Best Ever Big and Wheaty Burgers

So you know I’m on a freekeh mission, and here’s another installment in the Whole Grain Sampling Day series featuring the amazing grain. I’m also a huge fan of burgers, and I consider myself to be a burger snob, but I’m ok with that. I like burgers to hold together, to have some bite, tons of flavors, and a crispy outer texture. The bun should be soft, not the burger!

With all that in mind, I think these are truly the very best burgers I’ve ever made. As an added bonus, they are super easy to make. If you only try one freekeh recipe in my mini series, let it be this one!

Best Ever Big and Wheaty Burger

Best Ever Big and Wheaty  Burgers

These burgers are juicy and full  of flavor  – a true vegan dream burger! As written, this makes 10 burgers, but for Huge and Wheaty burgers, divide the mixture into 6 burgers instead. They are a little more juicy (and I think slightly better– but BIG) when made into 6 burgers.  Note: the freekeh will want to fall out of the burgers. When making the balls, I stick my thumb in the center of the portion and pack some of the renegade freekeh in the center, and also smash it into the rolled burger. It’s what really makes the texture of these burgers, so incorporate as much as you can without being obsessive.

For the burgers:

2 cups vital wheat gluten

1 cup cooked cracked freekeh

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon onion powder

1 cup vegetable broth

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari

2 tablespoons organic ketchup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Neutral-flavored oil, for cooking

For the cooking broth:

3 cups vegetable broth

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari

1 tablespoon organic ketchup

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Salt and black pepper


Preheat the oven to 300°F .
Stir together the vital wheat gluten, freekeh, garlic powder, and onion powder in a medium-size bowl. Stir together the broth, tamari, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Add an additional tablespoon of broth or vital wheat gluten, if needed, to form a cohesive dough. Knead a few minutes, then divide into 10 equal portions, about 2. 7 ounces each. Sandwich the dough between two pieces of parchment paper, and roll out to about 3 inches across, and 1/2 inch thick. You may need to pinch parts of the burger together, or “patch” them. As the dough sticks together well, it shouldn’t be an issue. (For 6 burgers, roll them slightly larger than 3 inches – obviously, they will be thicker!).

Heat a thin layer of neutral oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers (in batches) for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned. Turn over to cook the second side, for 3 to 4 minutes, until browned.

Stir together the cooking broth ingredients in a large roasting pan. As the burgers are browned, put them into the broth. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave in the oven for 1 hour longer. Let cool in any remaining broth. The burgers can be wrapped airtight and frozen, or refrigerated for up to 3 days.

When serving, be sure the burgers are thawed if they have been frozen. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook for 3 to 6 minutes, until browned and crisp. Turn over to cook the second side in the same way, then serve on buns with your favorite toppings.

Yield: 10 burgers, at a cooked weight of 4 ounces each


Advance copy!

And this happened this week! The book is available for pre-order  now. Be ready for some fun surrounding the book, too! In the meantime, I’ll be perusing this advance copy.


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  1. Rusty M
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I am definitely trying this one! You’ve never steered me wrong yet.

  2. Posted March 15, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Let me know what you think, Rusty! :) And thank you for the very kind words.

  3. Celine
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Oooh. Going to make a batch of these (sans freekeh sadly, but maybe barley or bulgur instead) for Chaz to enjoy while I’m away.

  4. Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait to hear what you guys think! And barley would work, too!

  5. Celine
    Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Update because I know you’re holding your breath: Barley is boiling. Will update again when burgers are ready in a couple of hours. (Don’t hold your breath until then please.)

  6. Posted March 15, 2014 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Keep me posted!!!

  7. Posted March 15, 2014 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Interesting! I’ve never had a burger baked in a broth before. They look amazing.

  8. Posted March 16, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Panda, I really think these are up your alley! Let me know!

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