Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nice buns

Alex and I both love hamburgers. They are simple, tasty, filling, and classically American.

However, we have completely different opinions on how to dress up a sweet 'burg. I prefer a more traditional approach. A little cheddar, pickles, a smothering of ketchup, a few drips of mustard, juicy and delicious on a buttery brioche bun. Alex likes to mix breakfast with dinner and opts for a fried egg, bacon, ketchup, never mustard or onions, on a kaiser roll, thinking brioche is too heavy and rich.

Since we make hamburgers a lot at home, I decided to try to make my own buns. I found this recipe for Light Brioche Burger Buns on the Smitten Kitchen and have to say, they are the perfect solution to our divided household. They turned out soft and flavorful without the buttery grease factor that Alex hates so much. They were easy to make and perfect for sandwiches throughout the week.

Light Brioche Burger Buns (Inspired by Smitten KitchenComme Ça, and the New York Times)
Makes 8 5-inch burger buns
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and blend with a pastry blender.

Using an electric mixer fitted with your dough hook, stir together flour mixture, yeast mixture, and beaten egg until a dough forms. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.

Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.


  1. Yuuum! I think we need to have a cookout with these over memorial day wknd!!

  2. Yes, please! I'd love to have a cookout Memorial Day Weekend. I'm happy to bring my buns!

  3. That salad looks so fresh it needs a slap.

  4. what a great idea! I love a good brioche bun.

  5. We've been eating burgers this week, and I immediately bought buns. I wish I had thought to make them instead. These look great!

  6. those buns look great ;) But I also really like the yellow background with white flowers.

  7. I love brioche and I can imagine these going perfect with burgers!