1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
400 grams minced (ground) wagyu beef
4 slices cheddar
4 soft burger buns, cut in half (recipe below)
melted clarified butter, for brushing
20 pickle slices (recipe here)
4 large tomato slices
4 iceberg lettuce leaves, washed, dried and torn
Soft Burger Buns
7 grams dried active yeast
30 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 free-range egg
430 grams plain (all-purpose) flour
50 grams caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
lightly toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Dante, Jeff and I opened Huxtable in 2010, in Melbourne’s Fitzroy. The restaurant name came from combining part of the surname of ‘Aldous Huxley’ (as our venture was a ‘Brave New World’) and ‘table’. Here is our standard burger, from which all the others derive. It is basically what would be called a ‘cheeseburger deluxe’ in the United States.
Mix the salt and pepper through the beef. Weigh out the mixture into four 100gram portions and flatten them to about 1 cm thick. Lay the patties on a sheet of baking paper.
Heat a flat grill plate, or a large non-stick frying pan, to a medium heat. Cook the patties for about 4 minutes on the first side, then turn them over and place a slice of cheese on each patty. Cook for a further 4 minutes, or until cooked through.
Brush the insides of the buns with clarified butter and toast lightly on the grill, then build your burgers.
Build from the bottom, in this order: Bun bottom, Ketchup, Pickles, Cheese-topped patty, Mustard, Tomato, Lettuce, Bun top, spread with mayo.
Soft Burger Buns
These buns are soft and slightly sweet, and simple and quick to make. Also, they compress nicely to hold all of the ingredients in, so the whole burger experience is not too ‘bready’.
Sprinkle the yeast into 250 ml (1 cup) lukewarm water and leave for 5–10 minutes, until frothy. Stir to dissolve. In a big bowl, combine the butter, egg, flour, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix well, either with your hands, or using an electric mixer with a dough-hook attachment.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until you have a soft, smooth dough. Place the dough in a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warmish place for 1–1½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into eight portions and shape each piece into a flattened ball. Place the buns on two greased baking trays, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another 30–40 minutes, until they’re quite puffy and doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C. Brush the buns with the egg yolk mixture, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. Use within 2 days, or freeze for later use. To freeze them, put them in freezer bags, expel as much air as possible and seal tightly; they will keep for several months. Makes 8 buns