Cooking With Confidence
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Breads, Economical, Sandwiches, Vegetarian

Brioche Burger Buns

by Nick

Quick Admin Note #1: I’m back from knee surgery and feeling good! It’s going to be a slow recovery but faster and easier than my ACL recovery so I’m in generally good spirits about it.

Quick Admin Note #2: This is a big week on Macheesmo! I’m launching a new part of the website later in the week and I’m nervous/excited to share it with you all. More to come on this announcement on Wednesday or if you’re on the Macheesmo email list you’ll get a sneak peak of it tomorrow!

Okay. Back to the subject at hand: Buns. I’ve only made one kind of burger bun on Macheesmo before and these are a very different beast from those kaiser rolls. Since these buns are from a brioche dough, they are slightly sweet and have  a soft interior crumb but are sturdy enough to hold up to any burger.

The good news is that you don’t need any fancy mixer or anything to make them. Just a little elbow grease will do the trick!

Yield
12 large buns
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Homemade Brioche Buns

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)

Helpful Equipment

Directions

1) In a small bowl, combine warm water, milk, sugar, and yeast. Let this sit for about five minutes until the yeast starts to foam.

2) In a large bowl, stir together flours and salt. Then add in soft butter and rub it into the flour, making a crumb mixture. Stir in yeast mixture next along with the beaten eggs and yolk. Stir the dough until it forms a ball. If it seems really dry, add a bit more water.

3) Scoop the dough onto a clean surface and knead the dough until it's soft and elastic. This will probably take 8-10 minutes. If the dough is sticky at all, knead it a bit more flour.

4) Shape the kneaded dough into a ball and add it to a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a slightly warm place until it doubles which should take 90-120 minutes.

5) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 12 even sized balls, a little under four ounces per bun is about perfect. Gently roll each bun ball out into a flat disk and lay them a few inches apart on the two baking sheets (6 per sheet). Cover the buns with a loose, slightly damp towel, and let them rise for another hour.

6) Place a shallow pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven to create a really humid baking environment. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash on the buns. THen sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns for about 15-17 minutes, rotating the pans once halfway through. The finished buns should be golden brown.

Let buns cool completely and then serve with your burger of choice!

Recipe adapted from an old New York Times recipe.

A Brioche Dough

I think brioche dough is one of the easier kinds of dough to make because it’s enriched with eggs and milk making it really easy to work with. You still have to knead it and stuff but it’s really soft and easy to knead.

Just to make sure the yeast is dissolved and active, add it to a small cup with the water, sugar, and milk. The water and sugar should be warm, but not hot to the touch. If you want to get specific you are shooting for 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go hotter than that you could kill the yeast.

After a few minutes the yeast should start to bubble and that’s how you know you are in business.

Yeast bubblin.

Yeast bubblin.

The thing that makes brioche so delicious (think cinnamon rolls) is that it has eggs, milk, and butter in the dough. The butter should be really soft and the eggs should be beaten together. I used two large eggs plus an extra yolk for my version.

Brioche basics.

Brioche basics.

To start the dough, stir together the two kinds of dough with the salt. You can use just all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour, but your finished buns won’t be as soft as if you use the high-gluten bread flour.

Once the salt and flour is stirred together, use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until it’s in small pieces. There’s not enough butter to make pea-sized pieces like if you were making pie crust, but you should be able to work it into the flour and form a coarse sand of sorts.

Then you can just stir in the eggs and yeast mixture!

Starting the dough!

Starting the dough!

Use a big spoon to stir everything together until the dough is in a nice ball.

Stir it up until it's a ball.

Stir it up until it’s a ball.

Then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading!  Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it’s soft and elastic. If the dough is ever really sticky, knead in a bit more flour. If the dough is very dry, add a bit more water or milk to it. Most likely you’ll have to add more flour, if anything.

Knead for 10 minutes or so.

Knead for 10 minutes or so.

Once you’ve kneaded the dough for 10 minutes or so, transfer it to a bowl and cover it loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise until it at least doubles in size which should take 90-120 minutes.

This was my dough after about a two hour rise.

After a quick rise.

After a quick rise.

Shaping and Baking

I knew I wanted about 12 buns out of my dough so I did some quick math and discovered that each bun needed to be about 3.7 ounces. If you aren’t quite as Type A, you could just split the dough into 12 even pieces. Either way works okay.

About 4 ounces...

About 4 ounces…

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and shape each dough ball into a rough disk. Place these on the baking sheet with a few inches in between each bun.

You should get 12 buns.

You should get 12 buns.

Cover these buns with a damp towel and let them all rise for another hour so they get really big and fluffy. Then brush the buns with the egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water) and sprinkle them generously with sesame seeds.

These guys are ready for the oven!

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake the buns at 400 degrees F. for about 15-17 minutes until the buns are golden brown around the edges. I recommend rotating the pans once halfway through baking so the buns bake evenly.

These were my finished beauties!

20 minutes should do the trick.

20 minutes should do the trick.

