Light Brioche Hamburger Buns

Brioche. Beautiful, buttery brioche bread.

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After living in the South for a few years, I definitely developed an affinity for this buttery bread. Forget about plain ‘ole white sandwich bread!  They do it right down South!  This enriched French bread is a staple down there!

Whether they are making a sandwich, french toast, or hamburger buns, you can be sure that brioche will be the bread of choice.  And I have to say that I agree 100%!

A lot of butter in a bread recipe can have a dying affect. No one likes a dry buns so I am always on the lookout for new enriched dough recipes to try out but this recipe is one that I make over and over.  It has enough butter in it to give it a bit of a rich flavor but not enough to dry them out.

These are light but firm enough to hold a burger filled with your choice of fillings.  They would also be fantastic toasted with some ham and swiss cheese!

One thing I love about making these is that I can start the dough early in the morning, when everyone else is still in bed and I have some down time.  Then, after the first proof and shaping, I just pop them into the fridge until late afternoon.  They finish their second proof on the counter and bake up so quick!  They also freeze well for up to 3 months!

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Light Brioche Buns

Prep time:  20 mins

Cook time:  16 mins

Yield: Eight 4-inch to 5-inch burger buns
Recipe adapted  from the New York Times 


  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing
  • Black and white sesame seeds and/or poppy seeds (optional)


  1. In a measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until the mixture is foamy, about five minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add the butter to the flour mixture and rub into the flour using your fingers or a pastry cutter, until it looks crumbly. Stir in the yeast mixture and the beaten egg until it forms a dough. Scrape dough onto clean, floured countertop. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. You want the dough to remain slightly tacky so do not add too much additional flour. The more flour you add, the tougher the buns will be.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your dough scraper or sharp knife, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Flatten each ball slightly with your palm and pull the corners and sides all together tightly, tucking the dough in so that it forms a tight skin on the bun. Gently roll each 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 place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.  About 2 ½ hours before you are ready to serve the buns, remove them from the refrigerator and let warm to room temperature and finish rising. They should double in size in 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Set a large pan of water on oven floor. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat the remaining egg and brush on top of buns. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, pressing them in gently to adhere. Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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