If you are a fan of soft, fluffy, airy, subtle buttery, and only slightly sweet brioche burger buns, you can stop your search right here. I came up with the recipe for these super-briochy slider buns after exhaustive testing.
Usually, when making burgers with beef patties, I use a different kind of bun, which tastes more baguette-like and less briochy. But these brioche buns go so well with pulled pork (recipe here) or a grilled portobello cap burger, that it is almost unbelievable. Toast them before assembling and you will notice that the taste and structure of the buns will improve further.
Also, do not half the amount of ingredients. I know, 24 sliders sounds a lot but considering their size it’s really not that bad. These brioche buns not only make great burger buns but are also one of the most delicious treats I’ve ever had for breakfast. In my opinion, they taste best when lightly toasted. If they are too thick to fit into your toaster, just cut them twice or use the oven broiler. Spread with unsalted butter and orange marmalade or apricot jam. By the way: They also freeze well.
If you are looking for a recipe that makes regular sized burger buns, you can either use the one below and make 12 instead of the suggested 24 buns. Or you can hop over to a recipe for brioche burger buns that I’ve posted a while ago. The difference in short: It has almost the same ingredients but adds tangzhong, a type of roux where a small part of the flour and the milk are heated together (for more infos see note in the recipe part). Also, the method differs slightly.
Step-by-step recipe for brioche burger/slilder buns
Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set it aside for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate and dissolve. Meanwhile, cream softened butter (not melted) and sugar together with a mixer in a separate big bowl, until light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then, add the yeast-milk, salt and about half of the flour. Mix with your mixer on low speed for 1 minute until well combined (see pic above).
Add the rest of the flour and stir with a cooking spoon until the ingredients come together. Knead the dough with your hands either directly in the mixing bowl (less messy) or on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth. Put the dough in a big clean and oiled bowl, and let it rise covered with a lid or cling wrap at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours, depending on the room temperature.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 24 equal pieces (a scale helps a lot). Shape each piece of dough into a smooth, tight round ball and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 3 inch apart. They will puff up noticeably.
Let the buns rise coverd with a tea towel until puffy, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Instead of covering the balls with a tea towel, you can spray them with a spray bottle filled with water (or brush them with water) to prevent them from drying out. If necessary, repeat the spraying. When puffy, brush the buns in batches of 3 at a time with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The sesame sticks better on recently brushed (= wetter) buns.
Put them in the center rack of the preheated oven (I use rack 2 from 4 from top) and bake them for about 20 minutes at 375°F (200°C) or until golden brown. I always bake one sheet at a time when using an oven with a top/bottom heating element and 2 sheets at once in fan-ovens. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack.
When cooled completely, slice the buns in half horizontally and toast before filling them. For big batches, I use the oven broiler.
They are great for pulled pork sandwiches. The buns are also genius as breakfast rolls and freeze well, so better do not half the recipe ;-)
Soft, fluffy, subtle buttery, and only slightly sweet brioche slider buns. The recipe makes either 24 slider buns or 12 burger buns. They are the perfect buns for pulled pork sliders. They freeze well and make perfect breakfast rolls (even better when toasted).
- 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup (200 ml/ 6.76 fl oz) warm milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast or instant yeast (7 g)
- 11 tablespoons (160 g or 1 stick+3 Tbsp) unsalted butter in pieces, softened
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (6 g) fine salt
- 600 g/21 oz (about 4 1/2 cups) white bread flour (all-purose flour works too)
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 2 teaspoons milk for egg wash
- 2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
>> All ingredients at room temperature. For the dough, I recommend measuring the flour by weight in grams/oz since it is more accurate than measuring by volume.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the milk (all of it, 200 ml) and set it aside for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate and dissolve.
- Meanwhile, cream softened butter (not melted) and sugar together with a mixer in a separate big bowl, until light in color, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. If the eggs are not at room temperature, they might separate from the butter - but don't worry, as soon as the flour goes in, everything will come together again.
- Add the yeast-milk, salt and about half of the flour. Mix with your mixer on low speed for 1 minute until well combined.
