Brioche Bun

published Feb 23, 2022
summer
Brioche Bun Recipe

This recipe's enriched dough makes for a light and fluffy bun.

Makes8 brioche buns

Prep45 minutes

Cook13 minutes to 16 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
a round sesame seed bun cut in half with other buns around it on a cooling rack.
Credit: Kayla Hoang

Learning how to make brioche is one of my most memorable lessons from culinary school. It’s a fairly easy bread to make once you understand the process, and its applications are endless (and delicious!). Brioche dough can be shaped into a loaf or rolls and just eaten as is with its plush crumb and delicate, deep golden-brown crust; it can be turned into cinnamon rolls, making for an extra rich bite; and, in this case, it can become pillowy buns perfect for a juicy burger. 

While brioche isn’t too difficult to make, the process can be lengthy due to its tendency to be bulk fermented (that first rest where the dough rises after mixing or kneading and before shaping) in the refrigerator for an extended period of time, usually overnight. After comparing two rounds of brioche — one made straight through in a single day and one fermented in the fridge overnight — I can’t express enough how much letting it rise slowly is worth the time! Brioche that is cold-fermented has a better flavor profile (more of the butter flavor and richness from the egg comes through) and is easier to shape, and the buns bake up more uniformly. It also helps break up the process so that it’s a bit more manageable!

What Makes Brioche Buns Different from Most Bread?

Brioche is made from an enriched dough, meaning it contains fat, sugar, and, in this case, dairy and eggs. This is different from a lean dough which is typically made from flour, water, salt, and yeast and contains no fat or sugar.  

What to Use Brioche Buns With?

These buns are wonderful all on their own, but also make a great base for burgers, sandwiches, and beyond.

Credit: Kayla Hoang

How to Make Brioche Buns Fluffy

The enriched dough used to make brioche is to thank for the delightfully fluffy texture. The ratio of liquid in the dough in combination with ingredients that make up an enriched dough amongst other things is what contributes to the plush, fluffy interior. 

Brioche Bun Recipe

This recipe's enriched dough makes for a light and fluffy bun.

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 13 minutes to 16 minutes

Makes 8 brioche buns

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 3

    large eggs, divided

  • 12 tablespoons

    (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup

    plus 1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk, divided

  • 3 cups

    bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • 3 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 3 1/2 teaspoons

    instant dry yeast

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • Neutral oil, such as canola, as needed

  • 2 tablespoons

    sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Crack 2 large eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer. Separate the last egg, adding the yolk to the stand mixer; cover and refrigerate the white. Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter into 12 pieces. Let the eggs in the bowl and butter sit at room temperature until the butter is softened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  2. Heat 2/3 cup of the whole milk in the microwave until warm (120°F to 130°F), about 45 seconds. Pour over the eggs. Add 3 cups bread flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 3 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, and 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt. Mix with the dough hook attachment on the lowest speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough forms a ball that’s beginning to get smooth, about 2 minutes.

  3. With the mixer still on medium-low speed, add the butter a piece at a time, waiting for each piece to be incorporated before adding the next. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth, elastic, and passes the window test, about 8 minutes. To do the window test, pinch off a small piece of dough and use your fingers to gently stretch it as thin as possible without tearing. If you can stretch the dough thin enough to see light shine through, it passes the test.

  4. Lightly coat a large bowl with neutral oil. Gather the dough into a ball. Place in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until about doubled in size, at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours.

  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 pieces with a bench scraper or knife. Cover with plastic wrap to keep from drying out.

  6. Shape the buns one at a time: Pull the corners of a piece of dough into the center. Flip the dough over so that the smooth side is facing up. Cup a hand around the dough and roll the dough in a circular motion against the work surface to round and seal the bottom seam.

  7. Place 4 buns on each baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. If it slowly springs back when poked but holds an indent, it’s ready.

  8. When the dough is almost ready, arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 375°F. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk to the reserved egg white and whisk to combine.

  9. Unover the buns and gently brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sesame seeds if desired.

  10. Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom and bake until deeply golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. A thermometer inserted into the center should register at least 190°F, and the bottom will sound hollow when tapped. Let the buns cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the baking sheets. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

To make and bake the buns the same day: The buns can be made in one same day, but note that the flavor will not be as deeply developed. Make the dough as instructed. Instead of chilling the dough, let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Divide and shape as instructed. Let the shaped buns proof in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes before baking.

Storage: Brioche buns can be stored wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, in a resealable plastic bag, or in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.