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Homemade Hamburger Buns

hamburger

Here’s a great way to take your Labor Day cookout to the next level. Homemade hamburger buns take some time to prepare, but the payoff is huge: a soft, pillowy roll with a slightly sweet, yeasty flavor. Make the most of the last days of summer with your best burger yet.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

1 1/2 cups milk

8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

5 Tbs. sugar

1 Tbs. kosher salt

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)

 

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and butter and heat until the butter is melted, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to 105° to 115°F. Add the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 10 minutes.

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 4 cups flour, the sugar and salt and beat on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the milk mixture and knead until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, oil the inside of the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 10-by-7 1/2-inch rectangle. Using a ruler as a guide, cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, spacing the buns evenly apart, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

 

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

 

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until the buns are golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a bun registers 190°F, 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut in half and use as hamburger buns. Makes 12 hamburger buns.

 

For slider buns: Follow the instructions above but roll out the dough into a 9-inch square. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Position 1 rack in the upper third of an oven and 1 rack in the lower third and preheat to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and 180 degrees halfway through baking. Makes 36 slider buns.

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Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

cheesecake

Making our own fresh ricotta is surprisingly easy, and the result tastes extraordinary. Use a good-quality ricotta for this cheesecake, and make sure to process it well so there are no lumps. You’ll be rewarded with a deliciously light and creamy cake.

 

Ricotta Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

For the crust:

3 Tbs. sugar, plus more for sprinkling

4 oz. (125 g.) graham crackers (about 8 crackers)

Pinch of kosher salt

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g.) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

4 cups (2 lb./1 kg.) ricotta cheese

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) sugar

1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 large eggs

1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) creme fraiche

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

For the strawberry sauce:

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) sugar

2 Tbs. fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).

To make the crust, generously butter a 9-inch (23-cm.) springform pan; sprinkle the sides of the pan with sugar, knocking out the excess. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and butter and pulse to form fine crumbs. Press the graham cracker mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pan. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).

To make the filling, in a clean food processor, process the ricotta until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and process again until smooth. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the eggs and process until smooth. Add the creme fraiche, vanilla and orange zest and process until completely combined. Gently pour the filling into the crust-lined pan, being careful not to disturb the crust.

Bake until the filling puffs up slightly and the center jiggles very slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 2 hours. You can also refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 2 days before serving.

Meanwhile, make the strawberry sauce: In a saucepan, simmer the strawberries, sugar, and citrus juices over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries break down and the sauce becomes a bit syrupy, about 6 minutes. Puree the sauce with an immersion blender or in a blender. Let cool completely or refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, remove the pan sides and slide the cheesecake onto a serving platter. Pour the sauce over the cake, and serve in thick wedges (you can also serve the strawberry sauce alongside the cake). Makes one 9-inch (23-cm.) cheesecake.

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Recipe Roundup: Cheese

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Have you seen our Guide to Cheese? Check it out for a primer on all the many different kinds of cheese, from fresh ricotta to soft Brie, pungent blue and sharp, nutty Parmesan. Then put your knowledge to good use with some of our favorite cheesy recipes.

 

