Baking bread at home is like magic. This recipe for Brioche Burger Buns will be the magical answer to creating the perfect burger experience.
These rolls are light and airy. And, they come together in just a few hours, so you can skip the extra run to the grocery store for hamburger buns and instead make your own in time for burger night!
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The best homemade Hamburger Buns
I have made my fair share of homemade burger buns in my time. I found this recipe to make the best buns for the job. They are sturdy enough to hold up to a thick hamburger patty and all the fixings. Yet, they're light to balance out the heaviness of the burger.
Brioche dough tends to be heavy, as it's an enriched dough. This means that in addition to the usual suspects in bread such as flour, water, salt and yeast, brioche includes egg, butter, and milk.
These buns, however, are light brioche. So, you have an enriched dough with lots of flavor, but without the heaviness that typically comes along with brioche. Making these the perfect homemade hamburger buns!
Ingredients in Brioche Buns
To make these burger buns, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Bread flour - has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour which means bread flour has more gluten in it. This helps make the dough more elastic and light, resulting in a chewy and airy texture when baked
- All-purpose flour - standard flour you likely have in your kitchen
- Active dry yeast - you can use instant yeast in equal amounts instead of active dry yeast. Your dough will likely rise, or proof, faster than with active dry yeast, so keep an eye on it
- Milk - I use whole milk and have not tried this recipe with any other variation, however, it would likely work just fine with dairy-free alternative milks such as oat or almond
- Granulated Sugar - helps feed the yeast. Don't worry, the dough will not be sweet because of the sugar
- Kosher Salt - you can use whatever salt you have in your kitchen. Some salts may be slightly saltier than others and if you like less salt in your food, go lighter than what's called for here
- Unsalted butter - you can certainly substitute unsalted butter for salted in this recipe. If you do, cut down on the amount of salt you add by about a ½ teaspoon
- Eggs - I use standard US large eggs at room temperature. These eggs typically weigh about 56 grams each. Be sure to use eggs that have been sitting at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Using room temperature eggs rather than eggs straight out of the cold fridge helps the eggs incorporate into the other dry ingredients
- Water - if you can, use filtered tap water. This avoids any chemicals that may be in your water supply impacting the yeast growth. If you do not have access to filtered tap water, you can use bottled water. There are varying opinions on whether filtered water actually makes a noticeable difference in the final bread product anyway, so throw caution to the wind and use tap water if you need to
How to Make Brioche Buns
This recipe starts out by warming the water to 85-90ºF (30-32ºC) then mixing it with milk, yeast and sugar. Be careful not to exceed 90ºF (32ºC) when heating the water, as water that's too hot will likely kill the yeast and your bread will not rise.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread flour and all-purpose flour and the room temperature butter, mixing them until the mixture looks like course crumbs. With the mixer running on low ('stir' on a Kitchenaid mixer), pour in the water yeast mixture and knead until the dough comes together, about 5-8 minutes. Use the dough hook for this.
If you do not have a mixer, you can certainly knead it by hand. This dough is sticky and it's intended to be. Avoid adding more flour while kneading. You can coat your hands lightly in vegetable oil to keep the dough from sticking.
Form the dough into a ball shape and place in a bowl lightly coated with vegetable oil. Place a damp cloth over top and allow to proof for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and cut into 10 equal-sized pieces of dough. I would recommend using a kitchen scale for this so your rolls are all the same size and so that they bake evenly.
Gently flatten each ball of dough with your hand, gather the ends in the center and flip over. Cup your hand like a C around the dough ball and using a circular motion, shape the ball into a smooth ball. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
Allow the dough to rise a second time, checking for doneness by gently pressing into one of the dough balls using the knuckle of your pointer finger. If the dough bounces back right away, it's not yet done. If the dough remains slightly dented and tries to bounce back slowly, it's ready.
Preheat the oven and place an empty baking dish on the bottom rack. Beat the remaining egg in a bowl, add a splash of water and a pinch of salt, if desired. Gently brush the dough with the egg wash.
Open the oven and add 1 cup of water or 1 cup of ice to the baking pan on the bottom rack to create steam. Quickly place the rolls in the oven and close the oven door. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
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Watch how to make these Brioche Burger Buns
Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Give these a try:
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- 1 cup filtered water
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 3 cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- Warm the water in a small saucepan or in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl until the water reaches 85-90º F (30-32º C). Do not exceed 90º F (32º C) – water that is too hot will kill the yeast.
- Add to the water the milk, yeast and sugar, whisking to combine then set aside.
- In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, add the bread flour and all-purpose flour, salt and butter.
- Mix the ingredients until the butter is the size of crumbs. Note: if you do not have a stand mixer, rub the butter into the flours and salt with your fingertips
- Stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg. Run the mixer on medium-low (I used #2 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) until a sticky dough forms, about 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary, using a bench scraper or silicone spatula. Note: this dough is sticky and will likely stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. Avoid adding additional flour, as this will change the density of these rolls, making them heavy and dense rather than light and airy. If you are doing this by hand, use a dough scraper to stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Brush the inside of a large bowl with vegetable oil and apply a thin coat of oil to your hands – this will help remove the dough from the mixing bowl and shape it, as it will be sticky.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and gather the ends underneath and pinch to close to shape the dough into a ball (does not have to be perfectly smooth).
- Place the dough in the bowl that’s been coated with oil, turn the dough to cover it lightly in oil, then cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel.
- Let the dough rise in a warm spot (~75-80º F / 25-26º C) until it has doubled is size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this should take 1- 2 hours. Note: the easiest way to ensure it’s doubled in size is to place an elastic rubberband around the bowl at the start of the proofing timeframe marking where the top of the dough is. This way you can check to see how much it’s risen above that line
- Once the dough has doubled in size, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it next to your clean work surface.
- Carefully remove the dough from the bowl using a bench scraper and place on the clean work surface.
- Dip the bench scraper or sharp knife in flour and divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Note: I like to use a kitchen scale to weigh the dough then divide that weight by 10 to calculate the approximate size of each piece. I then weigh each piece as I cut it from the dough to ensure they’re all evenly sized, pinching off small pieces to adjust as needed. You can eyeball the size of the rolls if you do not have a kitchen scale
- To shape the dough into balls, gently flatten each piece. Gather the ends and pinch the dough to seal in the center.
- Flip the dough over, cup the surface with your palm to form a C shape around the dough and gently roll the dough in your palm until it forms a smooth ball.
- Transfer the rolls to your baking sheet, placing them a few inches apart.
- Cover the dough balls with the damp cloth and allow them to proof for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until puffy.
- To test for doneness, use the knuckle of your pointer finger to gently dent one of the rolls. If it bounces back, let the dough rise a bit longer. If the dent remains, the dough is ready.
- Once the dough has risen for a 2nd time, preheat your oven to 400º F (200º C). Place one rack on the bottom and one in the middle position.
- Place a metal baking pan (I use a 9×13-inch rectangular metal baking pan) on the bottom rack
- In a small dish, beat the remaining egg with a splash of water and a pinch of salt, if desired, to make an egg wash.
- Gently brush each one with egg wash (less is more here and be gently so you don’t deflate the rolls).
- Open the oven and add 1 cup of water or 1 cup of ice to the baking pan on the bottom rack to create steam.
- Quickly place the uncovered baking sheet in the oven and close the oven door.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
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