This ultra simple, no knead Brioche Bun recipe yields feather light, fluffy, and buttery rich brioche buns with minimal effort. Make the dough in just 10 minutes. Let it rise to make the buns the same day or make a day in advance for a slow overnight rise in the refrigerator.
Even the most confident home cook can be intimidated by baking. With cooking, you can throw a pinch of this or that in as you like. With baking, the measurements must be precise. But with a few simple ingredients and, ideally, a kitchen scale, I promise that this super simple recipe can make a confident baker out of anyone.
Ingredients You Need to Make this Brioche Bun Recipe
- Flour: All-purpose or bread flour.
- Instant Yeast: Or active dry yeast. See recipe notes.
- Sugar: Regular or super fine white granulated sugar.
- Eggs: One for the recipe and one for an egg wash before baking.
- Butter: If you use unsalted butter, increase salt by ½ teaspoon.
- Kosher Salt
- Milk: Ideally whole milk, but 2% will also work.
A 5-Star Recipe Simplified
I’ve adapted this recipe as a no-knead version of a 5-star rated recipe of light brioche buns by Jane Sigal from the New York Times. As I write this, her recipe has almost 700 5-star ratings and for good reason. The brioche buns taste wonderful. But they also require 8 to 10 minutes of kneading.
My simplified version doesn't require hand kneading or a stand mixer with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Just 10 minutes of putting this dough together the day of or the night before you plan to bake and you’re done. These buns are excellent either way, but if you have time, I recommend making the dough a day ahead for the best texture and flavor.
What makes a brioche different to most breads?
Brioche dough with its eggs, butter, and milk is richer than most bread recipes that can contain just flour, water, yeast and salt (some bread doughs are even salt free). Brioche dough also has a delicate sweetness from sugar that many bread doughs do not.
This recipe is lighter than some brioche bun recipes with just a few tablespoons of butter and milk and one egg in the dough (many recipes call for several), plus another for an egg wash before baking. Though it's a lighter version, you can count on light, fluffy and buttery brioche buns that are perfect for burgers (like my favorite Lamb Burgers) or sandwiches.
Are brioche buns good for burgers?
Brioche buns are the best way to complete a burger because they are light, buttery and don't overpower the flavor of your meat (or veggie) patties. The light texture and handheld style make these a prime choice for summer grilling.
Homemade hamburger buns elevate what would be an average summer barbecue. And the process to make them is so simple! You’ll take just 10 minutes to make the dough, stirring it together. Let the dough rise the same day or refrigerate overnight then separate it into 8 buns. (You can also shape the dough balls into brioche rolls / dinner rolls, brioche hot dog buns, brioche cinnamon rolls or make them smaller for slider buns - adjusting baking time accordingly.) Let them rise until they get fluffy and light, brush with the egg wash, and bake.
And they're not just great for burgers, use them for:
- Cold Sandwiches (Shrimp Salad, Egg Salad, or Crab Salad would all be excellent!)
- Hot, Pressed Sandwiches / Paninis
- Bread Pudding
- Breakfast Strata
- Thinly sliced and baked until crisp for sweet or savory crostini
- Cubed and baked until crisp for croutons
You'll also know exactly what’s in your brioche buns. Some packaged buns have a long list of mystery ingredients that are nice to avoid.
And speaking of ingredients, while I do recommend instant yeast, I have included directions for using active dry yeast in case that’s what you have on hand. If you use active dry yeast, it's a good idea to dissolve it in the warm water with a pinch of sugar for 'proof' that the yeast is still active. (You'll know it is if it dissolves and starts to bubble after a few minutes.) See recipe notes for specific instructions.
You can store brioche buns in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. They also freeze beautifully. Let them cool completely before transferring to the freezer in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw in the bag at room temperature. And if you like your buns toasted, cut them in half and place them cut side down on the grill for a minute or two.
How to Make Brioche Buns
Step 1: Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and yeast).
Step 2: Heat butter and milk just until melted; set aside.
Step 3: Whisk together egg and warm water. Whisk in milk and butter mixture.
Step 4: Pour warm water mixture into dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until fully combined. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. (Or cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.)
Step 5: Turn risen dough out onto lightly floured work surface. With floured hands gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a loose rectangle. Cut dough into 8 equal pieces with a dough scraper. Shape each piece into a ball by first tucking edges under then pinching them together and gently rolling with your palm on a floured work surface. Place 2-3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place 1 to 2 hours until puffy and light to the touch. (Refrigerated dough will take longer to rise.)
Step 6: Brush risen buns with egg wash and bake in a 400˚F oven for 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking time. Transfer buns to a wire rack to cool.
Brioche Bun Recipe
- 3 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour 453g, or bread flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast see recipe note #1
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter see recipe note #2
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 large eggs divided (one for egg wash before baking)
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, heat butter and milk until butter has just melted. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together warm water and one egg. Whisk in warm milk and butter mixture until combined. Pour over flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until no dry flour remains and you have a shaggy, sticky dough. Tightly cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 2 to 4 hours until dough is bubbly and has doubled in size. Or tightly cover and chill for 12 to 24 hours to rise slowly in the refrigerator (My preferred way, for the best flavor and texture).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and with lightly floured hands, first gather dough into a ball, then gently pat into a rectangle. With a dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal pieces (use a kitchen scale for perfectly even buns). Shape each piece into a ball by first tucking edges under then pinching together to seal. Place pinched edge side down on work surface and gently roll with your palm to form a ball. Place 2 to 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until buns are puffy and light to the touch, about 1 hour or up to 2 hours if dough is straight from the refrigerator.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Whisk together remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush over buns with a pastry brush. Bake 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown, rotating sheet halfway through baking time. Transfer buns to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, increase the amount to 2 teaspoons. In step 3 of the recipe, whisk a teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy. Whisk in egg and slightly cooled butter and milk mixture. Add this yeast mixture to dry ingredients and proceed with recipe.
- If using unsalted butter, increase kosher salt to 2 teaspoons.
- If your room temperature isn't warm enough for the dough to rise, use this tip from Cooks Illustrated magazine to create a proofing oven: place the dough in the covered bowl on the middle shelf of your oven and a loaf or cake pan filled with 3 cups of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door and you've created a great atmosphere for the dough to rise.
- To freeze unused buns, allow them to cool completely and transfer to a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw in the bag at room temperature. Use within 2 months.