Small Bites for the Big Game #2: Homemade Brioche Burger Buns

In preparation for the Super Bowl, I've been experimenting with homemade hamburger bun recipes. I've always wanted to make my own burger buns, especially after shopping for the perfect "slider" bun proved futile. Supermarket-made dinner rolls, at least in my book, aren't the best substitute because they're either too dry or too bland. Hawaiian bread rolls are incredibly tasty and soft, but too sweet for the Italian and Vietnamese sliders I'm making for a Super Bowl party.

So I decided to make my own. After several so-so attempts from a variety of recipes – the result was too dense, too flat, too bland, too small, etc. – I think I've found THE ONE. The recipe is adapted from Comme Ca, one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. In addition to its incredible French cuisine (it gets my vote for the best Beef Bourguignon and pan-seared skate), Comme Ca has one of the best burgers in town. Forget the tender, excellently seasoned beef and let's focus on the game changer: the BUN. It's the perfect shade of golden brown, crispy yet buttery, and light and fluffy while maintaining its structural integrity against the heft of the burger and its toppings. Bottom line: the bun is a huge contributing factor to the deliciousness of the burger.

So if you love sliders, are frustrated by the lack of slider buns in mainstream grocery stores, or just interested in trying your hand at fabulous homemade bread, bookmark this recipe. Now. My Italian meatball slider recipe is coming soon as one of ten "Small Bites for the Big Game" Super Bowl posts, so between this homemade brioche bun recipe and amazing meatball sliders you'll be the star of the show!

Here's how you make them:
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Sesame seeds (optional)
In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.

Combine water, milk, yeast and sugar, let sit until foamy

Beat one egg (mini whisks are great for this!)
In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will get. Note: I did not add ANY flour during the kneading process. If it stuck to the board, which only happened one time, I used a dough scraper to loosen it and added it back to the ball.

Pinch butter into flour mixture until "crumbly"

Add all liquids & mix until dough forms

Knead until elastic, 8-10 minutes
Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.

Return dough to bowl & cover with plastic wrap

Let proof until doubled in size, 1-2 hours
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.

Cut dough into 15-20 small pieces, roll & place on baking sheet

Cover loosely with plastic wrap coated in non-stick spray

After 1-2 hours, uncover and prepare egg wash

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds

Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with one tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, but not before slicing a hot bun and spreading on a pat of butter. I'm sighing with lust just thinking about it...


  1. I'm just thinking how good this would be making sliders with some of my freshly smoked pulled pork. Drool!

  2. Thank you for the detailed tutorial! I am actually posting today about my feat of bread baking/using yeast, so I am bookmarking this as a recipe to try this year. (I will conquer my fear!)

  3. Totally had to retweet this one. @chris freshly pulled pork, or maybe some brisket and jalepanos.

  4. the bun is the most underrated part of a burger/slider!

  5. Awesome homemade buns. I'm sure any filling will be great with these buns. Love the shiny soft look.

  6. Thanks everyone and welcome to Pardon My Crumbs! These buns are fantastic; I can't wait to make them again and again with different delicious fillings. Even though they take time, it's worth it. They make it hard to buy grocery store buns! :)

  7. Hey Christie! I am going to make these buns for some pulled pork sliders that I am making for tomorrow's game. Do you think if I make them tonight they will still taste nice and fresh tomorrow? Thanks for the recipe! Loving your blog.

  8. Hi Lady Gouda! You can absolutely make the buns ahead of time. I actually made mine last night b/c I didn't have time today. Just let them cool and store them in a big plastic bag at room temperature. Warm them up just a bit or throw the halves on the grill before serving and you're good to go!

  9. Love your story....so touching....
    Brioche is my favorite - love to use it when I make bread pudding!

    You have a bundle of courage!

    Saving to my recipe box...

  10. This is just the recipe I was looking for! one small question - does it make 8 buns or 15-20 buns? I was a little confused by the recipe.
    Thanks so much for your help.

  11. I made these yesterday and was more than happy with my first-ever attempt at making slider buns! They were the perfect consistency and complemented the burgers beautifully. Next time I'll put them in muffin tins for the second rise, to keep them a consistent size and shape. I managed to get 18 buns from the recipe and will try to squeeze 24 out of the next batch. I'm planning to ultimately use them as hors d'oeuvres, so would like them a little smaller (maybe 3 bites each). Thanks for the recipe - cheers,

    1. I'm in the process of making these at the moment and love your idea of putting them in a muffin tin. Thanks for the tip!

  12. These look delicious! Do you have any recommendations for freezing these? I'm thinking of making lots of them ahead of time for a party. I'm hoping they would still taste fresh and delicious after freezing. any advice?


Related Posts with Thumbnails