Posted on 36 Comments

Brioche Burger Buns with Sourdough Starter

For some reason, simple at first look brioche burger buns appeared so hard for me to master. I made more than a dozen attempts adjusting and perfecting the recipe. The buns were coming out either too hard, or too stiff, sometimes way too crunchy on the outside. And I was looking for a perfect result with soft texture and incredible taste, that would stay fresh for at least 2-3 days.

Finally I feel confident sharing my discovery with you.

The amount of butter in the dough is about 25%. That means – the fermentation process will take a VERY long time. For this reason I added 0.33% of instant dry yeast to speed up the process, and eliminate the extra sourness.

You might ask, why not pick one and either go with sourdough or instant yeast.

The answer is simple: the combination of both ingredients helps to achieve an almost perfect result. Starter extends the product shelf life (in 3 days you should still have soft buns), yeast will speed up the fermentation and will get rid of sour taste.

Here are the details.

Ingredients

Sweet Stiff Sourdough Starter 

  • 8 g sourdough starter
  • 25 g water
  • 50 g bread flour
  • 5g sugar

Yudane 

Dough

  • 250 g bread flour (83%)
  • 125 g milk (42%)
  • 60 g sweet stiff starter (20%)
  • 1 g dry instant yeast (0.33%)
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 large egg
  • 50 g sugar (16.6%)
  • 75 g soft butter (25%)
  • 6 g salt (2%)

Directions 

Day 1

Starter

  • 10 pm dissolve sugar in the water, add starter and whisk together, add flour, mix well, form a ball, place in jar, cover let sit at room temp 74-78F until it increases in volume in 2 or more times.
  • Stiff sweet starter will help us to lower the acidity of final product (learn how to make sourdough starter from scratch here).

Day 2

Yudane method

Yudane is a paste of flour, cooked in water that is used to improve the bread texture, making it soft and fluffy. For tangzhong the flour is cooked at 65°C in water which causes its starch to gelatinize. For yudane the flour is mixed with almost equal weight of boiling water poured over it.

  • 7 am  mix flour and hot boiling water, until all flour hydrated.
  • Let it rest and cool down .

Dough 

  • 8 am in a bowl of stand mixer add milk, yudane mixture, sweet stiff starter, yeast, an egg, egg yolks, sugar, yudane to the flour and let autolyse for 1 hour.
  • During the autolyse period the flour becomes fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
  • 9 am mix dough on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 minutes, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Add salt mix for a couple more minutes. The dough should form a ball.
  • Add soft butter, increase the speed of mixer, mix for 10-20 more minutes until the dough is well incorporated and comes up together but still will stick to the bottom of the bowl. You will be able to perform windowpane test.
  • Cover and let it proof for 3-4 hours at 76-80F/ 24-28C.
  • During that time perform 2 stretches and folds.
  • The dough should become slightly puffy.
  • 1 pm transfer the dough to the fridge for cold fermentation till next morning.

Day 3

  • 8 am Remove the dough from the fridge.
  • Divide equal pieces (about 70 g each)
  • Pinch all edges to the bottom of a roll, try to round it tightly.
  • Transfer the shaped rolls on to a baking tray, lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. I was afraid the buns would spread a lot during baking, so I’ve created DIY foil shape holders (you can use silicone burger bread form). It will help to hold the shape better.
  • Cover the rolls and let them proof for 3-4 hours 70-74F /20-23C, or until they double in volume. Egg wash the buns with mixture of an egg and 2 tbs of water.
  • Bake at 375F for about 20-25 min until golden light brown.

Note: don’t let the buns get too dark, that’s an indicator of the dry crumb. The goal for them is to stay soft for a long time🙏

Enjoy your brioche burger buns!

36 thoughts on “Brioche Burger Buns with Sourdough Starter

  1. Bom dia querida,
    Mais uma vez obrigado pela sua dedicação, você é muito especial querida.
    Que Deus te abençoe ricamente 🙏🙏😘❤️

    1. Thank you kindly 😊

  2. Hi Natasha. What’s the main difference you noticed using the Tangzhong and Yudane methods? Thank you.

    1. Honestly, I didn’t notice much difference. Yudane might be a bit faster.

  3. Do you think I can use a hamburger roll pan (got it from King Arthur’s)?
    Thx!

    1. Honestly, I’ve never seen how roll pan looks like 😊

    2. I use those pans all of the time for other sourdough buns I make.

  4. Hi, i love your site, and these buns look amazing! I can’t wait to try them, but i have 1 question on the timing. Your instructions say to put the dough in the fridge at 1pm on day 2 and refrigerate 6-9 hours. But then it says to take them out of the fridge at 8am the next day, which is 19 hours later. Am i missing something? Somehow I’m not understanding the timing. Any tips? Thanks!