- Add the rest of the flour and stir with a cooking spoon until the ingredients come together. Knead the dough with your hands either directly in the mixing bowl (less messy) or on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth. For the first minutes, the dough will be very sticky, but it gets better after a while. Please don't add any additional flour as the buns will get tougher. After the first rise, the dough is a lot easier to handle.
- Put the dough in a big clean and oiled bowl, and let it rise covered with a lid or cling wrap at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1-2 hours, depending on the room temperature.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 24 equal pieces (a scale helps a lot).
- Shape each piece of dough into a smooth, tight round ball and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 3 inch apart. Let the buns rise coverd with a tea towel until puffy, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Instead of covering the balls with a tea towel, you can spray them with a spray bottle filled with water (or brush them with water) to prevent them from drying out.
- When puffy, brush the buns in batches of 3 at a time with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The sesame sticks better on recently brushed (= wetter) buns.
- Put them in the center rack of the preheated oven (I use rack 2 from 4 from top) and bake them for about 20 minutes at 375 F (200 C) or until golden brown. I always bake one sheet at a time when using an oven with a top/bottom heating element and 2 sheets at once in fan-ovens. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack. Update 09/09/2018: In my new fan-oven, it took only 10 minutes at 355 F (180 C) until they were golden-brown. Transfer the buns immediately to a cooling rack.
- When cooled completely, slice the buns in half horizontally and toast before assembling. For big batches, I use the oven broiler.
Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to [email protected] Carole: This recipe was FANtastic! Excellent directions and followed to a tee with beautiful results. Thank you so much for this recipe! 😍 Carole
I love Brioche! I am 51 and by myself, on my farm. I am a chef and have so many cookbooks and recipes. I googled Brioche Sliders,I didn’t feel like looking through my books. A recipe popped up for Light-Brioche Sliders. Lol,what a joke! That’s not Brioche! So,I am trying your recipe and already know, how delicious they’ll be. Fantastic job!
Thanks for your comment Marla! Haha ;-) Yes, please try them. I’m sure you will like them. I always freeze the leftover buns and eat them toasted for breakfast.
Marla, I have actually made those [not Little Vienna ;-)] buns and they are horrid! Definitely NOT Brioche. I will make these buns tomorrow and I hope they work out. I’m really tired of looking for a decent brioche bun recipe.
How many days do you think these will last? I am prepping for a huge party, and I will be making over 300 sliders. I would like to make these ahead of time, but don’t know how far ahead I should do.
Hi Chris, Wow 300 sliders is quite a lot. I would say, 2 days stored at cool room temperature is not a problem if they are wrapped tightly. If you have some space in your freezer, they also freeze well. I’d suggest, you coud make a trial batch and store them at different places to figure out the best way. Unless, you don’t have any time left…. Hope this helps.
How did you end up doing? I’m not making quite as many (only 50-70) but since there are so many other things to prep I’d love to know if I can make them well in advance.
I don’t understand the milk! Is it 1/3 to 1/2 cup or is it 1/2 plus 1/3 cup or is it either 1/2 or 1/3 cup? Very confusing! My guess would be that it 1/2 plus 1/3 but I don’t see in the instructions where you would add the 1/3! Please help I want to make these for sliders for dinner tonight!
Sorry that this confusing. It is 1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup that are used at the same time. That’s why I added the milliliters as well (200 ml) which is the same amount as 7 oz or 6.76 fluid oz. I’ll change the instructions so that it will be easier to understand. Thanks for your feedback. I hope you will try the sliders. Ursula
This recipe did not make brioche buns at all and I followed the recipe exactly.
I’m so sorry to hear that. This is my go-to recipe and I make it at least a few times a years, so I really don’t know what could have gone wrong. I know from my own experience that it is really frustrating, when a recipe doesn’t turn out the way it’s supposed to be. Let me know if you are willing to try it again. I’m happy to help in any way.
Hi, I tried this recipe and the buns came out okay for a first attempt but would’ve liked if they were more fluffy and rose more… maybe I need to leave them to rise a little longer before putting in the oven? Also, I like brioche buns that are more sweet, how much more sugar do you reckon I could add to this? Overall good recipe and will definitely use it again.
