Secret Recipe: Spruce Burger

Secret Recipe: Spruce Burger


We named Spruce's hamburger topped with pickled red onions and zucchini between a housemade bun as one of our favorite patties in the city. Eat chef Mark Sullivan's burger at the bar with a bold red wine, or make it at home on the stovetop, unless you're one of those lucky few allowed a grill in the apartment.

Serves 6


2 cups water

1 cup scalded milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons salt

1/2 tablespoon, plus 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast, dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water

8 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup melted butter

Grapeseed oil, enough to coat a skillet with a ¼ inch layer of oil

Semolina flour, enough to sprinkle over the buns

1. Whisk together the water, scalded milk, sugar, and salt.  Add the dissolved yeast.  Mix in 4 cups of the flour until the dough is homogeneous.Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes at ambient temperature. 

2. Beat in the melted butterand the remaining flour, and mix for 5 minutes. Cover and allow to rise a second time for 30 minutes at ambient temperature.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and roll out flat so that the dough is ½ inch thick. Cover and allow to rise a third time for 30 minutes at ambient temperature. 

4.Using a 3-inch-diameter ring, cut out individual buns.Lightly dredge them in semolina flour and pan-fry over medium heat, cooking each side for approximately 5 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown and cooked through on the inside. Set aside.


3 pounds Niman Ranch 20 percent fat ground chuck

Salt and coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil


Remoulade or aioli

1. Divide the hamburger meat into 6 equal balls.  Patty them so that they are ¾-inch thick.Season liberally with salt and black pepper.  Place a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 10 minutes. Turn heat to medium-low, add the grapeseed oil to the pan, place the hamburgers in the pan, and cook for approximately 3 minutes each side for rare or to desired temperature. 

2. Split 6 buns in half and toast.  Place the burgers on the buns.  Serve with pickles and remoulade.

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