Ultra-soft, buttery Brioche Buns are easy to make with real ingredients. Top them with sesame seeds for extra texture, or leave them plain for a simple-yet-decadent side. These are perfect for your next cookout!
The Best, Soft, Sesame-Seed Buns, Made from Scratch!
There’s nothing like a bag of fresh, bakery brioche buns. We love them for hamburgers, pulled pork, or just to split and toast for an indulgent addition to our breakfast menu. But did you know that these soft, silky bread rolls are also really easy to make from scratch?
And that comes with a built-in bonus: no preservatives, no artificial ingredients, and complete control of what you’re serving to your family. So many of us are trying to get back to basics, food-wise, and making your own bread is a great way to do that. If you have a little time and a few basic ingredients, you can easily whip up a batch of fluffy, soft brioche rolls – this recipe will show you how!
Looking for some soft dinner rolls instead? Try these Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls!
Why Is Brioche Bread So Popular?
If I had to sum it up in one word, I would say that brioche bread is extremely popular because of butter. Brioche is simply a very rich, soft, sweet bakery item that has a rich, buttery flavor – like a gorgeous cross between soft white sandwich bread and buttery croissant dough.
But it actually takes more than just butter to make a good brioche dough. You also need eggs, egg yolks, and a good kneading technique to develop plenty of gluten. The eggs add more richness and lightness to the dough, while the kneading helps give it that squishy, sandwich-y texture. I always use a stand mixer for kneading, because it’s so effective at developing gluten.
What Is in a Brioche Dough?
The simplest bread doughs are often not much more than salt, water, and flour – these brioche buns contain a few more ingredients than that, but it’s still a really easy recipe. Here’s what you’ll need for the dough and the egg wash:
- Milk: Warmed to around 105°F, for activating the yeast.
- Sugar: Just a few spoonfuls, for a touch of sweetness and to get a fluffy texture.
- Yeast: Active dry yeast is fine.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour to make my brioche buns.
- Eggs: A combination of whole eggs and egg yolks gives the dough plenty of richness and structure.
- Butter and Shortening: Using both together helps guarantee a light and fluffy result.
- Egg: Can’t have an egg wash without an egg! This gives the buns a shiny, golden exterior.
- Water: To thin out the egg wash, and keep it from turning into scrambled eggs on your brioche buns!
- Salt: For a little added flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: Optional, for topping.
How to Make Homemade Brioche Buns
Making brioche buns is very similar to making other yeast breads and rolls – you need to prove the yeast, mix and knead the dough, and let it rise. I go with two rises for the ultimate light, soft texture. Here’s how to do it, step by step.
- Prove the Yeast. First, you’ll want to make sure your yeast is activated. To do this, combine the milk, sugar, and yeast in a bowl (I use the bowl of my stand mixer). Mix the ingredients together, and let them sit for about 5 minutes. The yeast should create some frothy bubbles. (If it doesn’t, either your milk was too hot or too cold, or the yeast was too old. If this happens, you’ll need to start again with fresh ingredients.)
- Make the Dough. Once the yeast has proved, go ahead and beat the eggs into the yeast mixture using the paddle attachment. Then add your flour and salt, and mix on medium speed for a couple of minutes. Finally, add the butter and shortening to the dough, and knead the dough for another 6 – 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- First Rise. Take the bowl out of the mixer, and cover the dough with some plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for a couple of hours, or until doubled. The time will depend on how warm and/or humid the rising environment is.
- Shape the Buns. When the dough is done rising, turn it out onto a clean, floured work surface. Roll it out into a circle about 10 inches wide. Cut the dough into 8 triangles, like a pizza. (You can even use a pizza cutter for this!) Roll up each triangle, folding the corners underneath, to make a bun or ball shape.
- Second Rise. Grease a baking sheet with baking spray, and place the buns on the baking sheet for a second rise. Cover with more plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let rise for about an hour.
- Add Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds. When the second rise is almost done, beat the eggs, water, and salt in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and uncover the risen buns. Brush each one with egg wash, and then sprinkle with sesame seeds, if you are using them.
- Bake! Place the baking sheet right into your preheated oven, and let the brioche buns bake for about 20 – 21 minutes, or until golden brown. When they are done, take them out of the oven and place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.