Yes, usually when they are not light enough, it’s due to to a too short second rise. I would let them rise – when shaped – until puffy and well risen. Sometimes it takes longer in a cooler kitchen, especially with this dough. If you put a tea towel on top during they are rising, sprinkle them with a little bit of flour (with your hands or a sieve) to make sure it doesn’t stick to the buns. Or spray/brush them with water in case you don’t cover them.
@sugar: If you like them sweeter, use 2 or 3 Tablespoons sugar. Hope this helps! Ursula
I made these and sprinkled half with black sesame for beef sliders and the rest with pearl sugar for breakfast… it was amazing! It was easy to work with and less messy than adding in the butter to the dough and kneading it in.
4 years old boy (super picky eater) was so impressed with how soft it was and had 2! It’s a keeper, thanks for sharing.
Wow, you made my day! Love that the 4-year-old liked them – this really means something :-))) It’s a great idea to sprinkle half of them with sesame seeds and half with pearl sugar.
I’m all about fuss-free recipes, so I try to leave out every step that’s not absolutely essential, as for instance kneading in the butter. After all, life is complicated enough ;-) Hope you have a great day!
Hi Ursula! It’s me again! So if I make these ahead of time and freeze them, what’s the best way to bring them back to life? Thanks for all of your help!
If you make them more than 2 days ahead of time, I’d freeze them. So usually what I do is to put them out of the freezer overnight and let them sit on the counter at room temp – I guess you’ll freeze them in a ziplock bag. Leave them in the bag while defrosting. The next day you can cut them in half and toast them on the grill or under the broiler briefly. If you make them one day or even two days ahead, simply store them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. If you toast them before using, you won’t hardly notice any differce compared to freshly baked ones. I usually make them the day before so I don’t have to freeze them ;-)
Yeah, no, these didn’t work. And I’m an experienced cook and followed the directions precisely. I let the yeast activate, let the dough rise for 2 yrs–it rose nicely. Made the bun forms, and let them rise, which they did. I did the egg wash too. What I got were 24 biscuits. Very delicious biscuits, but not brioche by a long shot. I just went out now to the grocery store and got a pack for $2.99. Six hours of my life I’ll never have back.
Hm, that’s strange, given that the dough did rise well. Every time I make them, they are crispy on the outside but soft and briochy inside. Honestly, no clue why… because even made in an convection oven they usually turn out nice. Sorry that they weren’t suitable as burger buns. Strawberry shortcakes maybe ;-) (sorry, not funny. I know how annoying it is when a recipe doesn’t turn out as planned!) Thanks anyways for trying the recipe. It kind of hurts me though since these are my favorite brioche buns.
Made these today and they came out looking beautiful! Unfortunately mine where a bit dense and not light and fluffy. Where do you think i went wrong? Perhaps too much flour and underkneading? Keen to try again and getthese right!
So great that you tried the recipe! Did you weigh the flour or measure it out in a measuring cup? I would really recommend baking these by weight since the amount of flour used when measuring it with cups varys greatly in quantity, depending on the person. If you have weighed the flour, then it may be the kind of flour. If you used bread flour, try all-purpose the next time. I’ve made them with both, with bread flour and AP-flour and it worked with both kinds, but sometimes it depends on the brand. Also, the dough should be pretty sticky, which makes light buns. If your dough wasn’t sticky, either use a little less flour or add 1 or 2 Tbsps more milk or water. Another thing I can think of is to really let them rise until nice and puffy once they are shaped and before they go into the oven. I hope you’ll make them again :-) Ursula
This is an heirloom recipe. Thank you so much for doing the groundwork and sharing your recipe.
Thank you so much, Carole. These are my go-to brioche sliders ;-) So happy to hear that you like them as well and thanks for sending me a picture with the buns – they turned out perfect!!! Ursula
Can you please clarify the following: Put them in the center rack of the preheated oven (I use rack 2 from 4 from top)
Are you cooking one batch of 12 on a sheet pan or are you doing two batches on different racks? Thanks
When baking them in an oven with heating elements at the bottom/top, I only bake 1 sheet at the time, 12 small buns each, in the center rack (in my case the second rack from top). But when baking them in a fan-oven, the heat is distributed much better and you can bake both sheets at once. Hope this helps. I’ll also change the instructions so that this is clear, thanks so much for pointing it out.
