The Burger Lab's Toppings Week 2013: Pepperoni Garlic Bread Burgers

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[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

As a burger lover and a pizza lover, I've always liked the idea of some sort of burger-pizza hybrid, but it never really works according to plan. As our Home Slice Adam can tell you, designing a good hamburger pizza is no easy feat (I've yet to see a successful one anywhere, and pizza burgers rarely fare well either.

This one, which is not quite a pizza burger, does a little better, I think.

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We start with the basics: the bun. It's a standard burger bun, but rather than toasting it in butter, I toast it in garlic butter, with a bit of oregano and parsley mixed into it. It's not something you'd find on a pizza per se, but it gives the whole thing a bit of that generic Italian Red Sauce feel to it, and that's really what we're going for here.

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I've tried making burgers with standard pizza sauce on them, but they never quite work—the sauce doesn't complement meat like it does pizza crust. Instead, I decided to flavor my sauce largely with pepperoni, fried in olive oil until crisp, then reduced in crushed tomatoes. A splash of vinegar at the end adds some tang, which is essential for any kind of burger sauce—it's the missing element in pretty much every pizza burger I've had.

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Finally, we get to the cheese. Rather than the mozzarella most opt for, I went with much sharper, tangier provolone, along with some shards of good quality parmesan added at the very end.

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Pepperoni Garlic Bread Burgers (Grilled Cheeseburgers with Pepperoni Sauce Serve on Garlic Bread Rolls) »

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