Burger Friday: Talking with hamburger bun theorist Danny ‘Klecko’ McGleno

Meet Danny “Klecko” McGleno. He’s a CEO of a Saint Agnes Baking Co. in St. Paul, and an consultant on a theme of hamburger buns.

“It’s tough to overreach a significance of a hamburger bun,” he pronounced (that’s McGleno, above, in a Star Tribune record photo). Spoken like a loyal baker, right?

He speaks from experience. The decades-old bakery reserve burger buns to hundreds of Twin Cities restaurants. Those who cite to ready burgers during home (find useful cook tips here), you’re in luck: while Saint Agnes doesn’t work a sell opening (its renouned Saturday morning pop-ups are no more, alas), it does supply scarcely a dozen natural dishes co-ops with a glorious hamburger buns, and other breads.

In a new write conversation, here’s what McGleno had to contend on . . .

His initial job: “It was creation a bread line for SuperAmerica. we told them we wanted to make workman breads. What we schooled was, we have to sell 50 dozen hamburger buns to sell one fritter of workman bread. Your time is improved served creation pickup trucks, not Cadillacs.”

His competition: “For a initial 30 years of my career, all of my competitors were other internal bakeries. Now? A lot of those bakeries have depressed off a map, and now my biggest aspirant is a US Foods truck. Their catalog offers a choice of solidified breads from 50 bakeries. This is where we consider it’s critical for consumers to know what they’re eating. They should be asking, ‘Where do we get your bread?’ You always hear about farm-to-table, and ‘buy local,’ though people don’t always know where their bread comes from, and they would be improved served if they did.”

Buns baked in-house during restaurants: “I contend this with respect: A lot of breads are baked by chefs, and not by bakers. Bakers have a scholarship and a tradition behind bread-baking.”

The business: “The margins aren’t large adequate to get rich, so we have to demeanour during this business as a marathon, and not as a sprint. We’ve had many of a accounts for a prolonged time. Xcel Energy Center, Mystic Lake, they’ve been with us for some-more than a decade. And hundreds, hundreds of restaurants.”

The bakery’s numbers: “We sell hamburger buns to about 300 accounts. Some of them don’t get a smoothness each day, and some of them are seasonal. On an normal Friday, we’ll send a integrate hundred dozen buns to Burger Burger at a Mall of America. That’s only one account. We make thousands of dozens of hamburger buns each week. Probably 15,000 to 20,000 dozen.”

Innovation: “We substantially have during slightest 50 varieties of hamburger buns. I’m always doing new products. we was only in Chicago for a National Honey Board, and we came adult with a sugar mustard hamburger bun. I’m portion dual cities, each day. You have to listen to what your village wants to eat. But during a same time, we have to also emanate things and lead people down a new path. We were among a initial to do a trans fat-free hamburger bun.”

The hamburger bun’s evolution: “We watch what people eat, and what they don’t eat, and we adapt. Twelve years ago, a ‘jumbo’ bun was substantially 25 percent of a business. Now it’s 1 percent. For decades, a ‘regular’ bun, a 4-inch bun, has been a standard. we only got behind from New York City, and everybody there is regulating a 3 ½-inch bun, a ‘small’ bun. That’s a thoughtfulness of rising protein prices, though it also shows that people don’t need to eat so most bread. It’s flattering easy to put on weight if we eat a lot of bread. I’ve been there, we know.”

Bun sizes: “In this industry, there are 5 hamburger bun sizes: dollar, mini, small, unchanging and jumbo. It costs some-more to make dollar buns than it does to make mini buns, since we have to hurl them by hand.”

Different styles of buns: “For Republic, we make a black Russian onion-topped hamburger bun. Onions are unequivocally renouned in burger buns. We don’t use dusty onions, we use creatively diced ones, that creates a large difference. We grown a divert bun, and it altered a game. Our sales went adult 13 percent in a year, essentially since of that product. All of these chefs are in adore with brioche, though they’re profitable a lot for a product with half a shelf life of a normal bun. we done a butter-based bun. we took out a egg whites, that dry a buns out. we brush a tip with an egg yolk. The shelf life is 40 percent longer.”

Seasonal variety: “Just like a fritter cook who creates pumpkin ice cream in a fall, we do a same thing, and make buns that simulate a season. Mustard dill buns are renouned in a winter. Zesto pesto is a large seller right now.”

Understanding his customers’ demographics: “I had a phone call from a customer – a unequivocally good customer – in June. We do a lot of business with them. Customers were observant that a hamburger bun – and this is a same bun that we send to Thomas Boemer at Revival – they were observant that they didn’t like it. They were all comparison citizens. Here’s what happens to people over 50: their jaw camber diminishes, and they can’t get their mouth around a large bun. It’s not that a bun tasted bad. They only had a tough time nipping it. They weren’t articulate about flavor, they were articulate about mouth feel. Mouth feel is outrageous with hamburger buns. The unequivocally initial thing we do with a burger is that you’ll smell a bun, and a second thing is that your mouth will reason a bun, before it touches a patty.”

Where he burgers: “I gotta be honest, we don’t eat out a lot. we don’t indeed know a whole burger rage, because I can make a unequivocally good burger during home. When we go out, we wish to go out for sushi, for something that we can’t make during home. That said, we like a burgers during Burger Jones. They have a outrageous variety, and a best condiments. And they use a divert bun. It’s a Twin Cities’ favorite bun.”

Saint Agnes: “We substantially have somewhere in a operation of 42 to 44 employees. Gary Sande is a primary owners [the bakery is named for Sande’s grandmother, Agnes Rod]. I’m a CEO and we run a bakery, that means that we do all from product growth to selling to collections. Most of a staff has been with us for a decade, or longer. That’s everything. That’s my biggest rival advantage. You approximate yourself with good people, and good things happen. We’re like Madonna: We’re always perplexing to redefine who we are, and come adult with solutions that best advantage a community.”

The subsequent large thing: “It’s a new challah bun. It competence sound boring, though if you’re a bread wonk like me, it’s great. we schooled how to do it from David Fhima during Faces Mears Park. He’s a illusory baker, we consider he’s a best baker in a Twin Cities. It’s formidable to make challah into a bun, and of march a lot of breads get called things that they’re not. For example, in a supermarket, I’d contend that nine-tenths of a ciabattas being sole are not ciabattas. Nowadays, all a manners are gone. But challah, it’s formidable to make in a parsimonious structure. It’s a braided fritter since it’s such a lax dough. It’s rustic, and light, though it’s tough to get a buns to reason their shape; a mix loses a power, and it deflates. It’s all about texture. There’s zero unequivocally voluptuous about this. Then again, hamburger buns aren’t meant to be sexy, they’re meant to be practical.”

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