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Soft burger buns

Updated: Tue, 24 October, 2023

Soft, fluffy and classic burger buns sprinkled with sesame seeds, made with dough enriched with butter and eggs, but not as much as to make it a brioche.

soft burger buns

Burger in a brioche?

Please - do not serve burgers in a brioche bun. It’s wrong in so many ways.

First off, tiny kobe burgers in tiny brioche sliders served for a hundred bucks or so in the NY db bistro moderne were a luxury novelty thirteen years ago. They created a gourmet version of what you regularly noshed for a couple of dollars in a local diner, and the idea was certainly original.

The wagyu beef they used (btw all kobe is wagyu the breed while only chosen wagyu is kobe: a 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.

classic burger buns

Shop bought brioche buns are rubbish

Ever since then the world has wanted brioche buns for burgers. It’s become a go-to bread in all kinds of burger outfits, no matter whether their beef is prime or full of gristle. The most common search question in relation to burgers is ‘where can I buy brioche burger buns?’

But I believe you don’t, nor should you want to. All you will get in answer to that question is a fake bun that the supermarkets call 'brioche', or even ‘light brioche’ which is an oxymoron.

It's fluffy, puffy and yellow, sprinkled with sesame so you knew what it was designed for. It doesn’t taste like a proper brioche but costs twice as much as an ordinary sesame bun. It’s a con and you don’t want to go near it.

A proper brioche on the other hand is way too sweet, way too buttery and way too BRIOCHEY to be packed with a beef patty and an onion slice. Novelty is great but it won’t feed you very well every day.

In which case, what do we do with our burgers?

burger buns from enriched dough

What to pack the burgers in?

Plain, comforting soft baps will do well as burger housing but if you want to be a bit fancy, the recipe for the soft buns published below is a good option.

These are 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.

How to make classic soft burger buns

The dough is made all at once, without preferment and rises in the bowl until doubled. A standing mixer will do the job easily.

proving dough

When shaped, the buns also need to prove, wrapped in plastic or a clean tea towel, until ready to go into the oven.

shaping and proving buns

Egg wash and the sesame sprinkle makes them pretty, but the glaze also keeps them soft and fresh for longer.

baking burger buns

All you need is a patty now.

Various types of burger recipes

Classic beef patty, with a secret ingredient. The best beef burgers are made from scratch.

Grilled chicken burgers, juicy and crispy, best for the barbecue.

Chunky salmon burgers, with some of the fish minced and the rest diced coarsely. Much better than fish fingers!

Delicious prawn burgers, made with chunky prawns and garnished with crunchy homemade coleslaw.

Halloumi burgers, with crispy cheese slices packed into the bun with grilled vegetables.

proper burgers

More bread roll recipes

Bridge rolls or finger rolls are fluffy and soft, rich and almost brioche-like. Fresh yeast, full milk, eggs and butter make them the loveliest mini dinner rolls.

Best beer and Cheddar bread rolls, and this recipe is truly easy. Turning water into wine? Nah, beer into bread! That bottle of ale no one is keen on can be put to good use.

Seeded brown dinner rolls: these soft wholemeal bread rolls taste a little like a wholemeal version of challah rolls. They stay soft and fresh for a good few days and also freeze well.

More burger garnish recipes

Instead of fresh but insipid tomato slices in bleak mid-winter, stuff your burgers with confit tomatoes. Tomato confit brings out the flavour and packs an enormous punch.

Not a proper burger without pickles in it! And you can make your own at home. Flash pickles made with cucumber and carrot slices are ready in 3 hours and keep more nutritious elements than ordinary pickles.

And just as important is a slather of good mayo in a burger. Kewpie-style mayonnaise is the umami bomb of a condiment, which you can make at home in exactly one minute. A stick blender and a tall jar make true magic happen.

beef burger in a homemade bun

Soft burger buns

Servings: 12Time: 3 hours


  • 450g white bread flour
  • 1½ 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 a hand held mixer, or in a 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 tray.

3. Place the tray 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.

4. 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. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

5. Cool on a wire rack. They freeze very well so make a batch and keep in the freezer for your future burger occasions.

Originally published: Mon, 20 February, 2017

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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