Monday, February 23, 2015

Adam’s Kraut Burgers

Adam’s Kraut Burgers

READY IN: 2 hours

  • 1 packet "highly active" active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • to 1 ⅛ cups lukewarm water*
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½  cup instant mashed potato flakes
*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled. In Colorado I usually use the maximum.

  • 1 lb Ground Meat (Lean Beef, Buffalo, German Sausage, be creative!)
  • ½ of a 6” to 8” head of green cabbage
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. Note, you will need a lot, ½ - 1 ½ tablespoons.
  • ¾ lb. Munster Cheese

1) If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature*, until it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

*If you preheat your electric oven to 400°F for 1 minute and then turn it off this creates a perfect ~80°F “room temperature” rather than finding a warm spot in your home.
4) After the dough has risen begin preparing the filling. Shred the cabbage, avoid getting too much of the bitter white core. Peel and shred the onion. Peel and dice the garlic.  
5) Brown the ground meat over medium heat in a large 4 qt pot, drain and return to pot. Add the garlic and onions, cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the cabbage, cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow the cabbage to wilt, 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Make sure everything is well blended, remove from heat.
6) Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice the cheese into 8 equally sized slices. They should be a little thicker than normal cheese slices.
7) Punch-down the dough and divide into 8 equally sized pieces with a bakers scrapper. With a rolling pin quickly roll out one of the small pieces of dough into a rough circle about 10” in diameter on a lightly floured surface, this does not have to be perfect. The dough should be about ⅛” thick.
8) Place a slice of cheese in the center of the dough, then a scoop of the filling. Roughly ½ cup. Then draw the corners and edges together in the center on top of the filling. The dough should stick to itself sealing the burger. Place the burger seams down on a lightly greased baking sheet.
9) Repeat for the other 7 pieces of dough. Then bake for ~20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTES: The above dough recipe is very basic and guaranteed to give you the proper results. Experiment using your favorite, more advanced bread dough recipe. The dough recipe also makes great dinner rolls,

Pictures are of a double batch (16 burgers)