Friday, January 13, 2012

Baking for Red Bull

Jan-Friday the 13th

As we speak, the 8th wonder of the world has just been set up in the center of my city (Saint Paul).

The people from Red Bull are sponsering this deal where they are going to have some kind of "EXTREME SKATING" race.

They set a gigantic-gigantic course up on the the highest point of Capitol City....the back yard of our Cathedral.

I mean you walk out the back door of the church and's like theres a 5 story drop.

This is where they have built a course that in many ways resembles more of a ski jump that you see those adrenaline junkies fly off of during the Olympics.

There is going to be so much traffic there this weekend that Sunday mass is cancelled (I wonder how much that cost Red Bull)?

I don't know much more than that, but on the TV commercials it looks like they send guys down in heats of 4, and they get to push each other around to jockey for position.

Dude....this might be crazier than Ben Hur's chariot race at the Roman Circus.

So what does this have to do with baking?

There is an estimated 60 000 spectators that are projected to attend this event.

We have been commissioned by a vendor to make 750 dozen hamburger buns, and 750 dozen hot dog buns.

In the past, many "stadium" type events have just used low end hamburger buns for these occasions, but now days...the public is demanding higher quality....yes, even with hamburger buns.

Funny huh?

Well if you look back a few years, there was a cat name Ray Kroc. He was the founder of McDonald's. He was once quoted with saying..........

"It takes a certain kind of mind to see the beauty in a hamburger bun."

I so get what he means.

Americans might eat like 41 croissants each year, and they will rant and rave about the ingredients and methods in which it is made, but the average American will eat hundreds, I said hundreds of hamburger buns annually, but yet they'll take this culinary medium for granted.....sigh.

So Klecko, what does one have to consider when designing a primo hamburger bun?


The bun has to taste great, have good mouth feel, but in no way should it upstage the meat or whatever the focal point is in this sandwich.


The size should be based around the volume of the meat. Most hamburger and hotdogs that you buy comercially are sold to restaurants with some kind of meassuring system.

For dogs will be 4 to 1 all the way down to 8 to 1 in America.

This means 4 dogs per pound of meat or 8 dogs per pound of meat...etc.

You also have to keep in mind "Jaw Span". As you get older, your jaw span shrinks. Older people have difficulty eating "Oil Based" buns and usually enjoy the comfort that a "shortening" bun will offer. it will be dense and easier to get their mouth around.

Also marketing affects size.

3 years ago, every thing was "JUMBO" and value. Super sized items were par for the course, but then American didn't want to be fat so they played with "small plate" menus and replaced 1/2 pound burger with sliders (a.k.a. dollar rolls).

I've talked to numorous chefs-cooks-food service workers and they just laugh....bottom line is people eat what they are going to eat.

Basically the peeps who used to eat the Jumbo's simply down 6-8 sliders instead.


Condiments are getting to be quite the rage now days. Nobody seems to want to serve a standard burger anymore, everybody has this innate need to express themselves through condiments......sigh.

Ketchup,mustard, cole slaw, BBQ sauce, white onion, red onion, yellow onion, pickles, relish, the list goes on and on and on.

I think just last year bacon became the #1 burger condiment, but if you are going to meet all these kinda have to be an engineer.

Soggy stuff breaks down buns, and broken buns pisses people off.

That's why now days the whole grain, pretzel and kaiser bun are more popular than ever in the traditional hamburger bun shape.

FACT: Most people think the kaiser is the kaiser because of that funny stamp dealio on top of the bun.

Nadda-Nadda enchiliada. kaiser is kaiser because of the dough. An authentic kaiser roll's dough is thicker, much like a bagel dough.

Alrighty then, that's all I've got today, errands to run......monies to pay.

My name is Danny Klecko....Good Day.


  1. Ironic that you quoted Ray Kroc--my father would never eat at McDonald's precisely because of the quality of their buns. :)

    1. Interesting Cathy,I was born in 63, but I have been told by industry folks that in the late 50's and early 60's, Micky D's buns were considered A+.
      I think they used more sugar than the industry average.
      Thanks for chiming in !!!!!!

    2. Well, I'm thinking of the late 60's, so maybe they had changed by then.

    3. Or maybe your Father just realized that the hamburger bun had a much higher ceiling to be reached!