Wendi and I watched an episode of Cook’s Country, a PBS series done by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen, in which the chefs made a Wisconsin spicy cheese bread. While talking about the bread, they also mentioned Wisconsin Butter Burgers, something of which I had never heard.
The bread looked good. It used a brioche dough, which involves eggs. I am not a big fan of brioche breads, but this spicy cheese bread looked really good, so I asked Wendi to make one. She probably will for our Super Bowl spread, but I was really intrigued with this recipe and wanted to try my hand at it. I did, but I didn’t follow the Cook’s Country recipe. Sorry, that’s just how I roll. I started making my basic pizza dough in my food processor. (This is now my preferred method over a stand mixer because the dough comes out with great gluten structure and warm, which helps in the proofing). I thought my dough was 2.5 cups of flour and 1.5 cups of water, plus a tablespoon of yeast, a little sugar and a little salt. I only used 10 ounces of water, but it was way too much. I had to keep adding flour, probably as much as another cup. The dough came out very soft, which I liked.
I let the dough rise for about 20 minutes, and I used half to make a pizza and half for the bread. I rolled the dough into a large rectangle. I added some cubed pepper jack cheese and some slices of white sharp cheddar I had. Then, I rolled up the dough like you would for cinnamon rolls. Once, the long tube was shaped, I rolled it to better incorporate the cheese and dough and to elongate it. After rolling it out, I spiraled the dough and put it into my 6-inch cake pan, the same one Wendi used for her pizza cake (read about it here) and I used for my pressure cooker cheesecake (you can read about it here). I let the dough rise in the pan for awhile and then baked it at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Before putting it in the toaster oven, I put butter on top and some Johnny’s seasoning, a garlic-parmesan-herb seasoning.
We really enjoyed the bread. The dough was very moist, and the cubes of cheese made for nice pockets of cheesy goodness in the bread. Because we used pepper jack cheese, it still had a little spicy kick to it, probably not as much as if we sprinkled crushed red pepper flakes on the inside and on the top. If you want to check out the Cook’s Country recipe, you can do so here, but it requires you be a member (which is free).
As I mentioned, butter burgers were briefly discussed on the show. While the team did not make butter burgers on this episode, the title of the dish piqued my curiosity. I did some quick research and basically concluded butter burgers were burgers, cooked in browned butter over high heat, placed on a buttered bun with more butter lopped on top. I did it, and let me just say, I was not impressed.
I realized I probably needed to better understand what butter burgers are all about before banishing them from my culinary lexicon. I posted on Facebook, asking what was the fascination with butter burgers, and my friend and former colleague, Bryan Schaaf, responded by sharing a link to a blog post he wrote about butter burgers. Bryan is now a marketing manager with Certified Angus Beef in Wooster. You can read his post here.
Wendi liked the burgers better than I did. Probably next time, I will follow chef Peter Rosenberg’s recipe shared by Bryan.
Have you tried making any of these dishes? Tell me about your experience in the comments below. Thanks.