hamburger comparison

This is a comparison between regular hamburger and hamburger that is adulterated with extraneous material, tofu, black bean, and brown rice.

Regular white bread, regular crumb, characterless hamburger buns are prepared the usual way as dinner rolls with commercial yeast and all purpose flour. 

One cup of hot water determined the amounts of everything that followed. Two cups of all purpose flour for a baker's ratio of 100%. Additional flour to 1/4 cup added in increments until a sturdy dough is formed. 2 level teaspoons refined sugar to jumpstart the yeast. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, generous grind of cracked pepper. 

Only one cup of flour is added for the initial proof along with a minimal amount of sugar. One cup of flour is held in reserve. The loose wet mixture is allowed to proof. The mixture foams and expands impressively. The second half of the flour is added along with the salt and in this case generous grinds of pepper. The additional flour is blended with increments of flour by the tablespoon until a sturdy dough forms in the processor. 

The first proof gave the yeast the best of all possible worlds to go forth and multiply as yeast is wont to carry on, uninhibited by salt, without a care in the world for resource conservation. The second addition of flour increases the food resource for the yeast while simultaneously buffering the yeast action with salt. But by this time the yeast has already multiplied impressively and hardly dissuaded by the salt buffer. The blending of the additional second half of flour amounts to the 'punchdown' deflation signified in common bread recipes. That deflation is intended to produce even crumb with no large internal air holes that are the hallmark of artisan bread. In this case, for this purpose, we do not want that. 

So the flour is doubled to its full amount, and the salt is added. Incidentally, freshly cracked black pepper is added too, but that is unusual for hamburger buns and probably unappreciated by most, especially children, who would generally prefer plain white bread with perfectly even crumb and devoid of character even minimal and soft crust. 

The buns are formed as tiny boules ↓ but they can as easily be rolled by hand into simple balls. 

The boules are proofed for a period, shorter than you might imagine since the initial proof was so much more thorough than the customary proving the yeast is alive. This yeast needs no such proving, I know it is alive, so I proceed with techniques learned from handling sourdough cultures which are less forgiving and involve slurries with baker's percentages of 50% - 60%, that is, slurries with half the final amount of flour. 

They are ready to accept sesame seeds. I learned that egg white is much better to hold onto the seeds. Today I am eggless so the boules were painted with olive oil instead. The olive oil did not help the sesame seeds adhere. They kept coming off in my hands after the buns were baked. 

But they sure are pretty. 

Two ground chuck meat patties are weighed out to 7 oz. each, which is quite large for hamburger patties, half that size is more reasonable. Black beans and brown rice are milled together in a coffee bean mill to a fine powder. The combined powders  are then mixed with approximately 1 oz of firm tofu and then with one of the 7 oz. meat patties. 


The combined meat patty now weighs 9 + 5/8 oz with its additional ingredients of tofu, black bean and rice, so a portion is removed and the combined patty is reduced to 7 oz., producing a third tiny combined meat patty of 2 + 5/8 oz. 

The cheese is Mexican Oaxacan farmer's style cheese, a regional favorite around these parts, and which goes surprisingly well with these hamburgers. 

Conclusion: Straight beef is best. 

Actually, I got mixed up. I thought I was eating the straight beef version when I was actually eating the combined version. It wasn't until I cut the beef version in half that I realized it is much more red inside than the combined version which was cooked throughout. From a carnivorous point of view, the 100% beef version is more satisfying. They are both equally moist, the straight version slightly more flavorful. The combined version is not more interesting. 

Determination: When it comes to hamburgers, just form patties from ground beef and forget about mixing in vegetative ingredients. Have those other things on the side, or on top of the burger if you must, but not on the inside of the beef patties.


Anonymous said...

Hey there

Anonymous said...

Have you tried substituting one-third pork sausage into the beef?

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