A perfect burger is not just about the quality of what’s inside the roll, but the roll itself. Paul’s baps are certain winners, here served with delicious beetroot and bean veggie burgers.
Make the baps. Tip the flour into a large bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other. Add the shortening and 250ml of water and turn the mixture around with your fingertips, gradually incorporating the flour until you have a soft, but not soggy dough (you may not need all the water).
Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 8–10 minutes, until silky and smooth. Place it in the prepared bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place or proving drawer for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile make the veggie burgers. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3–5 minutes, until soft and golden. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Tip the black beans into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to a rough mash. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the cooked onions and garlic, along with the beetroot, tomato paste, smoked paprika, chilli powder, breadcrumbs and egg. Season with crushed sea salt.
Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions (it will be quite wet, but this prevents a dry burger) and shape each into a burger. You don’t have to use all the mixture if you want smaller burgers (shape the leftovers into burgers or veggie meatballs to freeze for another time). Place on a prepared baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to firm up.
Meanwhile, divide the risen dough into 8 equal pieces and shape each piece into a loose ball: to do this, place each piece on the work surface and cover it in a cage formed by your cupped hand. Move your hand in a circular motion, rotating the ball rapidly to shape it (this will also naturally knock out the air).
Set the rolls aside on a floured surface, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough and place it on a prepared baking sheet. Leave enough space between each roll for expansion. Place each baking sheet in a proving bag and leave in a warm place to prove for 45 minutes, until risen to almost double in size.
Meanwhile, make the burger relish. Mix the ketchup, mayonnaise, gherkins, onion and dill together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C/425°F/Gas 7. Lightly dust the surface of the rolls with flour, then bake them for 10–15 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers over a medium–high heat for 4–5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Place on a baking sheet and set the grill to high.
To serve, slice 4 baps in half horizontally. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger and grill for 1–2 minutes, until melted. Spread a spoonful of burger relish over the base of each bap. Top each with 2 lettuce leaves and a slice of tomato. Place the burgers on top of the sliced tomatoes and spoon another spoonful of relish over each burger. Top with the bap lid and serve alongside the remaining 4 floury, uncut baps (or freeze the remaining baps for another time).