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...