A Hamburger Recipe that Goes Back to Its German Roots


Although the name comes from Germany, since the late 19th century, the hamburger has been a very American thing. Yet in the new book The Art of the Burger, the basic burger takes a tour around the world and is elevated by ingredients from all over the globe, proving that the burger is really something anybody from any part of the planet can enjoy or make.

One example that caught our eye, a burger with stinky and sour Handkäse cheese, really brings everything full circle. Instead of a bleu or Gruyere, this recipe from Jens Fischer's new book gives the cheeseburger a nice German touch that's unlike anything you've ever had in the States. 

Burger With Handkäse and Music from The Art of the Burger 

  • 4 burger buns 
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 1 1⁄3 lbs. of sour milk cheese (Handkase)
  • 4 TBSP white wine vinegar
  • 4 TBSP cider
  • 4 TBSP sunflower oil
  • 1 TSP cumin
  • 8 thin slices of apple
  • Clarified butter for frying
  • 8 lettuce heart leaves
  • ½ cup mayonnaise 
  • ½ TBSP cumin powder
  • ½ bunch chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Burger Buns

2 TSP Fresh yeast

½ Cup of water

1 Cup of plain flour

1 Egg

1 ½ TSP Salt

1 TSP Sugar

1 TBSP Soft butter 

4 TSP Soured milk

Butter for brushing


  1. Crumble the yeast into the flour, add the remaining ingredients and ½ cup of water, knead well in a food processor, and let it rise for 1 hour.
  2. Divide the dough into four equal pieces, flatten them, and let rise for 30 minutes under foil or a kitchen towel.
  3. At the same time, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Place the rolls onto the baking tray and bake in the hot oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Melt some butter, brush a coat onto the still-hot buns, and allow them to cool.


Peel the onions, cut into small cubes and blanch briefly. Cut the cheese into slices. Stir the vinegar, apple cider, and oil into a marinade. Add the onion and 1 TSP cumin, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate the cheese for 1 day in the fridge.


Apple slices

Fry the apple slices in 1 TBSP clarified butter until translucent.



Wash the lettuce leaves and shake dry.


Cumin Mayonaise 

Prepare the mayonnaise recipe on page 28. Mix the mayonnaise with ½ TSP cumin powder.


1 egg yolk

1 tsp mustard

1 dash vinegar

1 splash lemon juice

1 cup sunflower oil

Salt and freshly ground

black pepper


  1. Whisk egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, and lemon juice until creamy.
  2. Gradually add the oil as a thin stream and whisk into a smooth emulsion.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Halve the rolls, lightly toast the insides. Spread the mayonnaise on the halves. Place two lettuce leaves, then a slice of apple on the bottom halves of the buns. Strain the marinated cheese and spread evenly. Finely cut the chives, sprinkle, cover with another slice of apple, and finish with the bread’s lid.

Excerpted with permission from The Art of the Burger: More than 50 Recipes to Elevate the Burger to Perfection by Jens Fischer. Copyright 2015, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc

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