A cast iron skillet burger on a homemade hamburger bun.

About a month ago, a hankering for homemade hamburger buns led me to a wonderful discovery: Belles Hamburger Buns, which happened to be the first recipe to turn up on my google search. I have made the recipe three times now and have had success with every batch. The dough is simple to make and forgiving, too — you can mix the dough before work, let it rise in the fridge during the day, punch it down when you return, and proceeded with the recipe as if you had never stepped out of the kitchen. You can freeze the portioned dough, too, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and proceed with the recipe the following evening. (**UPDATE**: THESE ARE MY FAVORITE BUNS)

These buns are the perfect vehicle for these roasted green pepper burgers, which my mother turned me onto recently. It’s simple: roast green peppers, chop them up, and mix them into hamburger meat with a little kosher salt and pepper. Then, form patties and cook them in a cast iron pan for about four minutes a side for delectable medium-rare burgers. Incredibly, the roasted peppers keep the burgers juicy and tender but not so much as to mask the flavor of the meat.

Grass-Fed Beef

I’ve shared my thoughts on grass-fed beef a number of times before, so I’ve rounded up a few links to past posts and articles if you are interested in reading up on this matter:

Grass-fed Beef
Pasture-Perfect Patties
Anxious to Purchase a Steer
Hearst Ranch Grass-fed Beef
Grass-Farming in Lancaster
Small Farm Productivity
When Searching for Solutions, Don’t Forget the Farm

Butcher Box’s Grass-Fed Meat

  • If you are challenged to find humanely raised meat locally, ButcherBox may be a good option for you. Butcher Box is a service that delivers high-quality meat to your door, once every month or two months. The meat arrives frozen on dry ice in individual portions.
  • What does high quality mean? Humanely raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat never taken from feedlots. This means: 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork.
  • What kind of cuts? Anything from boneless skinless chicken breasts to St. Louis-style ribs.
  • Here is some more information about ButcherBox, and what you can expect when it arrives at your door.

hamburger bun

Making these buns couldn’t be simpler: Combine yeast and flour in a stand mixer. Heat milk, water, sugar, salt and butter together until warm to the touch. Add the warmed milk mixture to flour and let the stand mixer do its thing for 8 minutes. Ta-da! The dough is ready to go.

The dough for these hamburger buns is simple to make and forgiving. I have frozen the portioned dough, too, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and proceeded with the recipe the following evening. Simps. // alexandracooks.com

Cooking these burgers couldn’t be simpler either. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a cast-iron pan over high heat. When the oil begins swirling in the pan, add the patties and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 4 minutes. Flip. Add cheese, if desired, and cook for about 4 minutes longer for medium rare. Yum.

patties in pan

The wonderful J&J grass-fed beef:
J&J Grass-fed Beef

burger

Are these not the cutest little buns you have ever seen? You can make them, too! Promise. It’s easy and fun and delicious.

hamburger bun

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A pan-seared burger with secret sauce, pickled onions, and tomato on homemade brioche.

Belles Hamburger Buns


Description

Original recipe at Allrecipes

UPDATE: This is my favorite burger bun recipe: Light Brioche Buns, Even Better


Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 1/2 cups (about 23.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk, 1 cup of water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Heat until warm to the touch and until the butter has melted — this only takes a minute or two. Remove from the heat. If you have heated the mixture longer than you had intended, let it stand till room temperature. Warning: if the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  2. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), stir together the flour and yeast. Pour in wet ingredients and stir until the dough starts to pull together. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook to mix for about 8 minutes. If not, knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 portions. Make tight balls out of the dough by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Note: I would only bake 6 buns at a time on one sheet and place only one pan in the oven at a time to ensure even baking. Set rolls aside until they double in size, about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Mix together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water in a cup or small bowl. Brush onto the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned on the top and bottom. Let cool before slicing and serving.

Notes

I have served these warm, which I love, and also sliced and toasted, which I think is even better for burgers — the toasted buns don’t get soggy.


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A pan-seared burger with secret sauce, pickled onions, and tomato on homemade brioche.

Cast Iron Skillet Burgers with Roasted Green Peppers


Description

Note: This is more of a method than a recipe.


Ingredients

  • hamburger meat (I usually use about a pound)
  • green peppers (I usually roast about 2 peppers per pound of beef, but don’t end up needing all of them for the patties.)
  • Parchment paper, for easy cleaning
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • Homemade buns (optional): Light Brioche Buns, Even Better
  • Burger accoutrements: cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, Dijon, ketchup, mayo, etc.

Instructions

  1. Roast the peppers: Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stem. Place peppers cut-side down on the prepared pan and place in the oven. Roast until the skins are browned and blistery, about 20 minutes. This may take longer or shorter, depending on your oven. Just keep an eye on them towards the end — you don’t want them to be totally charred. Remove the peppers from the oven. Place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. When peppers are cool enough to handle, remove skins and discard. Chop peppers into small pieces. Set aside.Note: This can be done days in advance. Also, you might not need all of the peppers. Save any remaining to add to an omelet. Yum.
  2. Prepare the patties: Spread the meat into a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle as many of the diced peppers over the meat as you like. Gently begin forming your patties. I portion mine into either 5- or 6-ounce patties depending on the day. Season each side of the burgers with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a cast iron pan over high heat. When the oil begins to gently swirl, add the patties and turn the heat down to medium or medium-high. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip. Top with a thin slice of cheese, if desired, and cook for about four minutes longer for medium-rare. Serve on a toasted bun with all the fixins.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cast iron, skillet, burgers, grass-fed, beef