Thursday, September 30, 2010

Light Brioche Rolls

Photo NOT by Sarah

Friends, I'm really sorry it's come to this - posting pictures shot with my iPhone.  Sarah left me again.  She took her camera and her artistic eye and left.  Sure it's for a good cause, college and all, but I just can't get enthusiastic about posting without her pictures.  (Sarah - I miss you so so much....) Except this recipe - I am really excited about it.  In fact, so excited I am willing to post it with my sorry little picture, taken on the spur on the moment with my iPhone (now THAT is something I am really excited about too, but that's another story).  

If you decide to make these I am issuing this apology:  I am sorry because you will probably never again be satisfied with grocery store hamburger buns.  They are that good.  Worth the effort.  Even if people think you are a little whack for making your own hamburger buns.  That good.

Light Brioche Buns
Adapted from the New York Times who took it from Hidefumi Kubota of Comme Ca restaurant in Los Angeles

Makes 8 buns

3 tablespoons warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, divided
3 cups bread flour (13.5 ounces)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (1.5 ounces)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened.

In a glass measuring cup, combine warm water, milk, yeast and sugar.  Whisk to combine and let rest for about 5 minutes.

In a standing mixer bowl, combine yeast mixture, 1 egg, both flours, salt and very soft butter.  Knead for about 6 minutes.  The dough will be very very sticky and will never clear the sides of the bowl.

Dump dough into a greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap, place in refrigerator, and let rise overnight. I punch it down once before I go to bed.

The next day.....

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  On a floured surface and using a dough scraper or sharp knife, divide dough and shape into 8 equal balls. (If you are OCD precise, each ball will weigh just a little less than 4.5 ounces.) Work quickly because the dough is much, much more cooperative while still cold. Arrange on baking sheet.  Cover loosely (I use plastic wrap sprayed with pam) and let rise until double, about 1 hour, more or less.

Meanwhile, set a large shallow pan of water on lowest rack of oven, or on oven floor if you have room.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in the center.

Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of each bun.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds, or poppy seeds, or just leave plain.  Bake until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely.  If desired, toast the buns lightly just before serving.

Notes:  This makes a very very sticky dough.  The first time I made it I kept adding more and more flour because I thought I had made a mistake. Those rolls were fairly dense but still good.  They are better if you follow the amount of flour listed.  Also, the original NYT recipe did not call for an overnight rise.  You can let them rise on the counter for 1 to 2 hours, but the dough will be more difficult to form into balls and you will need to use a lot of flour to accomplish the task.

This recipe doubles nicely, and freezes beautifully, thank goodness.


  1. These are my go-to hamburger or sandwich bun recipe. They're so moist, tender and downright delicious. I've gotten copious praise and borderline shock every time I make them for an event! Even people that have made their own fresh buns demand the recipe from me!

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