Healthy Halloween Cuisine: DIY Black Hamburger Buns Recipe

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This Halloween, dress your burger in a fashionable black bun.

When a hamburger with a black bun was introduced in Japan by a fast food restaurant last year, it was an instant hit. Still, I was surprised when the novelty burger hit the American market just in time for Halloween this year and even more surprised when it got some unintended press. I won’t go into it here, but apparently the dye used for the US market sticks around for a while after you’ve finished lunch. If you haven’t heard the ruckus, go google “black hamburger bun.” Weird, huh?

I still wanted a black hamburger bun for Halloween, so we made our own. A little reading revealed that last year’s Japanese version of the black bun didn’t use food dye at all. The black was produced using “takesumi,” which is a cooler way of saying bamboo charcoal.

Sometimes used to purify drinking water, it is also popular in Japan as a food additive and detoxifying supplement.  So, it’s good for me and it will make my hamburger buns black? I’m sold.

I couldn’t find any takesumi at my local Asian market, but I was able to get it through Amazon for about eight bucks.

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This black bun gets its color from bamboo charcoal, a food additive that’s actually good for you.

Using bamboo charcoal to make these Halloween buns couldn’t have been easier. Using a standard hamburger bun recipe, I stirred a little of the flavorless bamboo charcoal into the water before making the dough. Topped with sesame seeds, my plain old burger bun introduced a healthy dose of black and white into my technicolor lunch.

The restaurant version of this burger takes the theme a little further with black ketchup and black cheese, but I skipped that bit of business. Throw in some Halloween mac and cheese and a handful of DIY candy corn and our homemade Halloween lunch is served.

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Black Hamburger Buns Recipe

3/4-1 C warm water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons bamboo charcoal

3 cups flour

1 egg (+1 egg for wash)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon salt

sesame seeds

Mix 3/4 water and sugar in a small bowl.

Add yeast to water.

Stir in bamboo charcoal.

Combine water blend with flour, 1 egg, butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with dough hook until pliable dough forms (if dough doesn’t come together, add a little water until it does).

Place a ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until about doubled in size (60-90 minutes).

Divide into 8 pieces and roll into balls.

Arrange on a greased baking sheet and flatten to a burger-sized diameter.

Let rise for 60 minutes until puffy and rounded.

Whisk together an egg with a teaspoon of water and brush buns with resulting egg wash.

Sprinkle buns with sesame seeds (about 1/2 teaspoon per bun).

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-18 minutes.

Transfer to wire rack to cool.



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