All American Homemade Byron Burgers

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted: 05-07-2016

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Think of American Independence Day, July 4th, and you’re bound to conjure up images of barbecues complete with hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, yieldingly soft burger buns crammed with tender, juicy patties, melting cheese, salad and the quintessential French’s mustard. Are you feeling hungry yet?




Now I love a good burger. Who doesn’t really? Succulent beef, squishy bun and soft, comforting cheese. Salty fries and crispy onion rings on the side, natch. In fact, I have quite the soft spot for ‘American Diner’ style food in general. Not having visited The States in a long while, I blame a childhood nostalgia for this.





And so, when I spotted Byron The Cookbook by Tom Byng and Fred Smith for sale at barely a quarter of its RRP I grabbed ahold and am yet to place it more than arms reach from me. I am completely enchanted by their recipes, tall tales and the beautiful photography. It is a slight untruth when I say I want to cook my way through the book. What I actually mean is that I want to eat my way through the book. Fifteen different beef burgers, patty melt, club sandwich, chile chilli cheese fries, cobb salad, pancakes with maple syrup, milkshakes … need I go on?




Burgers need cheap meat and by that, I mean cheap cuts like chuck steak, skirt, brisket or a combination of them. According to John Torrode the "best formula will be something like 40% fat – yes, truly that much - otherwise it will not be moist". Byron recommends around 20% fat, but they do concur that all you need to add is a dash of salt and pepper.


The fresher you can get your mince the better, and if you can grind it at home even better. Ask your butcher to grind the meat for you while you wait. Avoid packets of mince from the supermarket chiller cabinets as these are likely to be several days old, and ground beef tends to set and stick together when it's been stood a while. Don't scrimp on the burgers main ingredient. Another key point here is that if you know exactly what cuts have been used and how fresh the meat is you can leave your burgers gloriously pink in the middle, notwithstanding the usual food safety advice, please.


The OED's earliest reference to "Hamburg steak" is from 1802, a dish of salted and smoked minced beef. After the 1848 revolutions, many Germans emigrated America, almost all of them leaving for New York. Soon restaurants began catering for these immigrants, creating a ‘taste of home’ with various versions of ‘hamburgers’ based on spiced minced beef.


The ‘bunned burger’ arose in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 4 July (natch!) 1891, but it was not until the 20th century that the burger's day truly began. The New York Tribune reported on a new "innovation of a food vendor" at the St Louis World's Fair of 1904, and many sources credit this event as the start of the burger's heyday.


Byron’s recipe yields excellent burger buns, soft and squidgy with just the right amount of chew. They’re well worth the small amount of effort they take. You will notice the difference and your family & friends will be truly impressed. When I served them at our little July 4th party I was met with comments like “that’s the best bun I’ve ever eaten”, “oh those buns” and “I haven’t eaten a burger bun like that since I was in The States”. So, yes, they’re definitely worth the time and effort.





It is rare that I don’t put cheese, probably too much cheese, on a burger and when I spotted a recipe Homemade Cheese Slices I just had to make them. Another food confession, I have a weakness for those processed cheese slices, the kind that fast food joints put on their burgers. Yes, Golden Arches I’m looking at you.





Surprisingly enough making cheese slices is incredibly easy and all it requires is cheese (obvs) and cream. No preservatives. No additives. Just natural ingredients that when combined give a texture, and a similar taste to the heavily processed cheese slices, as if by magic. Clearly, it isn’t magic, it’s a chemical reaction mainly to do with the protein structure of the cheese, but magic sounds better doesn’t it? The orignal recipe calls for American cheese but I couldn’t get my hands on any locally so I used Monterey Jack. It honestly does melt like a dream and is so creamy and flavoursome.


Homemade American Style Cheese melts incredibly well on a Homamde Byron Burger


Have you ever made your own cheese slices? What's your ultimate burger? I'd love to know, so why not leave me a comment?


I am entering these homemade cheese slices into Cook Blog Share.

Cook Blog Share


Burger Buns

These are the ultimate in burger buns. Soft, sweet and squidgy with just the right amount of chew.
They are best eaten on the day of baking but will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
50ml Warm milk
200ml Warm water
1 sachet (7g) Fast action yeast
25g Caster sugar
400g Strong white bread flour
50g Plain flour
1 tablespoon Vitamin C powder
1 teaspoon Fine sea salt
35g Cold butter
1 Egg, beaten
Egg wash
1. Put the flours, vitamin C powder, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add the warm milk, warm water, yeast, sugar and beaten egg to the flour and stir until a wet dough forms.
3. Either tip the dough onto a floured work surface or use your freestanding mixer with the dough hook attached and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. It is a wet dough but persevere. This will take approximately 15 minutes by hand and 7 minutes in a freestanding mixer.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl. Cover with a bakers cloth or oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take 2-3 hours depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Alternatively place in the fridge to prove overnight.
5. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and gently 'punch down' to deflate it. Separate the dough into 6 or 8 pieces.
6. Roll each piece of dough very gently into a ball, tucking in any edges. You need to make sure the tops of the buns are smooth and any sealed edges are underneath.
7. Space the buns about 3cm apart on a lined baking tray lined with baking parchment and cover again with a bakers cloth or loosely with clingfilm, making sure they have plenty of room to rise.
8. Leave to rise in a warm place for at least 3 hours, or up to 7. The longer you leave them to prove the fluffier and lighter they will be, but beware if they are left too long they will collapse. When ready they will be about 4 times their original size.
9. Shortly before the buns are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 200C or the equivalent.
10. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash (beaten egg with a dash of milk) gently.
11. Spray the oven with water as you put the tray of buns in so as to create steam.
12. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, turning the tray round halfway through if necessary to ensure even cooking.
13. When cooked, remove the buns from the oven and leave to cool completely on the trays, covered with a bakers cloth or clean tea towel.
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 6-8 burger buns


Homemade Cheese Slices

You will never want to buy processed cheese slices again after trying these!
The cheese slices will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or well wrapped in the freezer for up to 1 month.
200ml Double cream
240g Monterey Jack cheese, grated
75g Cheddar cheese, grated
90g Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Heat the cream in a medium sauce pan until steaming.
2. Add the cheeses and beat with a mini whisk over a low heat until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Do not let the mixture boil.
3. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture onto a large sheet of non stick parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of parchment and gently roll the mixture out using a rolling pin, until around 5mm thick.
4. Leave the mixture to cool then transfer to the fridge and chill until set.
5. Remove the cheese from the fridge and cut into pieces suitable for hamburgers, cut through the paper so that the cheese is still sandwiched in paper.
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 20 slices


Byron Burger Buns


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