These soft, pastry-like brioche burger buns will change the way you look at the humble burger bun. A rich combination of eggs and butter comes together to create a tender melt-in-your-mouth texture and a taste that’s impossible to resist. Storing and freezing the buns is easy, they thaw quickly, so you can enjoy that bakery-fresh taste all over again.
Homemade brioche burger buns are guaranteed to elevate your burger game. Simply mix the ingredients in a stand mixer, allow the dough to rise, shape the dough into buns, and bake. The burger buns come out of the oven golden brown, with that fresh-from-the-bakery look, taste, and fluffy, soft texture.
This recipe is so easy to follow that you will want to use it every time you’re grilling, BBQing, or having friends over for a weekend lunch. And if you're looking for something to fill those buns with, try smash burgers, Tex Mex burgers, or black bean and quinoa burgers.
What is Brioche?
Brioche is a type of bread that originated in France and is known (and loved!) for its rich egg and butter flavors. While brioche is made in a similar style as bread, the addition of eggs and butter, and sometimes milk, means that brioche is also technically considered a Viennoiserie, which is a type of pastry.
How to Make Homemade Brioche Buns
- Make the dough. In a standing mixer, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the water, butter, and 1 egg. Mix on low, and then gradually increase the speed until the dough comes together.
- Proof the dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size.
- Cut and shape. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 equal parts, rolling each into a smooth ball. Place on the prepared baking pan.
- Second proof. Leave the dough out at warm room temperature to rise until doubled in size again. If your kitchen is on the cooler side, place in the oven with the light on.
- Bake. Brush the buns with an egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Cool and enjoy. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Ingredients for Brioche Buns
- Bread Flour - Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which results in a nice, springy and tender texture.
- Sugar - Sugar “feeds” the yeast, and offers a touch of sweetness.
- Instant or “Fast-Acting” Yeast - This will help the brioche buns to rise quickly. There are a few varieties of yeast, so check the label to make sure you’re using ‘instant’ or ‘fast-acting’ yeast.
- Kosher Salt - A little salt enhances the taste of the buns.
- Warm Water - Warm water activates the yeast. Check the yeast packaging for temperature guidelines.
- Unsalted Butter - Use unsalted butter to control the salt content in the buns. Soften to room temperature for easy mixing.
- Eggs - Eggs provide the burger buns with that classic, eggy brioche flavor. An egg wash is also used to give the buns a golden brown color.
- White Sesame Seeds - If you want to give these brioche burger buns the look of an American burger bun, top with white sesame seeds.
How to Store, Freeze, and Thaw Brioche Buns
While these light and buttery buns are best enjoyed the day you bake them, if you want to make them ahead, they're easy to freeze. Store them in an airtight container for up to 6 months in the freezer. I like to slice them before freezing so that they're ready to throw right on the grill when I want to use them. Thaw at room temperature for a 2 to 3 hours before toasting or grilling.
Tips for Great Brioche Buns
- The dough will be very sticky when you begin mixing it, but resist the temptation to add more flour. Adding more flour will change the texture of the buns.
- When proofing the balls of dough (the second proof), be sure to leave enough space between each ball so that it can expand without coming into contact with the ball next to it.
- Bring the eggs to room temperature so they easily integrate into the dough.
- For most precise flour measurements, and the lightest, fluffiest burger buns, measure the flour in grams.
- Try different bun toppers - Top with poppy seeds or everything seasoning for another variation on the classic burger bun.
Brioche burger buns are an incredibly versatile bun. When you’re not using them to upgrade your hamburgers, they can also be used for fried chicken sandwiches, salmon burgers, pulled chicken sandwiches, or any other sandwich you can dream up.
The brioche burger bun experience is like a treat for your taste buds. This style of bun is softer, richer, and more tender than a traditional burger bun because the brioche dough contains those eggs and butter. One taste is all it takes to convert burger fans over to this decadent bun.
For the lightest, fluffiest, best burger buns, use bread flour. All-purpose flour will still give you great brioche buns, but they just won't have quite the same light and fluffy texture as when using bread flour.
Brioche Burger Buns Recipe
- standing mixer
- Parchment Paper
- Half Sheet Pan
- Dough Scraper
- Basting Brush
- 3 ¼ cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the counter (400 grams)
- 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 2 ¼ teaspoon package instant or “fast-acting” yeast
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 large eggs, divided
- white sesame seeds, for topping (optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
- Add the water, butter, and 1 of the eggs (reserve the other). Turn the mixer on, starting on low and then gradually increasing the speed to medium-high. Mix until the dough comes together and starts to slap against the sides of the bowl, 6 to 8 minutes. The dough will be very sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flour.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a dough scraper to divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll it into a smooth ball, tucking the ends underneath to create some tension on the surface. Place the dough balls seam-side down on the prepared pan, leaving space between each.
- Leave the dough out at warm room temperature to rise until doubled in size again, about 30 minutes more.
- When the dough is nearly at the end of the second rise time, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the tops of the buns. Sprinkle the surface of the buns with sesame seeds.
- Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the tops are deep golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes.
- Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Claire @ Claire K Creations
I love the photo of all your ingredient bowls lined up. So organised you are!
The only downside to all those little bowls, Claire? The dishes. 😉 Oh the time I would save if I could toss them all in a dishwasher....
I think I've made these before - they look similar to the light brioche buns from Smitten Kitchen. I haven't made enough to keep a stash in the freezer, they always go too quickly for that (and our Euro freezer is ridiculously small). Good reminder, I'll have to make them again soon!
Katie - oh yes, I think they're the same. I'm quite certain that she did them on Smitten Kitchen a few years ago. I've seen a few people make them with whole wheat flour, which I haven't tried yet, but would be right up your alley!
I am so stealing your freezer basket idea. Hope you are feeling better.
Debra, I'm so hooked on those baskets in the freezer. It's the only way I find anything in there! I highly recommend it.
I love the idea of fresh bread, but am bad about making time for it. Aaron suggested I do a year-long bread challenge (similar to my 12 layer cakes in 2012 challenge). I'm still not sold on the idea BUT I'm printing this recipe to inspire a lazy Sunday.
It's easier than you might think, Heather! I love your idea of a year-long bread-baking challenge! I bet some great stuff would come out of that.
I would recommend that you include the cup of water in the list of ingredients. I had some trouble because I didn't notice the water in the instructions... thanks 🙂
Thanks Melissa. Water has been added to the ingredients list!