I can’t say one bad thing about these buns. I made sure to follow the directions exactly, and even ended up adding a little extra water during kneading because the dough wasn’t that sticky. Then, while shaping, I got my hands wet instead of dusting with flour. I thought they would stick to the parchment paper and not rise correctly. But they were fine! No, wait, they were amazing! Light, sweet, buttery, and beautiful! I sprinkled some with sesame seeds, some with poppy seeds, and some I left naked. My rising times were 1 hr for the first and 1 hr 15 minutes for the second. I followed the step about preheating the oven with a pan of water, but I wonder if the water would be more effective if I poured it into a preheated pan when I put the buns in. Maybe the evaporation of the water while baking is enough. I baked for 16 minutes, turning after 8.
Light Brioche Burger Buns
Adapted from Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles, also found on Annie’s Eats
Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns
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)
1. 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.
2. 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. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.
3. 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. (In my freaky, warm apartment this only took an hour.)
4. 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. (Again, this only took one hour in my apartment and I suspect, you’ll also only need an hour for a second rise.)
5. 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.