Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Brioche burger buns

I have come a long way. For the longest time, I had a fear of working with yeast. I wouldn't go near it and avoided anything that required it. It was much easier to buy yeasted items from the grocery store or farmer's market. Little did I know that yeast wasn't so scary, and it's actually quite simple to work with. Hindsight is always 20/20, as they say.

Admittedly, my confidence deflated as I started working with the brioche dough. It was extremely sticky, and even though I greased my plastic wrap very well, parts of the dough stuck badly to it. When I shaped my buns, they were quite ugly, so I was concerned with the final product.

Thankfully, these buns turned out beautifully. Although my hands and working surface were sticky messes, these gorgeous brioche buns were worth it. They were soft, chewy, and exactly what I wanted in a brioche bun. We used them for lobster rolls and sloppy joes. Where have homemade brioche buns been my entire life?

This is a bread that I will certainly make again. Now that I know the dough will be extremely sticky, I will know what to expect so I can be aware of it next time.

Brioche burger buns
  • 3 TBSP warm milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2½ TBSP sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2½ TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg beaten with 1 TBSP water
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the warm milk, water, yeast, sugar, salt and egg.  Slowly add the flours to the bowl and mix until it is fully incorporated.  Add in the butter.  Turn off the mixer and switch to the dough hook attachment. Knead on low speed for about 6-8 minutes.  The dough will be sticky but that is what you want - adding too much flour will result in hard and tough burger buns.

Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-2 hours.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.  Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.  Gently roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart.  Cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rise again for about 1-2 hours, until it doubles.

Set a large metal pan of water on the lowest rack of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and position a rack in the center.  Lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash/water mixture and if desired, sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds.  Bake the buns for 7 and 1/2 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake for another 7 and 1/2 minutes until the tops are golden brown.Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Yield: 8 buns

Source: Annie's Eats, originally adapted from smitten kitchen



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