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Burgers – an American classic and world renowned comfort food.  This delicious juicy and meaty creation is speculated to have originated in Germany but maybe even more interesting is that it also has its roots in Athens, Greece. 

But enough of the history lesson, while the history of food is important you came here for sliders! Sliders have to be one of my favourite comfort foods because you can get away with eating more than 2 without feeling guilty or watchful eyes shaming you for gorging yourself like a savage carnivore… Also the best thing about sliders is that you can make multiple variations with the same base ingredients!

SLIDERS – An Original Recipe

Yield = 12 Sliders (Burgers + Buns)

PREPARING THE LEVAIN: (8 hours in advance)

What you’ll need:

  • A bakers scale (preferably one that measures in oz and g)
  • A small plastic container
  • Your hands

LEVAIN BUILD:

  • Bread flour – 45g
  • Water – 45g/ml
  • Mature (Active) culture. Stiff build – 90g 

Mix all ingredients together in a plastic food safe container, metal bowl or any container that has a resealable lid or that can be covered or sealed in plastic wrap. Ensure mixture is homogeneous with no visible clumps of flour or excess water – should feel like a very thick mixture – similar to pancake batter. Ensure to wipe the inside of the container with a damp cloth to ensure there is no excess starter flour. A clean starter is a happy and healthy starter! Set aside and leave at room temperature for 8 hours (70F).

MIXING & AUTOLYSE:

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubberbands
  • Large mixing or stainless steel bowl

FINAL DOUGH FORMULA

  • Bread flour – 500g
  • Instant Yeast – 10g
  • Water – 280g/ml
  • Milk – 30g/ml
  • Stiff levain build – 190g
  • Vegetable Oil – 25g/ml
  • Salt (Kosher or sea salt) – 20g

MIXING:

  1. Add flour to the mixing bowl and add water milk and yeast in a separate measuring cup.
  2. Next attach the dough hook and mix on low speed, add the water milk and instant yeast mix until the dough resembles a shaggy mass.
  3. Turn off the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rest for 20 to 60 minutes. This is what is known as the autolyse phase – this stage allows the flour to evenly absorb the water content and allows the dough to relax.
  4. After the end of the autolyse add your levain into the mixing bowl.
  5. Next sprinkle the salt gently over the surface of the dough and pour in the vegetable oil.
  6. Finish mixing the dough on second speed for 1.5 to 2 minutes or until the dough comes together and is shiny and smooth yet still tacky in feel.

DIVING & SHAPING:

What you’ll need:

  • A dough scraper (plastic metal or even a 8″ stainless steel plaster knife)
  • Dusting flour
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking Tray
  • Plastic wrap

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  1. Lay your dough flat onto your work surface and cut the dough in twelve (roughly) equal sections, adding any excess dough chunks from scaling to the top of the dough.
  2. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll/shape your dough tightly into small little balls.
  3. Cut the parchment paper to fit the size of your baking tray and lightly dust it with flour.
  4. Place each onto the parchment paper and space them evenly across and give them a final light dusting.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour.

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PREPARING THE SLIDERS

INGREDIENTS

  • Ground beef – 2lbs 
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Pepper – 2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 2 tsp
  • Garlic powder – 3 tsp
  • Oregano – 1.5 tsp

What you’ll need:

  • Baking tray
  • Plastic wrap
  • Large Bowl

While the dough is proofing start preparing your patties. Grab a very large bowl and your ground meat. For this recipe I used roughly 2lbs of lean ground beef – but you can use any ground meat with high fat content – keep in mind any ground meat (vegetarian or not) can work but you will need some sort of binding agent to hold the patty together.

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Mix in the spices into the ground beef and thoroughly incorporate until homogeneous.

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Next grab a fist sized chunk and roll the patties into tightly shaped balls.

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Look how round those bad boys are… I think we should take a closer look.

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Magnificently shaped balls – I mean you cant get much rounder than that. Lovely… Make sure to ogle and appreciate your hard work up until this point…

Place the balls on a baking tray cover with plastic wrap and place them in the fridge until later.

FINAL DOUGH PREP & BAKING: 375ºF – 20 to 25 minutes

What you’ll need:

  • Small bowl
  • Pastry brush
  • Fork
  • Egg
  • Sesame Seeds

Preheat your oven to 375ºF. After your dough has been proofed sufficiently remove the plastic wrap and make your egg wash.

Crack one egg into a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water and a pinch of salt.

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Whisk together with a fork until evenly combined.

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Next take your pastry brush and coat the dough balls in egg wash.

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Grab your sesame seeds and sprinkle generously on top of your dough balls.

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The final product should look something like this!

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Place your dough into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

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Keep an eye on your buns – about 5 – 10 mins into the bake you should see the gas inside the dough expand and the dough rise rapidly. This is what we bakers refer to as the oven spring or oven kick.

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COOKING THE SLIDERS: 375 – 12 to 15 mins

What you’ll need:

  • Heavy bottomed frying pan
  • Baking tray
  • Oil
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Barbecue sauce (optional)

Time to cook your balls! Seriously – fry those bad boys up!

Flatten your sliders and roughly shape them into patties. Turn your burner or stove element to the highest setting and place your pan on the hot surface until the pan begins to smoke. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and place your sliders in the pan going around the pan clockwise in a circle. (Note you may have to sear the burgers off in multiple batches based on the size of your pan.)

Sear the patties for 45 seconds to 1 minute per side then place on the baking tray.  Top with thin slices of cheese and or barbecue sauce and into the oven for 12-15 mins.

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ASSEMBLY

Once your buns and sliders are done and out of the oven, (be careful the buns will be extremely hot!) now its time to put it all together!

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Chop up your condiments, grab your burgers, get creative and get eating!

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Happy National Burger Day!

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Please share this recipe and comment below to let me know your thoughts! I’d love to see what you come up with 🙂

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