Buttery Brioche Hamburger Buns

Rich homemade brioche buns

The Spruce / Teena Agnel

  • Total: 47 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 17 mins
  • Rising Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Yield: 10-12 buns (10-12 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
340 Calories
19g Fat
33g Carbs
10g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10-12 buns (10-12 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 340
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 188mg 63%
Sodium 1015mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 33g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 10g
Calcium 128mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A hamburger can be good, but if it's served on a subpar bun that isn't up to the task, this cookout staple can definitely suffer. Enter the brioche bun.

There are lots of reasons why that burger from your favorite restaurant is served on a brioche bun, but the main reason? They can handle the job. Soft but sturdy thanks to the butter and eggs, brioche rolls keep well. Not into burgers? These buns are also great for everyday sandwiches with cold cuts, tuna salad, and grilled chicken. Or make them smaller, and serve on the side as dinner rolls.

The starter for brioche dough comes together with a bit of sugar, milk, and yeast. The dough is a soft (and sticky) one, and requires a longer knead time to properly develop the gluten. If you can, knead it with a stand mixer and dough hook, or a bread machine on the dough cycle. It will look and smell eggy and buttery.

2:46

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Ingredients

  • For the Starter:
  • 2/3 cup milk (lukewarm, about 85 F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup (3 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • For the Dough:
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (14 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature) 
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or vegetable oil for bowl
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal for dusting
  • For the Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • For the Optional Topping:
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this brioche bun recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Starter

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for starter for brioche hamburger buns
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.

    Bubbling starter in the metal bowl of a stand mixer
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Add the flour and sugar. With the paddle attachment, mix the sponge until you have a smooth batter.

    Starter in a metal bowl with flour and sugar
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Remove the beater, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand for about 30 minutes, or until you see bubbles over the surface of the dough.

    Brioche bun dough resting and bubbling in a metal bowl
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Make the Dough

  1. Using the dough hook, mix the flour, salt, and beaten eggs into the starter. Once the dough is formed, knead with the dough hook for about 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl down a few times, adding more flour by the teaspoon if it is too sticky.

    Mixed brioche bun dough in a metal bowl
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue kneading with the machine, scraping the bowl from time to time, for about 5 minutes longer. The dough should be smooth and shiny.

    Smooth and shiny brioche bun dough after the butter was added
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Oil a large bowl with the olive oil or vegetable oil.

    Clear glass bowl, oiled for the brioche bun dough.
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Using a bowl scraper or spoon, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.

    Dough in a clear glass bowl ready to be covered and rise
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Let Dough Rise Again and Shape

  1. Punch the dough down; fold over a few times.

    Dough in a clear glass bowl after it's been punched down
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  2. Cover with plastic wrap again and let rise for 45 minutes. 

    Dough in a clear glass bowl covered with plastic wrap
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 

    Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, shape into about a dozen balls. Flour your palm and flatten the balls to make thick disks.

    Dough balls shaped into thick disks on a wooden cutting board
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Arrange the rolls on the parchment-lined pan. Cover with a lightweight kitchen towel and let them rest for 20 minutes.

    Rolls covered with a blue-and-white striped kitchen towel
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

Bake the Rolls

  1. Heat the oven to 400 F.

  2. Sprinkle the tops of the buns with a little cornmeal, then gently turn them over so the cornmeal dusting is on the bottom. 

    Sprinkle tops of buns with cornmeal
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  3. Make the egg wash by combining the egg with the water; whisk to blend well.

    Egg wash in a small white bowl
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  4. Brush the egg mixture gently over each roll. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if desired.

    Brush egg mixture over brioche rolls
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  5. Bake for 7 minutes at 400 F.

    Partially baked brioche buns, lightly browned from the oven
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel 
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer, until golden brown.

    Baked brioche buns resting in on parchment on a baking sheet
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel
  7. Serve and enjoy.

    Rich homemade brioche buns on a cutting board
    The Spruce / Teena Agnel

How to Store and Freeze Brioche Rolls

  • Brioche rolls will keep at room temperature if well wrapped in foil or a plastic bag for up to 3 days.
  • To freeze, wrap each roll individually in foil and transfer to a zipper-topped freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Tips

  • This recipe makes between 10 and 12 rolls, depending on their size. If you need larger or smaller rolls, simply divide the dough accordingly.
  • Make sure the butter is room temperature. If it is too cold, it won't blend into the dough evenly and the texture will be off.
  • To check if the rolls are ready, tap the bottom of one of them; it should sound hollow.

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