The only ingredient I needed was yeast and I forgot to get it at the store. Is it possible to use baking powder as a substitute for yeast? Thank you!
So sorry for my late reply. I was on vacation…. Even though I realize that my answer will come way too late for you to bake the buns, maybe the info helps for the next time you are planning on baking the buns. In this case, you can’t substitute baking powder for the yeast. For these brioche buns, yeast is one of the key ingredients to make the texture that you’ll love. I guess with baking powder, they could turn out quite dense.
Made a batch today and it turned out great! I did 12 buns for pulled pork – the only other change was that we also excluded the sesame seeds. Great tip on the 200ml warm milk, and the dough was more lose than I would expect they turned out fabulous fluffy buttery and shiny. I’ll make these again.
Happy to hear that! If you want to top them with sesame seeds or not is totally up to you. I sometimes make them without, like you did. Yes, the dough is pretty tacky but that what makes them light in the end :) I always tell people, the more you curse while kneading the dough, the better the result haha. – Ursula
this recipe is divine. Worked well for me😊
I used poppy seeds one half of them and white sesame on the other half.
I wouldn’t call them small sliders tho. My dough came to enough to make 24x 49g dough portions which end up too big for my liking, about 8cm diameters each(after cooked).
When I make this recipe again I will probably divide them into smaller dough portions before forming the buns to rise.
Nevertheless, they taste amazing and have a beautiful thin crust! Just what u would expect from a brioche burger or slider.
I would reccomend!
So happy that you like them! Of course you can make any size that you prefer :) I like them the way they are but I can see what you mean. Thanks so much for your comment, I really appreciate it. Ursula
I’m wanting to make these for next Sunday however as I’m doing a lockdown birthday afternoon tea kind of thing, could I make them Friday evening and then leave them overnight and cook them Saturday morning? Or would it just be best to cook on The day I make and just freeze.
You could do a cold first rise. So after you have made the dough, leave it out on the counter, covered, for about 20 minutes or until risen a bit. Then put the dough in the fridge and leave it there overnight. Saturday morning, depending on how much the dough has risen, let the dough get to room temperature (1/2 hour) or let it rise until doubled in size if it didn’t rise quite enough in the fridge. Then roll into buns, let them rise again and bake. I almost never do the second rise with the already shaped buns overnight since they easily overproof. Also, the are kind of difficult to cover…. Hope all works out fine, Ursula
I tried your recipe tonight (a test run as it’s my daughters birthday next weekend and I plan to make some sliders). Overall the buns were really good but they didn’t rise as much. I did however use skimmed milk and 50% strong white flour, 30% wholewheat strong flour and 20% plain flour. Do you think this could have impacted the rise? Would letting them rise longer work? And would you expect them to rise as much as they would before they are in the oven?
Sorry about all the questions, I might try another test run even though they still tasted good, were crisp-ish outside, soft inside and imho are still acceptable to serve 😁
I’ve tried them with all-purpose flour and bread flour (strong flour) and both flours worked out great. I wouldn’t use wholewheat flour though. Usually this requires some adjusting of the liquids since whole wheat flour usually needs more liquid. So I’d stick to the strong white flour.
I have never tried the recipe with skim milk – whole milk and 2% worked fine. So I don’t think it makes a difference. If the buns don’t rise well, they’ll not come out fluffy but rather firm. Make sure that the milk is just warm and not hot. 100°F/ 37°C or a just room temperature will work well.
Since the dough contains quite a lot of butter, the rising time might be somehow longer, especially if your kitchen is rather cool. You can put them in the slightly heated oven (110°F/45°C) once they are shaped for the second rise. This will speed things up. Yes, they should definitely look puffy before they go into the oven. I think letting them rise longer would work! After all, they should not be acceptable but really delicious :)))
Best of luch for the next batch, Ursula