Jack Ham Burger Buns

It's a cruel twist that my first home game of the 2013 season was also the game that dashed any wild card playoff hopes and sealed the end of what has been a very disappointing year for Steeler fans. It was perfect, swirling, icy, freeze-your-butt-off December football weather, and the win was within reach. 

The matchup against the Miami Dolphins was highlighted by Sanders, Brown and even Polamalu touchdowns, but was marred by missed tackles and questionable calls by refs and coaching staff alike. The last four minutes were heartbreaking and almost unwatchable, though we remained in the stands to the bitter end. The final play was a bizarre frenzy that was just crazy enough to almost win. Almost. 

Before making the trip west, I baked up some fresh hamburger (or, hamburg, as my Pop-pop would say) buns with legendary linebacker, Jack Ham, in mind.

Hot and fresh out of the oven! These homemade rolls take less than an hour from start to finish and are an easy make-ahead addition to your tailgating roster (er, menu).

Our spread was pretty snowy.

$Bill brushes BBQ sauce onto the patties while they grill. I topped my Jack Ham Burger with onion, tomato, cheddar cheese, bacon, and of course, Heinz ketchup and mustard.

Josh prefers buffalo blue bacon burgers on game day.

I finally got to try Full Pint Brewing Company's Pittsburgh Dad 3-2-1 Win! Beer!

I may not return to Heinz Field until next season, but you're always in Steelers Country.

Jack Ham Burger Buns
Recipe adapted from An Oregon Cottage

1 cup warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine water, honey and yeast in a large bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then stir in salt, olive oil and flour. Gently stir until dough begins to form. If too wet, add a little more flour - too dry and crumbly, add a splash more warm water. Gently knead the dough, then allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Once it has risen slightly, place on parchment-lined baking sheet and knead gently. Cut into 8 equal pieces, then form each piece into a loose ball. Let the dough rounds rise on the baking sheet for another 15 minutes, then bake for 15-17 minutes. Allow to cool, then slice in half and store in sealed container until ready to serve. 

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