Apple goes with ….. Pork
We’ve had a bit of a run on meals with pork this past week. Pork is one of my favourite proteins and it pairs extremely well with apples. Mopp invited his friend around for the evening on Friday night and wanted to make sure I cooked the right food. Friday night is our home-made takeaways night (occasionally we have bought takeaways but not too often as feeding six adult-sized humans gets a little pricey). Sausages & home-made chips were out, home-baked spicy chicken was out…..
I had bought some pork mince earlier in the week to play around with a pork & apple meatloaf. I supposed I could pilfer the mince and make some hamburgers – we’d not had them in a while. Hamburgers got the nod, so it was a-Pinteresting I went trying to find a recipe for pork and apple burgers for which I had most of the ingredients. It was a busy day and I didn’t have the time to build a pattie recipe from scratch and I wasn’t much feeling like dashing out the supermarket as the weather was more of a sloppy slipper day.
I have loads and loads of cookbooks so I had a quick search on Eat My Books to make sure I didn’t have a pork and apple burger recipe already lurking in my collection. The search results turned up nothing inspiring, so I reverted to Pinterest. The danger in searching Pinterest for recipes is that I get extremely distracted and can burn through an hour or two before I realise that I am no closer to having a recipe for dinner.
The burger bun dough was on, and armed with Pork and Apple Burgers with Chilli Sauce from All Recipes, we were ready to go. Tea was under control. The recipe calls for 2 small green dessert apples; I have a bag of Royal Gala apples looking for a recipe. They’d do just fine despite being quite un-green. The spring onions in the garden are now quite decimated after I pulled 8 of them up for this recipe but the Anster happily got out his seed packets and sowed a whole heap more.
The burger bun dough split into 8 portions makes very large buns – almost too large for one portion. Miss M struggled to get through half of her bun (though I suspect the new batch of Lemon & Apple Cupcakes might have had something to do with her diminished appetite). The buns are lovely and soft and people can’t believe they are home-made. The buns in the photo below are some dinner rolls I made for a soup and bun lunch to feed a whole bunch of hungry boys & men who helped shift some family into a new home.
As for the patties – the results were mixed:
The Anster – beautiful patties.
Matt – too much ginger.
Mopp – is there ginger in the patties?
Miss M – you put ginger in the patties? I don’t like ginger. I don’t like these patties anymore (she said with a smirk).
Mr L – he just kept eating.
The Visitor – she was probably too polite to say but she ate it all.
as for me – I tend to agree with Matt, a little less ginger would be great.
I had budgeted on one burger per person accompanied by baked potato fries & herby garlic bread. I figured that we could have ice-cream if we were still hungry…… well, we were so stuffed full we could barely leave the table. And that was with half the garlic bread and a good portion of potato fries left for another meal.
Here is the recipe for the hamburger buns. It is a recipe I have slightly adapted from Dame Alison Holst’s The Bread Book. This is a handy little book for anyone with a penchant for baking your own bread. The Anster has adjusted the recipe to suit our bread machine and has found reducing the salt (from the original recipe) to produce a better result. The dough can also be shaped into long rolls for hot dogs and I often use this dough to make savoury pull-apart bread. The Pork and Apple Burger recipe can be found here.
Home-made Hamburger Buns
1 1/3 warm water (36.5 – 40.5ºC)
4 cups bread flour (high-grade flour)
4 t white sugar
¾ t salt
4 t Surebake yeast
3 T milk powder
Bread machine – add the ingredients in the order stated by your bread machine instructions. Set on a dough cycle.
By hand – dissolve active yeast (instead of Surebake yeast) in the water; add butter then the dry ingredients. Knead, let dough rise in the bowl in a warm spot in your house.
After the first rise (in the bread machine or in the bowl), knock dough back then shape as required.
To shape the hamburger buns, form the dough into one large even bun shape. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, portion the dough in half. Portion each half of dough into four more portions. This will give you eight quite large ham burger buns. Take each portion of dough and, using your non-dominant hand (left for most people) form a circle by touching the tip of your thumb to the tip of your index finger. Place the dough portion on top of this circle, and using the other hand, push the dough though the circle. This will form a perfectly rounded smooth bun shape of dough. Place on a lined baking tray. Continue with the remaining dough portions and place the dough with enough room to rise. I like to place them quite far apart so each bun can rise without touching the bun next to it, ensuring a perfectly round bun. If you place the buns closer together they will rise and touch each other. This is okay too, especially if you like soft sides to your buns. This is how I form the buns when making fresh rolls to serve with soup (as seen in the photo of the buns in the bowl above). I also make 12 portions instead of 8, resulting in slightly smaller buns. And if serving these as dinner party rolls, I divide the dough into 16 portions which gives little rolls. If making the buns smaller, they won’t take as long to cook.
Once the buns are all portioned and formed, place them in a warm place and cover with a tea towel. Leave them to do their thing and rise to double the size – depending on the season and the warmth of your house, this could take from half an hour to half a day (in Winter, I often do this rising in the oven with the temperature set about 30ºC/86ºF. Just be sure to remove the buns, before turning the heat up in order to cook the buns).
Once the buns are doubled in size they are ready to bake – heat the oven to 220ºC/430ºF and bake for 15-18 minutes or until nicely golden. Tap the bottoms and if they sound hollow, they’re done. Allow to cool a little before transferring them from the tray or baking dish to a cake rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
* Note: Surebake yeast is a blend of active dry yeast and bread improvers.