Monday, September 23, 2013

Homemade Brioche Hamburger Bun Recipe

I don't know what started it, but I had a horrible craving for burgers last week. Now, that isn't a usual craving for me. I do like a great burger, but it isn't something I usually make at home. Why? Well, burgers at home usually leave me a little... wanting.

It isn't the meat. We get a local grass-fed hamburger that I love. It isn't the hassle of grilling. Our Traeger does all the work and I think it makes everything taste better. Actually it is the mediocre hamburger buns at the grocery store.

A half step above paper, tasteless, boring grocery store buns with a shelf-life no bread product should have.

So, I decided to whip up a batch of flavorful buns. I make my husband's plain, I make mine with everything bagel topping. It makes us both happy.

It all starts with a little bit of yeast.

Actually, this recipe is really easy and fast to put together. Yes, you need time to let it rise twice, but it will all be worth it. Go ahead and read a book or get a load or two of laundry done while you wait for the yeast to do it's magic.

Why brioche?

I love the buttery flavor and dense crumb of this bread. I have a hamburger bun pan, but it isn't necessary for this recipe. It helps me decide when they have risen enough and keeps the buns looking more uniform.

I have mentioned before that I enjoy kneading. If you don't, you can always let the Kitchen Aid or bread machine do the kneading for you. It is a slightly tacky dough, but shouldn't be hard to form into a ball for the first rise.

I greased the bun pan well with a little butter. You can also use a non-stick spray if you prefer. If you don't have a pan, just hand form each bun and set to rise on parchment paper.

An egg wash gives the tops a lovely golden brown color. I found this everything bread and bagel topping at King Arthur Flour and love it! I was all out of sesame seeds, but those would have been nice, too.

Easy, right? The flavor of fresh burger buns really puts home grilled burgers over the top. Lighter than a loaf of decadent brioche, the crumb is luscious and the bread is slightly sweet. Homemade is always better, in my opinion.

Brioche Hamburger Buns

You will need:

  • 3 Tbsp. milk, room temperature 
  • 1 c. water, room temperature
  • 2 tsp. yeast
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 c. bread flour
  • 1/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted and cold
  • egg wash (1 egg, 1 Tbsp. water)
  • bun toppings (sesame seeds, everything topping, etc.)
Proof the yeast with the milk and sugar for about 5 minutes. The mixture will become foamy.

Beat the egg and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter or two knives. The mixture should resemble coarse sand. Stir in the egg and yeast. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is nice and elastic. Try not to add too much extra flour.

Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise till it has doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Place them inside the wells of the greased bun pan, or form and place on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise again for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees half way through the final rise. Place a pan of water in the oven during heating to create higher humidity on the oven. Brush the top of each bun with egg wash and sprinkle with bun toppings if desired. Bake for 15 minutes, until the buns have turned golden on top.


How would you top your bun?
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