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Please - do not serve burgers in a brioche bun. It’s wrong in so many ways.
First off, the tiny kobe burgers in tiny brioche sliders, for a hundred bucks or so in the NY db bistro moderne, was a luxury novelty thirteen years ago. A gourmet version of what you regularly noshed for a couple of dollars in a local diner was certainly original: the wagyu beef (btw all kobe is wagyu: breed, only chosen wagyu is kobe: regional variety , the crème de la crème) tastes rich, a brioche tastes sweet; together they tasted weird-wonderful, especially if you were paying top whack. That’s all good and up there with the bacon ice cream.
Since then the world has wanted brioche buns for burgers. The most common search in relation to burgers is ‘where can I buy brioche burger buns?’ You don’t - nor should you want to. The supermarkets make an ersatz bun they call brioche, or even ‘light brioche’ which is an oxymoron, sprinkled with sesame so you knew what it’s for. It’s a con and you don’t want to go near it.
Now a proper brioche is way too sweet, way too buttery and way too - just - BRIOCHEY to be sliced and packed with a beef patty. Novelty is great but it won’t feed you very well every day.
Plain, comforting baps will do well for burgers but if you want to go a bit fancy, this is a good option. Burger buns made with enriched dough but not too sweet or eggy. You can give them the sesame treatment safely, and swap the milk for water for lighter texture. It’s my go-to burger bun - unless I can be bothered to make the Japanese milk rolls… But that’s a different story.
burger bunsServings: 12 bunsTime: about 3 hours
- 450g white bread flour
- 1 ½ tsp fast action yeast or 15g fresh yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 100g butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 200ml warm milk or water
- beaten egg, to glaze
- black and white sesame seeds, to sprinkle
1. Place the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter and eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment (or in a large bowl if using the hand held mixer, or in the bread machine pan). Add the milk and mix for about 10 minutes until the dough forms a ball that bounces off the sides of the bowl and doesn’t stick. Leave it to prove for an hour in a warm place until doubled in size.
2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 pieces; each about 75g in weight. Shape them into tight round buns and place on a large baking sheet, four in a row. Place the trays in plastic bags inflated a bit so it doesn’t touch the dough (just blow into it and tie the end!) and leave for about an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. When the buns have almost doubled in size or at least puffed up considerably, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds - just white if you can’t get the black ones. Put the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
4. Cool on a wire rack. They freeze very well so make a batch and keep in the freezer for your future burger occasions.