Gorgonzola Dip with CruditésGorgonzola Dip with Crudités
Gorgonzola dolce, the creamiest variety, is a good choice for this flavorful dip. Serve with a selection of colorful seasonal vegetables, such as radishes and asparagus in spring or zucchini and sugar snap peas in summer.
Grilled Figs with Dry Jack and ProsciuttoGrilled Figs with Dry Jack and Prosciutto
Grilling or roasting fresh figs gives them a caramelized, sweet flavor that enhances this classic Italian-style pairing of a salty cheese, cured meat and ripe fruit. Serve the figs hot off the grill as a starter, or combine them with a simple arugula salad for a light meal.
Homemade Ricotta CheeseHomemade Ricotta Cheese
Fluffy, rich clouds of freshly made ricotta are so good you’ll want to sit there with a spoon and eat it like ice cream. Use it in any recipe that calls for ricotta to take the whole dish to the next level.
Rustic Tomato & Mozzarella TartRustic Tomato & Mozzarella Tart
Use vine-ripened tomatoes at their peak to create these simple tarts, showcasing the classic combination of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Using prepared puff pastry makes them quick and easy to assemble and bake.
Nectarines with Arugula and Burrata CheeseNectarines with Arugula and Burrata Cheese
Creamy burrata cheese meets sweet nectarines in this summer-fresh starter that takes just minutes to assemble. Let guests help themselves, layering the ingredients on crusty bread.
Grilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon DressingGrilled Halloumi and Little Gem Salad with Preserved-Lemon Dressing
Halloumi is a firm cheese that originated in Cypress but is increasingly made domestically. Its claim to fame is that it holds its shape when grilled or fried, as in this flavorful salad.
Herb and Brie OmeletHerb and Brie Omelet
With a few deft twists of the wrist, it is easy to transform a few eggs into a light-as-air morning main course. This recipe yields a large, fluffy omelet packed with melting cheese and fresh herbs—ideal for sharing.
Warm Beer and Cheddar DipWarm Beer and Cheddar Dip
Made with beer and lots of cheddar cheese, this warm, hearty dip is just the thing for casual get-togethers. Be sure to add the cheese slowly, allowing each batch to melt before adding more, to ensure smooth results.
Waldorf Salad with Blue CheeseWaldorf Salad with Blue CheeseFor this salad, a modern riff on a classic, try a blue cheese that is dry and crumbly, such as Cabrales or Valdeón, but a creamy Gorgonzola would also work well.
Bacon and Cheese SconesBacon and Cheese Scones
While most people think of scones as sweet treats, they can also be filled with savory ingredients, like these irresistible rounds of meat-and-cheese goodness, for a delicious change of pace.
Fried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini BlossomsFried Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
In Italy, zucchini blossoms are often stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies and fried in a crisp coating. Here, herbed ricotta is tucked into the blossoms with delicious results.
Shaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and AsiagoShaved Zucchini Salad with Almonds and Asiago
Shaving raw zucchini for this pretty salad is a great way to use up a bounty of vegetables. Shaved dry cheese and crunchy nuts top it off.
Savory Leek & Gruyère SouffléSavory Leek & Gruyère Soufflé
Delicate, tender leeks and melted Gruyere cheese combine in this savory souffle, a beautiful brunch entree or dinner party side dish.
Agnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and HerbsAgnolini with Goat Cheese, Fresh Ricotta, Peas and Herbs
These half-moons, made by cutting the pasta into rounds and then folding them in half, are a perfect pocket for cheese. Ricotta is the traditional filling, but goat cheese adds a tang and complements spring peas and herbs.
Potato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast TacosPotato, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Tacos
When you want something especially hearty for breakfast, try this egg and tortilla dish, which includes panfried potatoes and shredded cheese. The fresh salsa is essential.
Creamy Mascarpone PolentaCreamy Mascarpone Polenta
What’s the secret to making polenta with a rich, creamy texture? Stir in a dollop of mascarpone cheese. It’s the perfect side dish for roasted meats or poultry.
Golden Beet and Blue Cheese RisottoGolden Beet and Blue Cheese Risotto
When root vegetables start to pile high at the farmers’ market, seek out golden or pink beets, which lend a pretty color to this risotto. Blue cheese complements the earthiness of the dish.
Spanish Pizza with Chorizo and ManchegoSpanish Pizza with Chorizo and Manchego
Traditional Spanish ingredients inspired this pizza: cured (not fresh) chorizo, dry Manchego cheese, and toppings of peppers and olives.
Ham and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and ChivesHam and Cheese Quiche with Crème Fraîche and Chives
Smoked ham and Gruyère cheese are classic ingredients in this celebrated French dish. This version adds a touch of crème fraîche for flavor and richness and a sprinkle of chives for freshness.
Penne with Ricotta Cheese and GreensPenne with Ricotta Cheese and Greens
Here, Tuscan kale (also know as black kale) adds deep, earthy flavor to pasta. Fresh ricotta makes a satisfyingly easy sauce.
Grown-Up Grilled Cheese SandwichesGrown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Not your ordinary grilled cheese, this one is filled with Gruyère, sweet caramelized onions and peppery arugula. Pair it with a bowl of soup for a satisfying, easy meal.
Herbed Pork Involtini with PecorinoHerbed Pork Involtini with Pecorino
Involtini
, thin slices of meat filled, rolled and tied before cooking, are an Italian favorite. Fillings can vary from a simple bread-and-herb mix like this one, including pecorino cheese, to more exotic flavors.
Smoky Cheese EnchiladasSmoky Cheese Enchiladas
Crushed chipotle chili adds an enticing smoky flavor and gentle layer of heat to these enchiladas, which are enriched with two kinds of cheeses.
Potato and Celery Root Gratin with GruyèrePotato and Celery Root Gratin with Gruyère
Potato and nutty celery root pair in this rich, creamy, cheesy gratin, perfect for a special dinner or even a holiday feast.
Rolled Eggplant with Sausage & MozzarellaRolled Eggplant with Sausage & Mozzarella
Here’s a creative alternative to pasta: long, thin strips of eggplant, rolled around gooey mozzarella cheese and savory sausage, with plenty of bright tomato sauce for extra flavor.

Orzo with Feta, Basil and ShrimpOrzo with Feta, Basil and Shrimp
In Mediterranean cuisine, feta cheese is often paired with shrimp, the creamy, salty flavors marrying lusciously. Here, crumbled feta is added at the end of the cooking so it soaks up the warm juices from the sautéed shrimp.
Macaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and BaconMacaroni with Farmhouse Cheddar and Bacon
Here’s a seriously grown-up version of a kid’s classic. Thanks to their different ages, the two cheddars give this hearty baked pasta a richness that’s balanced by the addition of salty, smoky bacon.
Filets Mignons with Parmesan ButterFilets Mignons with Parmesan Butter
Here, filet mignon, one of the most lauded cuts of beef, is cooked first on the stovetop, then finished in the oven. The Parmesan butter melts over the warm meat, complementing its richness and adding an appealing nuttiness.
Goat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and ThymeGoat Cheese Toasts with Walnuts, Honey and Thyme
Dripping with honey and sprinkled with fresh thyme, cracked pepper and sea salt, these warm, crunchy toasts make a delicious breakfast, after-school treat or lunch when matched with a handful of salad greens.
Cheese BlintzesCheese Blintzes
These crepelike wrappers can be stuffed with a variety of fillings—from mushrooms to meat—but this cheese version, served with fruit compote and sour cream, is a popular morning choice.
Ricotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and HoneyRicotta with Blood Orange, Pistachio and Honey
Prepare this dessert in the winter, when blood oranges are at their peak. During other times of the year, vary the fruit with the season — almost any kind will complement the creamy ricotta and honey.