One of the really nice things about these is that the bun fully encases the burger, so no drips or squirts.
1 cup mashed russet potato
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into four 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1-1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 lb ground round
4 ounces sharp cheddar, finely grated on a box grater (I'm going to double next time, see note in recipe.)
27 thin dill pickle slices (I used a whole 1 and sliced on a mandoline)
1/4 of a large onion (whatever kind you want), thinly sliced on a mandoline (optional)
Ketchup or your Secret Sauce for burgers for serving
Use a large baking potato cut into 1 inch pieces and boil in salted water until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water. Dry the potato pieces out by placing them back into the pan on the still hot burner and toss every couple of minutes until they have dried out. Mash well with a masher or a ricer. Lightly pack mashed potatoes into a 1 cup measure. Use or discard excess (Cheesy Mashed Potato Tots are a good use for excess).
Place the mashed potatoes and the butter in a large bowl, stir until butter has melted and incorporated well.
Place 5 Tbsp of potato water into a large bowl and allow it to cool until just warm to the touch. Add the sugar and the yeast, stir. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until yeast blooms. Add the mashed potatos, the 2 flours, the salt and the egg to the bowl and mix until dough comes together, adding additional potato water or flour as needed until you have a soft, very slightly sticky dough.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured board and form into a ball. Add a little bit of oil to your mixing bowl, place dough ball back in and turn to coat with oil. Cover with damp paper towels and allow to proof for about an hour.
Meanwhile, divide the ground meat into 9 equal balls and form into patties, about 3 inches across. Make a small dimple in the middle of each patty. Add salt and pepper.
Cook patties in a skillet with a small amount of cooking oil until they are rare to medium rare, as they will continue to cook a bit in the oven later. Set patties aside to cool.
Divide the grated cheese into 9 equal portions. It will be about a slightly packed tablespoon each. You can add a little more cheese if desired. I probably will next time, double in fact, as there wasn't much cheese in there.
Once your dough has risen, turn out onto a lighly floured board and divide into 9 equal portions. Form each portion into a dough ball. Flatten the balls into a circle about 5-1/2 to 6 inches. In the middle of each circle, place a flattened mound of cheese, 3 pickle slices, a few onion slices, and 1 patty.
Form a dough ball by bringing up 4 opposite sides, pinching together, then bringing up the resulting 4 corners and pinching together. Use a very light dusting of flour if the dough gets too sticky. Set each aside on a lightly floured surface as you are working.
Once you have all the dough balls made, spray a 10 x 10 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Place the 9 balls in the pan with the seam side down. Cover with foil and allow to rise for 20 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 400. Uncover pan of rolls and place in oven. Cook for 12 minutes, then rotate 90 degrees, and cook for 12-14 minutes more. If the rolls start to brown too much, cover the pan with the foil. Once done, remove from oven and place on a rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn the rolls out onto the rack. They should pull apart fairly easily.
Serve with ketchup or your Secret Burger sauce to dip the Bun Burgers into as they are eaten.
Do ahead: Prepare the Bun Burgers up to the final proofing. Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator, let them sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature, then bake.
1 or 2 Bite-size Bun Burgers: Instead of dividing into 9 portions, divide into 24 portions, adjusting sizes as appropriate, and use a 13x9 pan. Then, proceed as above. Bake 10 minutes, rotate, bake 10-12 minutes more.
1/3 cup 1000 Island dressing
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp Sriracha
Place all in a container, mix well, adjust with more of any of the 3 ingredients to your taste.
I'm going to play with sauce next time, maybe add some mustard and worchestershire.