- Enjoy! Once the buns have cooled, serve them as hamburger buns or any way you like.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Want to know more about working with brioche dough? Perfect – this is where I share all my favorite tips, from using shortening to activating that yeast. Let’s do this!
- About That Butter: I like to use a combination of butter and shortening for a bakery-style texture – the same trick that keeps my Southern Buttermilk Biscuits soft and light. However, you can use all butter, or all shortening, if desired. Either will make a good brioche.
- Activating the Yeast: Making sure your milk is at the right temperature is key to getting the yeast to activate. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it’s too cold, the yeast won’t activate. To get frothy, activated yeast, have the milk somewhere between 105°F to 110°F (above body temperature, but not scalding hot).
- Dough Texture: After all the ingredients are added you can test to see if the dough has enough elasticity by pushing on it. If you press the dough with your finger and it stays pushed in, you need to knead the dough longer to develop more elasticity. If you press it with your finger and the dough springs back into place, it is ready.
- Even Better: What could be better than a fresh brioche bun? A fresh brioche bun that’s been buttered and toasted! For extra flavor, after slicing the buns, brush the cut sides with butter and broil in the oven for a minute or so.
Tasty Serving Suggestions
Brioche buns make a fabulous base for almost any sandwich you can think of. Hamburgers or cheeseburgers, obviously – but you could also try one of these easy ideas:
- Vegetarian: Put your favorite vegetarian burger on one of these buttery buns, and enjoy! We love these hearty Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches.
- Pulled Pork: Who could resist a sweet and smoky barbecue sandwich? If it’s on a brioche roll, it’s basically a must-have meal option around here. Try this Crock Pot Pulled Pork Recipe for an easy slow-cooker take on classic pit barbecue.
- Turkey Burgers: Go a little lighter, but just as delicious, with a homemade Greek Turkey Burger. This zesty dinner option is chock-full of creamy feta cheese, mouthwatering sun-dried tomatoes, and Greek seasoning.
How to Store Brioche Buns
You can store these brioche buns by placing them in an airtight container or baggie, and letting them hang out at room temperature for up to 3 days. Serve them as-is, or toast them lightly in a toaster oven or conventional oven. Yum.
Can I Freeze These?
Sure can! They freeze best if you let them come to room temperature first. Once they’re at room temp, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months, and thaw at room temperature before using.
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Sesame seeds, optional topping
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with hook attachment, combine the milk, sugar and yeast. Let proof for 5 minutes or until bubbly and frothy.
- Add the eggs and mix to combine. Add in the flour and salt and turn the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough for 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to a low speed and slowly add the butter and shortening. Knead for another 6-8 minutes to allow the gluten to develop.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel. Let rise for 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has finished rising, turn the dough out onto a clean, floured surface. Roll out into a 10″ disc and then cut like a pizza into 8 triangles.
- Roll each one up, folding the corners underneath itself. Place each dough ball onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with baking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise for 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising for the second time, preheat the oven to 350°F and make the eggs wash. In a small mixing bowl add eggs, water and salt.
- Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap and brush each dough ball with the egg wash. Top with sesame seeds, if desired.
- Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 21 minutes or until golden brown.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
- Once cooled, serve as desired. We love to cut them in half and use them as the best homemade burger buns.
- Buns may be stored in an airtight container or baggie for up to 3 days.
- Freeze buns by wrapping them tightly with saran wrap and placing them in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- I like to use a combination of butter and shortening for a bakery-style texture. However, you can use all butter, or all shortening, if desired.
- Making sure your milk is the right temperature is key to getting the yeast to activate. If it's too hot it will kill the yeast. Too cold and the yeast won't activate. The milk should be between 105°F to 110°F.
- After all the ingredients are added you can test to see if the dough had enough elasticity by pushing on it. If it stays pushed in, you need to knead it longer. If the dough springs back, it is ready.
- After slicing the buns, brush the inside of both slices with butter and broil in the oven for 1 minute to get a toasty finish.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
- Easy Homemade Bread
- Buttery Beer Bread
- Jalapeño Cheddar Bread
- 7-Up Biscuits
- Mexican Bolillos
- Irish Soda Bread
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