Classic Burgers and Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

This recipe for classic burgers from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The Original Classics looks simple, but as Adam said in his description of the book, is the result of a lot of work to find the perfect recipe. The book recommends asking your butcher to custom-grind the meat and to handle the meat as little as possible while cooking to keep the burger juicy and make the outside crunchy. Go all the way with your homemade burgers by following the accompanying bun recipe.

Recipe Facts



Total: 0 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 2 pounds ground beef, preferably chuck
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Homemade Hamburger Buns (recipe follows) or prepared
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves
  • 2 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • Ketchup, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted melted butter, cooled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Canola oil, for bowl
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon seeds, such as sesame, poppy, fennel, or cumin, optional


  1. Preheat a grill or a grill pan to medium high. Season the meat with salt and pepper; mix very lightly. Shape into 4 patties, and place them on the hot grill. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side for rare, and 9 to 11 minutes for well done. Serve on warm or toasted buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, and ketchup.

  2. Homemade Hamburger Buns

  3. - makes 12 -

  4. Place the warm water, dry milk, butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, whisk, and let stand until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.

  5. Add egg, 1 egg yolk, 2 cups flour, and salt; whisk until smooth. Add 2 1/2 cups flour; stir with a wooden. spoon. When mixture becomes too thick to stir, use your hands. Add up to another 1/2 cup flour until dough is tacky when pinched but not sticky. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead for 1 minute. Let stand 10 minutes.

  6. Knead dough again until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Punch down dough and divide in half. Cut each half into sixths; form flattened balls. Arrange buns 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover; let stand until doubled in size, 45 minutes.

  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Whisk remaining egg yolk and milk; brush egg wash lightly over buns. Top buns with the seeds, if using. Bake until golden and hollow sounding when tapped, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Buns can be frozen in resealable plastic bags up to 2 months.