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Brioche Burger Buns

March 23, 2011

Hey remember in my last post? Remember how I mentioned something along the lines of brioche burger buns?  Does that sound familiar at all, bringing back a slight drooling sensation you may have experienced earlier?  Well if it does your memory is about to serve you right.  I know this is my third bread-like post in a row but I could not pass up the opportunity of sharing these babies with you.

Over spring break I resisted the urge to so some serious cake/cookie/brownie cooking, especially for my mom’s sake since she’s trying to steer clear of items from the baked goods department.  But I still had to bake at least one thing.  I had to have a day where I spent long luxurious hours with a dough or batter of some sort.  So I chose bread as a middle ground.  But this is not just any bread.  It’s because of bread like this that I never eat my burgers on a bun when all that’s available is the store-bought variety.  I know this better version exists out there and I’m willing to hold off all bun eating til they’re available.  It’s so worth the wait.  So be wary if you make them…afterwards it will be hard to return to mediocrity.

I’ve wanted to make these since last summer’s grilling season but for some reason I never really got around to it.  But last week we had some local grass fed beef in the fridge (the best beef I’ve ever had by the way) for burgers so I finally took advantage of the opportunity to make the rolls. What goes into the oven is a sticky mass of 8 misshapen lumps on a tray but what emerges, after the smell of butter and yeast permeates the air, are the lightest, most pillowy buns I’ve ever had.  The crumb is so fine and they are moist and tender throughout.  And they actually keep for quite a few days too if kept in an airtight container.  They are large so next time I may make 10 smaller buns rather then 8 big ones.

They serve great as burger buns, especially if the meat is of good enough quality to stand up to them, but can be put so many other uses.  The next day, I split the bun in half horizontally and actually very easily toasted it in the toaster.  It made such rich toast too and hardly needed any extra butter.  But to make it better, I made a little one egg and smoked cheddar omelet and stuck it in between.  A breakfast sandwich that beat McDonalds by a mile.  I’d imagine the buns would be good for any sandwich, cold or panini-style too.   And, like I said, it was great as toast and smeared with some butter and jam or a little sunflower butter I had.  It accompanied soup very nicely too.  But soon enough they were gone.  Oh well, it gives me something to look forward to next I’m back in the kitchen.

Brioche Burger Buns

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen who adapted it from Comme Ca restaurant

These are super easy to make and you don’t even need a mixer.  It’s all done by hand so nobody has an excuse to pass them up.  Also, I substituted 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat but feel free to make it with all white flour if you want and even lighter and richer bun.  I thought they looked nice with the seeds on top too but this can certainly be omitted if you desire.

1 cup warm water
3 Tbs. warm milk
2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 1/2 Tbs. sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds and poppy seeds (optional)

On a Pyrex cup, combine the warm water, warm milk, yeast and sugar.  Give it a quick stir and let it sit until it is bubbling.  Beat one of the eggs and set aside.

Sift together the flours and salt into a large bowl.  Add in the butter and use the tips of your fingers to rub it into the flour until it is evenly distributed in small granules.  Add in the yeast mixture and the egg and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  Pour the mixture onto a floured counter and knead the dough for about ten minutes.  Try no to add too much flour and to leave the dough slightly sticky so the buns are moist.  A dough scraper will help you control the sticky dough better.  Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl.  Cover the bowl and set it in a warm place until the dough has doubled.  Will take about 2 hours.

Place parchment paper onto a baking sheet.  Once the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and cut it into 8 equal pieces.  Roll them into balls and evenly space them on the baking sheet.  Cover them with oiled plastic wrap and let them rise for another hour until they are double in size.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Once risen, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water and brush this overtop the dough.  Sprinkle on the seeds if using.  Bake in the center of the oven for about 16-18 minutes, turning halfway through, until puffed and golden brown.  Immediately transfer them to a baking rack to cool and then eat them in any way you desire.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 1:33 pm

    They look lovely, and i really like the recipe. I never made my own burger buns before, but i should give it a try! 🙂

  2. March 23, 2011 1:48 pm

    These look absolutely fantastic, and I’m quite relieved to know there wasn’t a shocking amount of butter in them. Great-looking recipe!

  3. March 23, 2011 1:56 pm

    These sound great. My wife told me last night I need to lighten up our whole wheat burger buns. This is just what I need.

  4. March 23, 2011 4:03 pm

    These look fantastic!

  5. March 23, 2011 9:29 pm

    Thanks everyone! They really aren’t that unhealthy but trust me, they still taste quite indulgent. I love that they don’t require too much work too 🙂

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