This Brioche Bun recipe is light, fluffy and perfect on its own or for sandwiches or burgers! Rich and golden in color and flavor!
See the step by step recipe video down in the recipe card.
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I confess, I haven’t always been making my own hamburger buns, and I still don’t if I am really in a pinch.
We all need a break sometimes, right?
But when I have a bit of extra time, this Brioche Bun is always the one I turn to!
They are golden and have such a rich flavor (thanks to butter and eggs!), that they really make any burger extra special.
They take a little time, but I promise they are worth it!
What is brioche?
Brioche is a French style of bread that is rich in flavor and golden in color. This is because of the high amount of eggs and butter used in the recipe.
They make one really incredible bun, for burgers, sandwiches or just on their own!
What’s the difference between a brioche bun and a regular hamburger bun?
I love using Brioche Buns for burgers when I want something a little extra special. They look and taste like the richest bread you’ve ever had!
A brioche bun, just like brioche bread, is made with significantly more eggs and butter than your average yeast bread.
If you’re looking for a hamburger bun that is a little lighter on the eggs and butter, my Mom’s Homemade Buns are a great option!
How do you make Brioche Buns?
These Brioche Buns require a little more effort than regular yeast breads, because of the time spent kneading and slowly incorporating the butter. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you see success!
- Proof your yeast: this means letting it sit in some warm water until frothy. This is how you know your yeast is working and your buns will be light and fluffy!
- Mix your flour, eggs, sugar and salt in a stand mixer until combined. Add in the yeast mixture and beat on medium-low until a smooth, elastic dough forms — it will be sticky and not form a ball!
- Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time and incorporate completely. This can be a long process, which is one reason I don’t mix brioche dough by hand — it requires a lot of muscle!
- Your dough should be sticky, so please don’t go dumping in a bunch of flour! At this point, I like to add a touch of flour until a sticky ball forms. It should be sticky but not stick all over your fingers when you touch it (see the video for more of a visual!). If it is quite sticky, don’t worry because we will dust it with flour when we roll the buns!
- With instant yeast, the rises are quick — just 30-45 minutes each. If you using active dry yeast, keep in mind that this time could be double.
- Brioche has a golden crust, on the top and bottom, due in part to the egg wash but also the high amount of butter and sugar in the recipe. For a lighter bottom, opt for a light colored pan and bake one rack above center (if your oven element is on the bottom).
Variations on this recipe:
Can I use active dry yeast?
Absolutely! I choose to use quick yeast or instant yeast almost exclusively, because it works just as well, but a little quicker.
You can swap the quick yeast for active dry and not change anything else, except that it may need additional time to rise.
Can I use whole wheat flour?
Yes, sort of.
If you want incredibly light and fluffy buns, I would encourage you to use mostly all purpose flour, and just add in a small portion of whole wheat.
This will add a little fibre, but not take away from the taste and texture of the buns.
Can I make it vegan? Gluten free?
Unfortunately, since it would require many changes and I am no expert in gluten-free or vegan baking, I haven’t tested it either way.
The butter may be swapped for a firm vegan butter for a dairy free version.
Can I make these brioche buns ahead?
- You can prep the dough, then let it rise overnight in the fridge and continue with the recipe the next day.
- You can proceed with the recipe up to rolling the buns. Then roll, place on a baking sheet, cover completely (ensure the covering won’t stick), and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, take the buns out and allow to warm completely, until the look puffed and doubled. This can take some time since they are cold.
- You can also bake and reheat! Simply store them on the counter, in the fridge or freezer, then place in a 250 degree F oven and heat for 5-10 minutes, until warmed to your desired temperature. For a softer crust, you can wrap in foil.
Can I freeze brioche buns?
Definitely! We often have homemade bread and buns in the freezer.
Let cool at room temperature completely. Then store in an airtight bag and freeze up to 6 months. To avoid freezer burn, enjoy within the first 3 months.
To thaw, place a paper towel or two into the bag with the frozen buns and let sit at room temperature for a few hours until thawed. The paper towel will help to absorb excess moisture and keep buns from becoming soggy.
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Brioche Bun Recipe
- ¾ cup warm water (not hot!)
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast (2 packages)
- 4 cups all purpose flour (520 grams)
- 4 large eggs (room temperature)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- additional flour for rolling
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
Proof the Yeast
- Whisk together warm water and yeast. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until frothy and bubbly.
Make the brioche bun dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (this can be done by hand, but will require a lot of endurance! The dough takes about 30 minutes prep time), combine flour, eggs, sugar and salt (I use the dough hook in my stand mixer).
- Add yeast mixture to the bowl and beat with the dough hook on medium-low speed until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic. This can take 10 minutes or more.
- Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating on medium-low speed until completely incorporated.
- The dough should be very soft and sticky but not stick all over your fingers when you touch it. If necessary, add a small amount of flour (up to ¼ cup or 32 grams), beating in gradually, until tacky and smooth (see video for visual).
- Place dough in large greased bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled.
- Uncover dough and punch down — try to work all of the bubbles out. Roll dough into small rounds (I get 18 buns and my rounds are roughly 65-70 grams each) and place a couple inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets (I prefer light colored pans, as the buns do brown more than others).
- Cover buns with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with non stick spray (important! Because otherwise the buns will stick to the plastic) and place in a warm spot to rise for 30-45 minutes until puffed and doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Make the egg wash: stir together the egg and water and brush gently over the tops of the buns.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until golden (bake on a higher rack away from the oven element for less browning on the bottom). Remove from baking sheet to cool on a wire rack.
- Storage: any buns that are not eaten the day they are baked, I prefer to freeze once cooled completely. Homemade buns don't keep the same freshness as store bought, but they are perfect out of the freezer, thawed quickly in the microwave!
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