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Brioche Burger Buns

Image of a Brioche Burger with meat and egg

This Brioche burger buns recipe may be a little different to some you’ve tried.  Brioche is an enriched dough and is usually on the sweet side, although this one isn’t too sweet because I don’t like my burgers that way. They’re still enriched with a hint of sweetness, and are light in texture and will still stay together when you grab on to it and take a bite. 

Brioche buns, with one cut open.
Inside a soft brioche burger bun

What I want in a Brioche Burger Bun  

Well, I don’t want it too much like an authentic brioche at all. I know it sounds so special when you say “Wagyu burger on a Brioche Bun”, but proper French brioche is sweet, light and delicate, easy to bite into, but similar to cake.  

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

In fact, did you know that Marie Antoinette didn’t actually say “let them eat cake”; she said, “let them eat brioche.”? “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche,”  See that’s what she said.  ???  Is it possible that we thought she meant cake because of the texture?

OK, so lets be a bit more specific about the characteristics of my Brioche Burger bun. This list was used as the start point for recipe development. 

  • Not too sweet
  • The texture needs to be light, but strong enough to stay together in my hand while I’m eating it
  • Enriched with egg but not eggy
  • Enriched with butter but not too buttery
  • Taste of bread rather than a sweet bun

With all that in mind, these are the ingredients I’ve chosen to use.  Yep pretty much a Brioche, but it’s the differences in quantities that are important. 

Bec’s Brioche Burger Buns ingredients  

  • Water
  • Milk (full fat)
  • Dry yeast powder
  • Caster sugar

I add these 4 ingredients at the start and allow the yeast powder to activate.  Sugar will help the yeast, but my favourite reason for this is that it will help brown your buns, and when you slice them in half and toast them, you’ll get the perfect browning. 

  • Bakers flour

I know some recipes call for plain or a mix of bakers and plain, but that will end up giving you a bun that could collapse while you’re trying to take a bite of your burger.  No one likes dirty fingers!

  • Flaked salt (I use pink Murray valley)

Salt is not only there for flavour, but it helps with dough development.  Leave it out, and you’ll not be happy, and don’t think, “I want to reduce my salt intake, so I’m halving it” if you need to reduce your salt intake, reduce it in the fillings. What kind of salt? Only the best.  This salt has a lovely mineral flavour, and it’s helping desalinize our local Murray river, so I’m up for that.  If you can’t get it, use another good quality flaked salt. 

Mixing the flour and flaked salt together at the start helps.  We use salt in bread recipes to help retard the yeast, and to even out the proving process. It also provides flavour, although adding it directly to the yeast will retard yeast activity too much. So do the mixing at the start, and you’ll be fine.

  • Egg, Just the one, any more than that and these buns will taste eggy
  • Unsalted butter,

If you don’t keep unsalted butter, I’d like to say you should for cooking and baking. If you only have salted butter, then reduce the salt from 10g to 8g in this recipe. 

Brioche burger bun dough.
The brioche dough all puffed up and ready to ball up.
Balls of brioche dough balled up.
Bench resting the brioche before doing the final ball up
Brioche in an egg ring ready to be baked.
Last proof for the brioche dough, with egg wash and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.

FAQ

How long will these burger buns keep?

Like most homemade bread, it’s best eaten on baking day.  Although if you wrap them to limit as much air as you can, you keep them fresher for longer. The butter that’s added helps with this.

Can you freeze burger buns?

Sure, wrap them, removing as much air as you can, then freeze for up to 3 months.

Why do you bother with the “bench rest” for 10 mins?

This is a step that professional bakers add to create an extra spring to their loaves and buns.  It’s not a mandatory step, but give it a go, and you’ll see how quickly they puff up after doing this.

I can’t seem to shape my brioche buns.

Sure,  Although I suggest you try every time you make a dough—practice practice practice.  
This is how I show people in my classes that struggle with my method. Gently flatten each piece of dough by patting it down to release the air.
Now grab a side, pull it up and press it into the centre of the dough. Repeat on all four sides until you’ve created a little ball. Now flip the ball over (seam side down) and place it into your mould or on a prepared tin.  Easy peasy.

