Making a tavern-style hearty burger at home has always been one of my favorite quick dinners, and there was a time when the only buns that could stand up to a juicy 8-ounce patty were the brioche buns that Whole Foods now sells for $1.50 apiece.
But then, New York Times Cooking site came to the rescue. So now, in keeping with my months-long commitment to home-baked breads, I can reproduce six of those hearty buns – with sesame seeds for added interest – for about the store-bought price of just one.
This recipe is adapted from the one on the NYT site. My modifications are to make just 6 instead of the recommended 8, to add the sesame seeds, and to increase the baking time a couple of minutes because of the larger size.
Some of my friends are already baking these also, and have sworn off the store-bought bun forever, so why not try this……..
Hearty Sesame Brioche Buns
(adapted from NYT Cooking)
3 cups Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup warm water
3 tbsp warm milk
2-1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp SAF instant yeast, or other active dry yeast
2 large eggs
In a glass measuring cup, combine the water, milk, sugar and yeast and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat one of the eggs.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours and salt, and add butter by rubbing in with your fingers until crumbly. Use the flat blade of your mixer to stir until a soft dough forms, then switch to dough hook and run mixer for 8 minutes on medium low to knead the dough. Shape dough into a ball and cover with plastic, let rise until doubled 1-2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide dough into 6 pieces. A kitchen scale comes in handy here, as you’ll have 30 ounces of dough and each bun should be 5 ounces. Roll each piece into a ball and place with ample separation on your parchment-lined baking sheet. cover with a cotton towel or napkin and let rise again 1–2 hours.
Set a large shallow pan on bottom rack of oven and fill halfway with water. Preheat oven to 400. Beat remaining egg with 1 tbsp water.
Brush the risen buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds to taste. Place rack in center of oven and bake for 17 minutes. Enjoy the luscious aroma of baking bread in your oven, then remove and cool on a rack for about an hour.
This may sound like a lot of steps, but trust me – it’s very little hands-on time, and so much worth the effort.