The only real reason I ever eat a burger is for the bun. Brioche buns, to be more specific.
I can pass up on a burger if it has a bad bun, because really: I’m just here for the carbs.
A burger bun should be soft and fluffy, but never mushy or stiff. It shouldn’t detract from the actual burger, which in my case, I have to be honest: I’m usually a veggie burger girl.
And while you might not want to trust a veggie burger eating gal, you totally should. I mean, look at these fluffy brioche buns! Plus, I do eat regular burgers on occasion, like spicy turkey burgers, bleu cheese burgers, or chicken apple burgers. But let’s not forget my favorite: French burger + French fries. Wait, I might be a burger girl, after all.
I’ve never been happy with burger buns I’ve bought at the store, so I set out to make my own homemade hamburger buns. It wasn’t an easy task, because I knew that I wanted to incorporate some whole wheat flour.
I started with a standard brioche bun recipe, and then added increasing amounts of whole wheat flour until they were the perfect texture. I had to adjust the liquids along the way, so I wouldn’t call this recipe authentically brioche. But I would call it delicious!
I used my mini stand mixer to do all of the work, but you could knead by hand, or double the recipe to make in a regular stand mixer. I actually just got rid of my regular stand mixer, because I hardly ever used it. But my mini stand mixer?–I use that thing at least three times a week! I’m obsessed with it!
This small batch bread recipe makes just 4 burger buns. We use two buns at dinner, and then freeze the other two buns for our next burger craving. To defrost, leave them on the counter for a few hours, and then slice and heat before serving.
Once the dough is made, I use a scale to portion it evenly into four buns, because it would make me twitchy if my buns were different sizes. These dough balls are roughly 96 grams each, but give yourself a few grams or two. Don’t be twitchy like me.
The photo above is showing how you pinch under the dough to create a seam only on the bottom. (See the recipe instructions for more detail on this).
After you let these beautiful balls of dough rise twice, you brush them with egg yolk, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake.
You’ll never eat any other bun again. Promise.
Yields 4 brioche buns
Homemade brioche burger buns, small batch style! Recipe makes just 4 burger buns.
3 hrPrep Time
18 minCook Time
3 hr, 18 Total Time
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
- In a small saucepan, scald the milk (Scalding is heating until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan and steam rises from the surface, but never boiling).
- Remove the milk from the heat, and then add the water. Stir, and let sit until it registers about 105-degrees F.
- Once the milk-water mixture is the right temperature, stir in the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Let the yeast mixture bloom, about 5 minutes. It should be foamy on the surface.
- To the milk and yeast mixture, stir in the butter and egg. (Don't worry if the butter doesn't melt all the way immediately).
- In a mini stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the liquid ingredients, and beat briefly to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together both flours with the salt and tablespoon of sugar.
- While the mixer is running, add the dry ingredients in two batches.
- Crank the mixer to medium-high, and knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, turning it to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and then let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled. (Rising time is dependent on the temperature of the room; let rise until the dough is doubled).
- Punch the dough down very well, and gather it into a ball.
- Weigh the dough, and divide it by 4--each dough ball should be between 95 and 97 grams.
- Roll each dough piece into a ball, and then use your fingers to pinch the edges under until the seam is on the bottom (see photo for reference). Then, cup your hand over the dough ball on the counter, and make circles on the counter with the dough to roll it into a perfect ball.
- Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
- Place the 4 dough balls on a baking sheet, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. They will be puffy when ready.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.
- Finally, make the topping: whisk the egg yolk with a splash of water. Brush generously on each bun, covering the entire surface, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 16-19 minutes, until deeply golden brown.