This is a very basic hamburger patty recipe that you will of course want to dress up with seasonings and flavours. It's kept basic here, though, as the purpose of this recipe is really to highlight three principles that provide the foundation for successful hamburger patties.
Wash hands with soap and water; ensure worksurface is clean.
Soak bread in water until quite soft.
Put the bread and the ground beef in a food processor.
Season as desired (avoid salt -- see comments.)
Whiz until blended.
Form into 4 patties, place separately on a plate or stacked with waxed paper between them. Let stand in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before using.
Cook by cooking method desired (frying, grilling, air-frying, etc.) until internal temperature reaches 165 °F / 75 °C as measured with a food thermometer.
The first principle in this recipe is an absence of salt. Salt draws the moisture out of meat, and ground beef is particularly vulnerable to this, as so much of the "surface" of the meat is exposed. Adding salt will result in your patties being dry when they are cooked.
The second is the whizzing in the food processor. The meat needs to be bound together; you may have noticed many hamburger patties calling for egg in an attempt to do this. This is unnecessary if you use a food processor, which will stretch the protein strands in the meat so that they get caught up together, binding the meat. The starch from the bread also helps to reinforce the binding.
The third is the short resting period in the refrigerator, which allows the protein strands to contract, tightening the bond of the strands that got ravelled up in each other.
Following the above principles will result in hamburger patties that are juicy and stay together well when cooked.
This recipe should of course also be seasoned as suits your fancy: mustard, herbs, ketchup, pepper, chopped onion, garlic, etc. In theory, avoid salting it. If you want to add a salty flavour, add instead up to 2 tablespoons of a salty-tasting sauce such as Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Maggi sauce or even oyster sauce or a fish sauce.
Directions in this recipe follow the Safe Recipe Style Guide.