Why is my dough super sticky?

Brioche is supposed to be a sticky dough, But remember we’ve added an egg and butter to this dough.  Trust me when I say the more you practice with wet doughs, the better you’ll be able to control them.

Don’t go adding flour; sticky doughs make light soft bread.  Adding more flour should be a last resort. 
I get a lot of people asking me about sticky doughs.  If you learn how to handle them, you’ll be amazed at how soft and light a loaf can be. 
The more you knead it, the more the the gluten will absorb water and become less sticky. So please don’t beat yourself up about not being able to handle them when you start.  It’s all practice.  
Learning to handle sticky doughs comes with practice. If you’re struggling, here are two things you can try.  
1. Wet your hands first.  I know it sounds counterproductive, but it works. 
2. Add a little flour to your benchtop and hands.  The more you add, the heavier your buns will be, so add just enough to make it workable. The more you practice, the better you will be at it.  I promise.

How do you make the little foot on the base of your buns?

In a commercial environment, they use a tray with inserts. There are many brands available, but here’s what you can do at home.


I use crumpet rings. If you can grab some non-stick, they’re even better, although a touch of pan release works wonders if they’re not.

I’ve also used one of these USA pans.

Will you like brioche burger buns?

If you think Brioche buns are not for you?  How about these?  I know there are two other recipes on my site, but Burgers have been given quite a lift in status of late.  No self-respecting Chef would dream of not having at least one on their menu.   ???

Black Burger Buns – I don’t use squid ink check these out

Plain Burger Buns – These are a home-style burger bun, delicious

Thermomix Bahn Mi – Perhaps you would rather one of these light Vietnamese rolls?

If you have issues with bread, maybe my “what’s wrong with my bread” post will help.

Scroll further down for the Thermomix method

Close up of 6 Brioche buns on a cooling rack

Brioche burger buns – Thermomix

5 from 3 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
Can you make a burger bun as Brioche? You can, but you may want them to be a little less sweet than normal. This recipe will show you how, and yield 6 x 140g burger buns
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Method Thermomix

Equipment

  • 1 Thermomix

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g bakers flour
  • 10 g flaked salt; I use pink Murray valley.
  • 40 g unsalted butter cold cubes
  • 250 g tap water
  • 50 g milk full fat
  • 10 g dry yeast powder
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • +1 egg for egg wash optional

Instructions
 

  • Weigh the flour, salt and cold butter cubes into the TM bowl, mix MC in 10 seconds/speed 6. This mix should look like fine sand. Remove this mix from the bowl and set it aside.
  • Weigh the water, milk, sugar and yeast into the TM bowl and set it for 5 minutes / 37°C/ speed 1
  • While the yeast mix is warming, crack an egg into a small bowl or jug and break up a bit with a fork.
  • Once the time is up on the yeast mix, add the dry mix back to the TM bowl along with the egg. Mix to combine for 5 seconds/speed 5
  • Remove the lid; yep, it’s pretty sticky; scrape down and set to knead for 3 minutes.
  • Either remove it from the TM bowl if you need to use it for something else or leave it in. Either way, cover and rest it for 30 mins – 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • After it has doubled in size, if you’ve left it in the TM bowl, set it to knead for 30 seconds, yep it’s sticky, but this short burst of kneading will help you remove it. Tip the dough onto a clean benchtop. See tips
  • Divide the dough into six equal portions for large buns or eight portions for small. I like to use a scale here, weigh your final dough amount and divide it. Mine ended up being 6 x 140g for the decent burger buns. All your burgers will be the same size now. ?
  • Shape the dough into balls, cup the surface with the palm of your hand, and roll into a ball. Do this one by one, placing them on the bench with a 5 cm gap between, cover with a clean tea towel as you go. Once you’ve done them all, Leave them to bench rest for 10 mins.
  • If you have crumpet rings (*see tips. that’s what I use), grease them now and place them on baking paper-lined baking sheets. If you don’t have rings, just get your baking sheets lined.
  • After 10 mins are up, shape them again by cupping the surface with your palm and rolling them into balls. Place them into your greased rings or directly on the prepared tins. Cover and rest for around 1 hour or more if your kitchen is cold.
  • If you like, you can brush on egg wash and add some sesame seeds to the top. Do this just before they go into the oven.
  • Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  • Bake until golden brown (around 15 – 20 mins). Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack as soon as they're cool enough to handle. Remember to slice and toast them, and they'll be even better.

