Yesterday I made my 3rd burger, rolls, toppings and side dish from Wicked Good Burgers. The recipe was called Brat Burgers and it had a companion recipe called Mindy's Pretzel Buns and Mindy's Pepper Jack Cheese Sauce. For a side I chose Sweet Potato Pub Fries seasoned with Sweet Potato Dust. Cutting to the chase: this ranked among some of the best food I've made and the pretzel buns were far and away the best hamburger rolls I've ever eaten or made. Having two Eggs came in handy as I kept one set up for indirect grilling to bake the rolls and indirect grill the sweet potato fries. The other was used for high temperature direct grilling. I'll move onto the pictures and will note I grouped them by the particular item as opposed to the chronological order I made them in, which involved constantly moving back and forth between items. This makes it easier for you to follow.
Mindy's Pretzel Buns used: Bread Flour, light brown sugar, sugar, instant yeast, buttermilk, pale ale, kosher salt, vegetable oil and hot water.
The pale ale I used was by a local microbrewer/restauranteur called Boston Beerworks, who have won many prizes for their beer offerings.
You will see throughout this post how useful a zero tare kitchen scale is. Zero tare refers to the ability to put a plate or bowl on the scale to hold the food. The scale will zero out the weight of that item when you push a button. Here I am using the bowl of the mixer to hold the 514 grams of bread flour I need.
The first step was to combine the water, instant yeast and ale in a small bowl.
The wet items from the last picture, plus the remaining dry ingredients were added to the bowl of the mixer and the mixer was set to the lowest speed to combine them.
The mixer was set to medium low and the vegetable oil was drizzled in. The dough was mixed for another 7 minutes.
The dough is finished being mixed and goes into a dough doubling pail which has been sprayed with oil. The first rise is 4 hours.
Here is the dough after it's 4 hour first rise.
The dough is turned out of the pail nad is folded in half and the folded in half again. Then it is back to the dough doubling pail for a 2 hour second rise in the fridge.
This next process: poaching the dough in a baking soda bath was totally new to me. Besides a gallon of water, the other ingredients were baking side, a hefe weizen (wheat beer) and light brown sugar.
IMHO the Germans make the finest wheat beer and so I treaded myself to a 4 pint pack of German wheat beer.
The next use of the kitchen scale was to weigh out equal sized pieces of dough to be rolled into balls before poaching.
The dough balls were poached for 15 seconds and were removed, flipped over, and poached for another 15 seconds on the second side.
The dough balls have been brushed with vegetable oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and are on one of the Eggs. The Egg has been stabilized at 350 degrees with the platesetter installed legs down. The baking sheet is set on 1/2 copper plumbing T's used as shims.
The rolls were cooked for 14 minutes and I turned the pan 180 degrees at the midway point.
To make the Sweet Potato Dust the first steps were to toast some coriander and fennel seeds and then grind them.
The ground toasted coriander and fennel seed were joined by fresh ground white peppercorns, red pepper flakes, light brown sugar and sea salt.
Two sweet potatoes were cut into 8 wedges each. They were placed in a large bowl and were tossed with olive oil, kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper.
The sweet potato fries are on the Egg which is set up for indirect grilling as before, but the temp is now 425. They cooked for 24 minutes total and were rotated 180 degrees midway through.
The finished fries were seasoned with the Sweet Potato Dust.
The ingredients for the Mindy's Pepperjack Cheese Sauce were American cheese, pepperjack cheese, fresh squeezed lemon juice, heavy cream and kosher salt. These items were melted in a sauce pan and used to top the burger.
The burgers used 1 1/2 pounds of pork shoulder and 1 1/2 pounds of veal chops which were cut into strips to fit into the feed chute then placed in the freezer for 45 minutes before grinding.
The frozen strips of veal and pork are being ground. I alternated the strips of the two meats to help get a better mixture.
The patties also used kosher salt, softened butter, fresh ground nutmeg, fresh ground white pepper, hefe weizen (wheat beer), and ground ginger. The kitchen scale was this time used to weigh out 6 ounces of the meat for each patty.
The brat burger patties were cooked on my second Egg which was set up for direct grilling at 500 degrees using the cast iron grill grate installed with the wide side of the bars up. The patties cooked for 2 minutes per side and were covered and rested for 5 minutes.
Time to eat! I was able to reuse the Jack D'Or and Tomato Ginger Ketchup I made for last Saturday's meal. The Sweet Potato Pub Fries specifically mention the ketchup as a good pairing.
The Brat Burgers and Mindy's Pepperjack Cheese Sauce.
The Mindy;s Pretzel Buns were like eating a large incredibly tasty soft pretzel. These were the best hamburger rolls I've ever had.
The Sweet Potato Pub Fries seasoned with the Sweet Potato Dust were amazing! They are easy to make and have wonderful flavor. They are a great change of pace from French Fries.
This was an incredibly tasty meal and though I never expected this, it turned out to be one of the best meals I've ever made.