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Caper hamburgers and home made sesame buns, the perfect sofa dinner

Eating on the couch has always had the allure of forbidden, the exception granted only on unique days. Winter Sunday evenings or festive days have all the elements to allow you a comfortable dinner, on a narrow two-seater sofa, wrapped in a blanket watching a movie. It might sound obvious, but lately I’ve rediscovered the magic of these quiet evenings. I do not want to call them simple, because they are not simple. Simple seems to diminish their magic and perfect balance.


Yes, balance, because you need balance when it comes to sit on that two-seater sofa not only with your dinner tray but also with a 40 kilo dog that tries every trick to creep up in the middle, paw after paw, until she manages to rest there completely satisfied. You know I’m building a strong relationship with my sourdough starter lately, so I decided to make perfect home made hamburger bread, those soft buns sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Hamburger da divano

With the following recipe you’ll obtain 12 buns, enjoy those you want to eat and freeze the leftovers, so you’ll have ready buns every time you want to treat yourself with a perfect sofa dinner.

The hamburgers are made with beef ground meat, lean and tasty. They are even more interesting thanks to a heaping tablespoon of capers under salt. I chose tiny capers, dots with a concentrated kick that will turn your average hamburger into a gourmet treat. The same capers, along the aromatic zest of an organic lemon, give flavour to an home made mayonnaise. You can make it in advance and stash it in the fridge.

The idea is to have everything ready ahead of time, neatly stored in the fridge or freezer. You want to enjoy your special sofa dinner without stressing yourself in the kitchen. Choose your favourite vegetable to go into your bun. I made simple carrots dressed with balsamic vinegar, but you can opt for lettuce or radicchio, if you prefer a bitter side, or a roasted butternut slice if you are on the sweet side as I am.


Now all you have to do is choosing the movie: a romantic Christmas comedy, a thriller movie to squeeze the other person on the sofa or a cartoon for the whole family?

Home made hamburgers and buns

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Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Course Bread, Meat
Servings 4


Ingredients for about 12 buns

  • 200 g of sourdough starter
  • 350 g of warm whole milk
  • 300 g of strong flour, as Manitoba flour
  • 300 g of durum wheat semolina flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 50 g of soft butter, diced
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds

Ingredients for 4 caper hamburgers

  • 500 of beef ground meat
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of capers in dry salt, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of pancetta, or bacon

Ingredients for the caper and lemon zest mayonnaise

  • 3 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • about 240 ml of extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of mild mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of capers in dry salt, rinsed
  • Zest of 1 organic lemon

Ingredients for the balsamic vinegar carrots

  • 5 medium carrots
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Balsamic vinegar
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  • The day before. Melt the sourdough starter in a stand mixer bowl with the warm milk, then add the strong flour and the semolina flour and start kneading. Add sugar, salt, the lightly beaten egg and keep kneading. Add the softened butter and keep on kneading until soft and elastic. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 4 hours or until doubled in volume. I kept the dough into the oven with the light on.
  • After 4 hours, divide the dough into 12 balls, lay them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise again for about 3 hours, until doubled.
  • After 3 hours brush the buns with some milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt flakes.
  • Heat the oven to 230°C and bake the buns for about 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 200°C and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden. Let them cool down on a baking wire rack covered with a kitchen towel: if you are not going to eat them soon, you can toast or grill them the day after and freeze the leftover buns.
  • Make the mayonnaise following this recipe, then add at the end the finely chopped capers and lemon zest. Keep the mayonnaise in the fridge until you're going to use it.
  • Make the hamburger. In a bowl mix t­he ground meat with the finely chopped capers, salt and pepper.
  • Mix with your hands and make 4 hamburgers, pressing the meat. Wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge until you're ready to grill them.
  • The day after or just before enjoying your hamburgers and home made buns. Slice thinly the carrots and cook them with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt for about 10 minutes, until tender but still slightly crunchy. Drizzle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt a grilling pan and heat on high flame. When hot grill the hamburgers for a few minutes on each side, depending on how you prefer them. I love them still pink inside. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and remove from the pan.
  • Toast the buns, spread with mayonnaise, add a good serving of the balsamic vinegar carrots, the hamburger and a quickly grilled slice of bacon.
  • Choose the movie to watch, crouch on the sofa with your loved one and enjoy the evening.
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 Link Love

  • This is the recipe I used to make the buns, Vaniglia is a friend and I’ll tell you soon about her brand new book, Profumo di Biscotti 
  • Home made ketchup by Jamie Oliver, to make everything from scratches, from buns to dressing
  • It’s not the right season for this peach and portobello burger made by Green Kitchen Stories for Design Sponge, but I couldn’t help and I had to share it, it’s awesome.
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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. oh those evenings to self! to do as you please and just chill out with ourselves. Yes, we very much need them! I am having one of those tonight and yet undecided on what to eat.. somehow polenta is stuck in my head! may be with shrimp….. haven’t had shrimp in ages! Hmmmmm

  2. Those burgers look terrific and incredibly scrumptious! A tasty combination. Nothing compares to 100% homemade burgers!



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