Notes

Always read the whole recipe before you start. 
Close up of 6 Brioche buns on a cooling rack

Brioche burger buns – conventional

5 from 4 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

becs-table.com.au
Can you make a burger bun as Brioche? You can, but you may want them to be a little less sweet than normal. This recipe will show you how, and yield 6 x 140g burger buns
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Method Conventional

Equipment

  • Stand mixer

Ingredients
  

Conventional Recipe

  • 250 g warm water around 40°C
  • 50 g milk full fat, cold from the fridge
  • 10 g dry yeast powder
  • 20 g caster sugar
  • 500 g bakers flour
  • 10 g flaked salt; I use pink Murray valley
  • 1 large egg
  • 40 g unsalted butter soft
  • +1 egg for egg wash optional

Instructions
 

Conventional Method

  • Weigh the warm water and cold milk together, stir it, add the yeast and sugar, whisk with a fork, and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl, weigh the flour and salt, and mix to combine. *see tips.
  • Add the flour mixture and soft butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix the ingredients to combine.
  • Add in the yeast mix and egg. With a kneading attachment, mix on low for 8 – 10 minutes until a silky dough forms.
  • This dough should be sticky; tip it out onto a bench and shape it into a ball. Then place it back into the mixing bowl, cover and set aside to prove. We’re looking for it to double in size; this should take 1 – 2 hours or even more if your kitchen is rather chilly.
  • Once doubled in size, divide the dough into six equal portions for large buns or eight portions for small. I like to use a scale here, weigh your final dough amount and divide it. Mine ended up being 6 x 140g for the decent burger buns. All your burgers will be the same size now. ?
  • Shape the dough into balls, cup the surface with the palm of your hand, and roll into a ball. Do this one by one, placing them on the bench with a 5 cm gap between, cover with a clean tea towel as you go. Once you’ve done them all, Leave them to bench rest for 10 mins.
  • If you have crumpet rings (*see tips. that’s what I use), grease them now and place them on baking paper-lined baking sheets. If you don’t have rings, just get your baking sheets lined.
  • After 10 mins are up, shape them again by cupping the surface with your palm and rolling them into balls. Place them into your greased rings or directly on the prepared tins. Cover and rest for around 1 hour or more if your kitchen is cold.
  • If you like, you can brush on egg wash and add some sesame seeds to the top. Do this just before they go into the oven.
  • Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  • Bake until golden brown (around 15 – 20 mins) Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack as soon as they're cool enough to handle. Remember to slice and toast them and they'll be even better.

Notes

Always read the whole recipe before you start. 

8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, Bec. These will be a regular in our house – so delicious and easy to make.

  2. Hello! Thank you fir this recipe. I’m with you – not too soft, not too eggy, not too buttery and not too sweet = a great burger bun!

    Unfortunately, my 2.5 yo son is now off dairy ?. I wonder if I could use dairy-free butter and milk alternatives in this recipe? Or do you have or know of other dairy free recipes for this kind of thing?
    Of course, I could just make normal bread, but I was hoping to find a way of enriching breads for texture and taste reason…
    Thank you!

    1. Hey Elena,
      Yes, using dairy-free butter and a milk alternative will be fine. Of course, they will taste a little different, but they’ll still work out as burger buns. Can he have powdered milk? My son had a dairy allergy when he was younger, and the process of turning the milk into a powder sorted it for him.
      I would still use the egg though, that’s what gives the bread a softer texture. I hope he can have those.
      Regards
      Bec

      1. Wow, thank you so much for the super prompt and helpful reply.
        I have not tried powdered milk. We are still in the early stages of finding out what gives him trouble, thank you for the tip!
        I think he can have eggs. He has not been tested yet – not a good time to burden the NHS with non-urgent allergy testing. I hope it will be possible soon.
        Thanks again!!

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