This recipe came up in a google search for hamburger buns, together with a gazillion others, but its title – Possibly the Best Hamburger Bun Ever – made me stop searching, roll my sleeves up, and go to work. It was the perfect excuse to inaugurate my heavy-duty pan featured recently at “In My Kitchen“. Brioche, as everyone knows, is a very rich bread made with butter and eggs, but some versions – often called “Poor Man’s Brioche” – cut back a little on those ingredients for a slightly less decadent bread, but still quite buttery and luscious. Made into a bun shape, these will take any humble hamburger to a whole new level…
LIGHT BRIOCHE BURGER BUNS
(from Parsley, Sage, and Sweet, originally via Comme Ça restaurant)
Makes 8 4-inch to 5-inch buns
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, divided (one will be used for glaze)
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds (optional)
In a measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. In the meantime, beat one egg.
In a large bowl, combine both flours with the salt. Add the butter to the flours and salt and rub into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter, making crumbs, like you would a pie dough. Stir in the yeast mixture and beaten egg until it forms a dough. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter or board. and knead, scooping the dough up, slapping and turning it, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Alternatively you can use a Kitchen Aid type mixer, for 5 minutes in medium-low speed.
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, about 1 to 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper or sharp knife, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 400 F. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash, then brush on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds pressing them in gently to adhere. Bake, turning the sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: What a nice dough to play with! Smooth, soft, tender, and very responsive. To get that amazing rise from the first couple of photos it took less than 90 minutes, and only one hour was needed after shaping to stick it in the oven. As you can see, this bread is quite easy to prepare on the spur of the moment. I admit that sometimes it’s nice to resort to commercial yeast. I shaped two buns a little smaller, the baking pan from King Arthur accommodated both sizes without any problem.
The day I baked them we had pork burgers that turned out very tasty: ground pork, chorizo, green apples, a few spices. The detailed recipe will be in the Bewitching soon. Leftover rolls were frozen and absolutely perfect after sitting at room temperature for 15 minutes and spending 5-10 more minutes in our small Breville oven at 300 F.
I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting event….
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