Author Notes: These brioche buns not only make great burger buns but are also one of the most delicious things I’ve ever had for breakfast. When making burger buns, I always double the recipe to have enough buns left for breakfast next morning. They taste best when lightly toasted. If they are too thick to fit into your toaster, just cut them twice or use the oven broiler. Spread with unsalted butter and orange marmalade or apricot jam and enjoy! —Ursula | Lil Vienna
Makes: 6 buns
1 1/2 tablespoons (100 ml) lightly warmed milk
teaspoon (3.5 g) active dry yeast
tablespoons (80 g) unsalted butter in pieces, softened
tablespoon granulated sugar
large eggs, lightly whisked (keep 1 tablespoon for the egg wash)
teaspoon fine salt
grams (about 2 1/3 cups) white bread flour (also works with all purpose)
tablespoon sesame seeds
teaspoon milk for the egg wash
All ingredients at room temperature. For the dough, I recommend measuring the flour by weight in grams since it is more accurate than measuring by volume.
- Put active dry yeast in a bowl with the lightly warmed milk to activate (about 10 minutes).
- With a hand mixer, beat together softened (not melted) butter and sugar for 5 minutes in a large mixing bowl.
- Gradually add the whisked eggs – set about 1 tablespoon of whisked eggs aside for the egg-wash you will need later. If the eggs are not at room temperature, they will separate from the butter – but don’t worry, as soon as the flour goes in, everything will come together again.
- Gradually add the flour and salt and mix with your mixer on low speed until you get a crumbly mixture.
- Add the yeast-milk-mixture and stir with a spoon until the ingredients come together. [OR: Instead of the milk, you can make a tangzhong, which you add now together with 1 tablespoon warm milk including dissolved yeast, see note.]
- Knead the dough with your hands either directly in the mixing bowl (less messy) or on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth. For the first minutes, the dough will be very sticky, but it gets better after a while. Please don’t add any additional flour as the buns will get tougher (also see note for tangzhong). After the first rise, the dough is a lot easier to handle.
- Put the dough in a big clean bowl, and let it rise covered with a lid or cling wrap at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Do not let the dough rise at a too warm temperature as it will be a lot tackier when the butter melts.
- Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it softly for a few seconds. Divide it into 6 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece of dough into a smooth, tight round ball and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 2 inch apart. Let the buns rise uncovered for 1 hour until puffy.
- Make an egg wash, mixing 1 tablespoon whisked egg you’ve set aside earlier and 1 teaspoon milk. Brush the buns carefully with egg wash (don’t poke them) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Put them in the center rack of the preheated oven (I use rack 2 from 4 from top) and bake them for 20-25 minutes at 375 °F or until golden brown. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack.
- NOTE: For an even easier to handle dough you can make tangzhong which you would add instead of the milk. This is a type of roux-like paste where the flour and the milk are heated together to bind the liquid in a better way, resulting in a softer, moister and fluffier bun. ---> For making a tangzhong: Whisk together the milk (set 1 tablespoon of warm milk aside for dissolving the yeast) and 2 tablespoons (16 g) of the 300 g flour until lump-free. Heat the mixture in a saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly. The milk should be hot (about 150 °F), but not simmer. After a few minutes, the milk should thicken to a gel-like consistency. Transfer it to a small bowl and let it cool covered to room temperature.