You know those nights. The nights when you get that first whiff of summer…your neighbor’s grill is going and you can taste the watermelon, grilled burgers, hot dogs, chips and ice cold lemonade. I have a feeling we will be grilling a lot this summer with more time spent at home than ever. With all of our summer plans cancelled and replaced with activities that will keep us closer to home we’ll be spending a lot of our evenings grilling in our backyard. This year our afternoons of burgers and lightning bugs, firepits and watermelon is calling for a really good burger bun. Not just any run-of-the-mill, pick it up at Walmart burger bun, but a bun that you would order at a fancy burger joint. A brioche bun that holds itself up to the meat, cheese and all. the. toppings. No soggy buns here!
Brioche Buns usually SPEND the night IN THE REFRIGERATOR BEFORE BEING SHAPED
This burger bun takes 12-24 hours to make. Yes, you read that right. But don’t write it off just yet. Most of that time you won’t be doing anything and the dough will be developing on its own in the refrigerator. It just takes a little bit of planning and a stand mixer to bring these buns from this page to your plate. The extra time spent on these buns is completely worth it.
What makes brioche special?
Brioche is an enriched dough. It is filled with butter, eggs and milk. The combination of these rich ingredients mean that this dough will take more time to develop. The time will create a beautiful dough and a beautiful, sturdy yet light burger bun. It’s this combination of bread that can stand up to a ⅓ pound burger and buttery goodness that really makes these rolls unique. I’ve made a lot of homemade burger buns and these buns are definitely some of the best.
The dough begins with a long mix in a mixer. If you don’t have a mixer, I wouldn’t recommend trying this recipe until you can find one. The dough should knead for about 15-20 minutes and then be set in the fridge to rise overnight or throughout the day. You may be tempted to add more flour as you mix up the dough because it looks so soft. Don’t do that! The chilling time in the refrigerator will help solidify the butter and make this dough easier to work with.
Brioche Burger buns can be made the same day if you start early enough
Sometimes if I wake up early enough in the morning I can make these buns in the morning, set the dough to rest in the fridge throughout the day and then shape them an hour or two before dinner. Once you pull the dough out of the fridge it has transformed and becomes workable. Be careful of your hands being too warm (don’t want to melt any of that butter) and work quickly to shape and then press down the buns to flatten them into a burger shape.
Once my burger buns are baked I like to let them cool completely and then toast my bun for the perfect bite or burger. I will sometimes double this recipe because the extra buns freeze beautifully and I always like to have some on hand for pulled pork sandwiches or a quick grilled cheese. These buns are versatile and absolutely delicious. They would make a perfect accompaniment to the burgers you’ll be grilling this summer.
Brioche Burger Buns
Yield: 8 burger buns
Time: 25 minute mix, 6-24 hour cold rise, 10 minute shape, 1-2 hour room temperature rise, 15 minute bake
- 1 Tablespoon yeast instant
- ⅓ cup slightly warm milk
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 ¼ cups (about 16.5 oz) flour
- 12 Tablespoons room temperature butter cut into small chunks
- 1 egg for egg wash
Making the Dough/Rising
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (this dough requires a very long knead time, so I do not recommend making this by hand), add the yeast, slightly warm milk and sugar and mix together. Add in the eggs and salt and mix together. Add in the flour a cup at a time until a dough forms.
- Once the dough is formed and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, begin adding the chunks of butter into the center of the bowl and dough with the mixer running. Continue this way until all the butter has been added.
- Knead the dough with the dough hook for about 15-20 minutes. I like to set a timer to make sure I’m kneading the dough for the right length of time. This dough is enriched with a lot of eggs and butter which means it will take longer for the gluten to activate and requires a long kneading time. The dough will be very shiny and still look and feel a little sticky, though it should clear the sides of the bowl. There should be no clumps of butter. Everything should be well incorporated. You can check the dough using the windowpane test for a clearer picture if the dough is ready to rise.
- Grease a bowl or dough tub with a little oil and transfer the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for the first rise. This rise will take a minimum of 6 hours. You can also leave the dough in the fridge up to 24 hours if this helps your schedule.
Shaping ANd baking
- After the first rise, take the dough out of the fridge. Working quickly, turn the dough onto your countertop. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. If the dough is sticky, add a pinch of flour to each roll. Shape each piece of dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press down on the tops of the dough balls to flatten them out a little (this helps widen them to give you a better burger shape).
- Cover the dough and let rise for 1-2 hours. Because the dough is cold, the buns may take longer to rise. Your burger buns are ready when they have almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Crack an egg in a small bowl and add a teaspoon of water. Beat the egg and water together. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the buns with egg wash before baking for 15 minutes.
- Allow the buns to cool completely before slicing, toasting and making a delicious burger!
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