Move over boring store-bought hamburger buns! These brioche buns are so fluffy, light, and delicious, you'll never go back. They're amazing for burgers, but you can use them for chicken sandwiches, or a breakfast sandwich with bacon and an egg (runny yolk is a must!). I use a technique called tangzhong, which is really just a water roux. You can't skip this part - this is what helps make them so light and fluffy!
Here's how to make them:
For the tanzhong:
2 TBS bread flour
1/4 cup whole milk (I used oat milk if you prefer non-dairy)
2 TBS filtered water (room temp)
For the dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm whole milk (or oat milk) - just microwave for about 25-30 seconds
1 packet active dry yeast
2 1/2 TBS granulated white sugar
3 1/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 TSP fine kosher or sea salt
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg + 1 TBS water for egg wash
3 TBS salted butter, melted
Flaky sea salt
Make the tangzhong: Whisk all of the ingredients in a small saucepan until there are no lumps - not over heat yet.
Place the saucepan over medium heat, and continue whisking or stirring constantly for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened into a roux.
Remove the roux from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Make the dough: In a small bowl, whisk the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar until well combined.
Cover the mixture with a kitchen towel and let it stand for 5-10 minutes, or until you see a foam form on top.
Whisk the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Using the paddle attachment, mix the flour and sugar on low.
With the mixer running, add the yeast mixture and mix for a few seconds, than add in the tangzhong, the egg and egg yolk.
Mix until a rough dough forms.
Remove the paddle attachment from your mixer and change to the dough hook.
Knead the dough on medium and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time (make sure the butter is fully incorporated before adding the next tablespoon).
After the butter is incorporated, continue to knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes or until smooth.
Form a ball with the dough and place it in a greased bowl (you can use butter or olive oil).
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, or until it's doubled in size.
Gently punch the dough in the middle to deflate it.
Using a good knife, cut the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 95g each. TIP: Use a kitchen scale so the buns are equal size.
Form the dough portions into small balls and place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, making sure they have space to double in size.
Cover the dough balls with a kitchen towel and let them rise again, for up to 1 hour or until puffy.
Preheat your oven to 375° F.
Brush the bun dough with the egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter and sprinkle on the flaked salt (salt is optional).
Let the buns cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy with your favorite burger or sandwich. p.s. They're great with my easy homemade thousand island dressing!
Did you make them? Share pics in the comments!