, salad and pickle. Photograph: Colin Campbell for the Guardian
Homemade hamburgers are one of the ultimate comfort foods, the TV dinner above all others. I get a bit geeky whenever I make them, fussing over the quality of the burger and the fat-to-meat ratio, and hoping one day to be like the meat-meisters at Hawksmoor steakhouse in London (they combine the mince with pieces of chopped bone marrow for the ultimate in hardcore burgering). The bun is key, and here is the one I use. Makes six to eight.
275g sliced white onion
50ml sunflower oil, plus a little extra for kneading
75g low-fat yoghurt
2 tsp honey
1 medium egg
1 sachet fast-action yeast
75g wholemeal flour
425g strong white flour, plus more for shaping
2 tsp salt
Put the onion and oil in a saucepan with a dash of water (this helps it sweat quickly) and cook over a medium heat until very soft, translucent and tender, with all of the moisture gone. Leave to cool, then mix the onion and any remaining oil with the yoghurt, honey and egg. Pour in 125ml warm water and the yeast, mix well, then add the wholemeal and white flours, plus the salt.
Start mixing everything together, adding extra water (about 50ml) to make a soft, sticky dough. I can’t be exact here because it depends a little on how soft the cooked onions are, so gradually add the extra water and stop when it feels right for you.
Set aside for 10 minutes, then lightly oil a worktop and give the dough a quick 10-second knead. Return it to the bowl, cover and leave for another 10 minutes. Repeat this knead-and-leave sequence twice more, before finally leaving the dough to rise undisturbed for an hour.
Divide the dough into six or eight equal pieces, shape each into balls and flatten to about 2-3cm high. Brush the tops with water, roll in a plateful of poppy seeds so they stick well, then place on a couple of baking trays lined with nonstick baking paper. Cover and leave to rise for about 90 minutes, or until risen by half. Bake at 220C (200C fan-assisted)/425F/gas mark 7 for about 15 minutes, until just brown on top.