After they cooled, I sliced one in half just to show off the business.

Yum.

Yum.

These are not wussy buns. You don’t have to worry about them getting soggy or falling apart. They would hold up to any burger I’ve ever seen.

I used my buns for some pimento cheese turkey burgers that were really tasty.

If you are in the mood for a baking project and having a grill-out, these are fun and worth the work! When it comes to storage, these don’t keep that well. They dry out pretty quickly so it’s best to use them within a few days and I also recommending brushing them with some butter or olive oil and tossing them on the grill for a minute or two to bring them back to life!

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16 comments on “Brioche Burger Buns

  1. Those look excellent. You know what I’ve found makes a big difference with breads like these that have to rise fast and get really puffy? Rapid-rise yeast (I use Red Star brand but I think there are others). It feels like cheating, but it doesn’t affect the flavor as far as I can tell. And rapid-rise or regular rise, it’s still homemade bread!

  2. its like the blogsphere gods heard my prayers ! I’ve been looking for brioche burger buns to make sandwiches using halloumi cheese. Its the best combination – grilled halloumi, lettuce, tomato on a brioche. They had it on suspenders nyc menu and I’ve been wanting to recreate it for the longest time!

  3. Hi! Speak of the devil.. My wife made these a couple weeks ago, and i thought they were just fluffy squishy awesomeness… So props for sharing this recipe!! :D

  4. Nick, these burger buns are good and all, no doubt they tasted great and I mean no disrespect, but you did not do brioche properly. I’m sorry to say this, but you didn’t – it isn’t your fault. The majority of brioche recipes floating around are all OK on the formula side of this bread (the ingredients), but procedure is usually off.

    The sad truth with brioche, panettone, pan de muerto, casatiello and other highly enriched breads is that kneading them by hand is hard, tiresome and takes forever. To make proper brioche one absolutely must not incorporate the butter with all of the other ingredients. If you don’t mind, I will outline the proper procedure that is used traditionally when making brioche.

    1. Mix flours, eggs, milk, water and sugar together and let stand for at least 30 minutes. This is called the autolyse – it allows flour to properly hydrate and jump starts gluten development.
    2. Add half a tablespoon – no more – instant yeast (active dry yeast is a throwback – it is inferior in almost every way to instant yeast (except that ADY has a little bit of gluthathione) and is manufactured only because old recipes call for it) and salt into the autolyse. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough passes the windowpane test and gluten is very well developed.
    3. Add one tablespoon of butter into the dough and knead it for at least 5 minutes. Add another tablespoon of butter and knead five minutes more and so on, until you run out of butter. This step is the most important – no shortcuts.

    Why does it need to be this way? It is true that enriched breads do rise higher than lean breads, because fat lends support to the dough structure. However, fats shorten the gluten strands and so inhibit proper gluten development – that is why the gluten needs to be well developed before adding the fat. The fat is then added in stages with thorough mixing at each stage, which is needed to incorporate it properly and develop the gluten some more. Because of this, to make a heavily enriched dough by hand (or machine, really) takes something like half an hours work. It does pay off, however. For one thing, the formed rolls can be left to proof for something like 2.5 – 3 hours at 24C to more than triple in volume, resulting in a very light and airy crumb.

    Email me if you wish to see the procedure outlined with more details and pictures. I have some links to very respected home bakers making brioche but I don’t know if it proper to post them here.

    Have a good day!
    Tadas

    1. Interesting! Thanks for the comment Tadas. I’ll definitely try this method the next time I’m making these (or any other brioche). I just used the method from the original article.

      Feel free to post links in the comments. If they are moderated or something I’ll approve them. I love it when people share links to different (or better) ways to do things.

      Cheers,
      Nick

    2. I made it this way and these are amazing!!!!!! Yes it takes longer to make but is well worth the time and effort! I used these with homemade pulled pork that cooked in the slow cooker most of hue day. Yum!!’!!!

    3. Tadas,
      Thank you for your information. I have been looking for the receipt that call for instant yeast!
      I would love to know more about your method. Could you share me the links?
      Cheers,
      Alice

  5. Hi Nick

    I made these for a barbecue this weekend and they were superb! Delicious with a lamb burger tucked into them – we ate the rest for breakfast this morning. I thought they were light and delicate, not as calorific as a traditional brioche, and I have another batch on the go now. Great recipe, thanks. I hope the ACL repair is healing nicely.

  6. I made these yesterday. I used Bob’s red mill whole wheat flour and unbleached white flour. They were delicious! My husband ate his burger fast…… He used another roll this morning for a breakfast sandwich. I agree that these rolls are less sweet and buttery than a traditional brioche, but I prefer them that way. My only difficulty was following the flow of the recipe. I figured it out but I think the directions could be more straightforward. I will be making theses again.

    Thanks for posting!

    1. Hey Sheila,

      Sorry some of the directions were confusing. Were you going off the printed directions or the ones on the main post?

      1. Hi Nick,

        I just logged on to make these again today. They froze well but are all gone. In answer to your question I followed the main post.

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