    1. Good question. I wonder if it should have read 16 to 19 hours.

    2. Thank you for your comment.
      It should be refrigerated for at least 6-9 hours. Overnight is more convenient, so you can bake next morning 😊

      1. Thanks for your reply! Sorry to keep bothering you, but I’m still struggling. I mixed up the dough, and it was very very wet. Way too wet to hold a shape. I added an extra 100g of flour, and it is now a very sticky dough but can at least hold a shape and windowpane. Perhaps i measured something incorrectly, but before i try again i just wanted to check if the measurements are correct on here. I didn’t weigh my eggs, but between those and the milk and the water and the butter, it seems like we’re looking at about a 100% hydration dough. Is that correct? Trying to figure out what i did wrong. Thanks!

      2. Laura, hi!
        Sorry to hear you had to struggle with this recipe. Hydration of the main dough is only 50%, water for yudane method doesn’t count , it turns into starch, eggs and butter are fats , they don’t count as a water too.
        As I mentioned in descriptions, the dough required longer mixing, for up to 20 min, because of the amount of eggs and butter, same technique as a brioche making.
        And it still should be little sticky after mixing is done, but with proofing and folding during that time, it has to come up together.
        Plus after refrigeration, it so much easier to shape chilled dough.
        Hope it will help 🙏

  5. Everything i tried from this site is sooo goood. Now these buns are going to the oven cant wait to try them. I will put beefsteakes in them and try beefsteak burgers for the first time. Wish me luck!🤣
    Thank you.

    1. Katarina! Thank you so much for your feedback. Beefsteaks sounds so delicious.
      I’m sure you’ll love it 🙏

  6. Hi! I tried your recipe, it was delicious. Everybody liked it, thanks.
    I was not sure about the timing for the recipe because I usually make my levain in the morning with the feeding and wasn’t sure if it was fine to do it at night (I haven’t done this too long and there are still things I don’t understand). So I did one in the morning and one in the night, put the one in the morning on the fridge for some time for it to be ready next day as opposed to the night or something), and then the next day both seemed fine, (but one was sweeter) so I used half and half (couldn’t choose). Any way, they made excellent ham&egg sandwich buns. I’m not sure if the stand the weight of the burger though. Maybe I overproofed them.

    1. Awesome, thank you so much for sharing your experience 🙏

  7. I got as far as making Step 1, the Sweet Stiff Sourdough Starter, but I don’t think it tried to rise at all. So I discarded it rather than spend time and ingredients on a failure. Question: Should the 8 grams of sourdough starter be “just fed” and doubled or tripled (mine Is very strong and triples in 2 hours), or waiting to be fed, or somewhere in between? Thank you.

  8. Hi!
    Usually I refresh starter on it’s peak

    1. Thank you. Not to belabor this, I noticed the Sweet Stiff Sourdough Starter for the pretzels has a different proportion of ingredients. I thought I’d try a starter made with 14 g Sourdough Starter, 25g Water, 50 g Bread Flour, and 7g Sugar. That keeps the same flour and water but more starter and sugar and matches the pretzel proportions.

  9. Sure! Go ahead with proportions your starter used too. As long as it will make it peak 🙏

  10. I made the buns with great success. My husband says they are much better than any we buy (and he didn’t like several attempts I’ve made using other sites). I used the proportions from the pretzel recipe for the Sweet Stiff Sourdough Starter (14g Starter at its peak, 25g water, 50g bread flour, 7g sugar) and followed the rest of the recipe exactly. Thank you so much. PS My scale measures in grams, but doesn’t register anything under 3g. So I had to do some work to find that 1/4 t dry instant yeast was .9 grams and go from there.

  11. Mickey, thank you so much for your feedback!
    Really appreciate it 🙏

  12. I’ve made this recipe twice already and it’s amazing! I’ve made it as a loaf only and it worked wonderful! Great comments from my family. Thank you Natasha!

    1. Thank you so much fir your kind feedback 💖

  13. Can we make it without eggs?

    1. No, I think only eggs make them rise up 🙏

  14. I tried the recipe, but used regular levain instead and vegan milk and margarine. Bulk fermentation was only for 4h at room temperature (23C) and second fermentation for 2h. The best brioche bun I ever made. The dough was fantastic, easy to work. The result was a very soft and elastic bun. Thanks for sharing the recipe!😍

    1. I’m so happy you liked it!
      Thank you 🙏

  15. Hi Natasha! Again and again I use your recipe for the most delicious burgers, thank you!
    Just a small comment, every time I use it I can see that you missed yudane in the dough recipe. Probably you haven’t seen that and can correct it.
    Cheers!

    1. Yulia, thank you so much!
      I definitely missed it.
      Will fix it right now 🙏

  16. Thank you Natalya these turned out perfectly! Have you tried them without the rings?

    1. Hi, Sofie!
      Thank you for your feedback.
      Yes, without the rings, they will be good too.

  17. “8 am in a bowl of stand mixer add milk, yudane mixture, sweet stiff starter, yeast, an egg, egg yolks, sugar, yudane to the flour and let autolyse for 1 hour.”

    Don’t you have to mix it before you can let it autolyse?

    1. If you will mix flour with all liquids, and let it rest for 30 min to 1 hour, it will help to hydrate the flour and will help to start gluten development. Then mixing will become much easier and faster.

  18. One more question, why not use all of the sweet starter?

    1. Barbara, you can 30% of starter in the dough, then fermentation will go faster.

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