1. Petrissage or Kneading
Dissolve the yeast in water (not hot water or it will kill the yeast! It should be slightly warm; 20 degrees Celsius would be perfect!). In the bowl put all of the ingredients together, except for the butter. Knead at a low speed (using the hook attachment) for about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the butter at room temperature, and continue to knead at a low speed until the butter has incorporated into the batter.
Knead for an extra 8 minutes on medium to high speed.
Dissolve the yeast in the water.
On the kitchen counter make a fountain with the flour, the sugar, the salt. Make a hole in the middle and pour the egg yolk and half of the water. Using your fingers start mixing bringing in the flour around. Add the rest of the water and finish mixing the ingredients together. Add the butter at room temperature.
Knead the dough until it no longer sticks to the kitchen counter. To knead you should tap the dough against your counter, fold it and repeat the movement.
2. "Pointage" or First Fermentation
Shape your bread into a ball and let it rest for an hour covered with a humid kitchen towel. It should have at least doubled in size.
3. "Façonnage" or Bread Shaping
Divide your bread dough into 8 equal parts. If you have a scale, each one should way around 100 g.
Now we are going to shape the bread. This is very important because it is what’s going to allow your bun to grow nicely during the fermentation process and in the oven. It gives it strength. This is called "façonnage" in French. We are going to be shaping each piece into a small tight ball.
Watch the video to see how this is done:
Beat 1 egg. Transfer the sesame seed onto a small shallow dish.
After you have shaped all of the buns, using a brush paint each bun with the beaten egg, and then turn over your bun and dip into the sesame seeds. Place on a oven tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover and let them rest for about 1 hour, or until they have doubled in size (if this happens before the hour, it's OK).
15 minutes before the end of the fermentation pre heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius, and place an empty tray at the bottom of your oven.
Just before putting your buns in pour 1/2 a glass of water onto the empty tray.
Cook for about 15 to 17 min, or until golden brown.
Transfer onto a rack and let them cool down.
If you are not going to use them right away, you can wrap them in plastic paper and freeze them. Just re-heat before using again!
Before second fermentation:
After second fermentation:
For the Caramelized Onions
Slice the onions as thinly as you can. The proper French technical term would be "émincer". You can watch how to do this in the video below.
Melt the butter in a pot at very very low heat (my burners go up to 6, and I did the whole procedure at number 2!). Add the sliced onions and cook slowly until they are soft, really soft, and caramelized. The key to this process is being patient, and stir from time to time. We don’t want coloration! That’s why I cook the onions very slowly. Also, some people add sugar to make caramelized onions... I don’t. They are sweet enough without adding anything extra. Try it out!
Season once they are nicely cooked and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. In the mean time chop the onion or in as French would say "ciseler". Separate the green part of the scallions from the white part and chop the white part. Set aside the greens. Crush the garlic clove using the blade of your knife and the palm of your hand.
Once the olive oil has heated up add the scallions (white part only), the shallots and the garlic. Cook over medium low heat, removing from time to time. After 10 minutes add the honey, the brown sugar, the paprika and the crushed red pepper flakes. Bring it to a simmer and let it reduce. Add the vinegar and the soy sauce with the splash of limejuice and let it reduce once again.
Finally add the ketchup and cook for about 15 minutes, or until you obtain the desired consistency for your sauce.
I reduced quite a bit, because for the burgers I prefer a less runny sauce. But for other uses, a little less reduced would be good.
Make a big batch. It preserves well in the fridge in jam jars. You can then use the sauce for other recipes, as chicken wings, or ribs, or just as a sauce for your grilled meat.
Chop the shallots and the scallions (white part). Slice the green part of the scallions as thinly as possible. Remember to use the ones you set aside when preparing the BBQ sauce.
In a sauté pan melt the butter and add the shallots and scallions (white part). Cook over medium heat until they are transparent. Add the sliced green part of the scallions, plus the red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper. Cook for an extra 2 minutes.
Transfer to a container and let it cool. If there is excess of butter, strain.
Season the grounded beef and pork with salt and pepper. In a bowl mix together the beef, the pork, the egg yolks, and the cooked shallot/scallion mixture once it has cooled off a bit.
Make 8 balls using your hands, and place over parchment paper. Proceed to flatten the balls into a burger shape.
We are almost ready to actually cook the burgers!
Heat a sauté pan. Once it’s really hot and over high heat, brown your bacon on both sides. Extra fat is not necessary; bacon has enough of that by itself.
For the Finishing Touches
Once your bread is in the oven, or when you have already baked your buns, whatever your timeline is, you can start cooking your burgers.
On a sauté pan (or a grill if you are lucky enough to have one!), drizzle a drop of olive oil. Once it is very very hot, place your burgers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the burgers and place a spoonful of caramelized onions, plus a slice of provolone over each burger and cover your pan. Cook for three minutes. Remove the cover. If the cheese is not melted enough cover again and continue cooking.
If your provolone cheese comes in thin slices the way I suggested above is the way to go. If you get your provolone in one big thick disk, as I did, then you probably want to go another direction. Before cooking the burgers, melt the provolone disk. Remove for the sauté pan, and also remove some of the excess fat (it is the provolone’s fat!). Cook your burgers using this fat, and don’t add any extra olive oil!
Once you turn your burgers, proceed exactly as I said before, except your cheese will already be melted, it will just need some extra heat!
Any other cheese that you would like to use would be ok. I would go with Swiss cheese if you can’t find or don’t especially enjoy provolone!
Slice your buns in the middle, and spread the BBQ on the bottom cover. Add the arugula (if you have any). Transfer the burgers onto the buns; add the crispy bacon and close the burger!