Light Brioche Burger Buns || Preparing for Memorial Day

light brioche, baked

A couple of friends of ours take beer drinking very seriously. Never is their freezer not stocked with frosted pint glasses, nor their fridge with craft beers. If you drink beer at their house, they insist it be in a glass, not a bottle, and if they drink beer at your house, you best have chilled glasses on hand. Beer needs to breathe, they insist, and they pour hard, ensuring a nice foam head develops.

They’ve converted us. Pint glasses now dominate our freezer door, and various six-packs, almost an entire level of our refrigerator. One variety in particular, Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA, we can’t seem to live without. It is so good. Seriously, at every first sip, “perfection” is the only thought that comes to mind.

There are a few certainties for the upcoming holiday. We will be drinking Dogfish Head. We will be eating grilled burgers with roasted green peppers on light brioche buns (recipe below). There will be a kale caesar salad, and some sort of bubbling-fruit crumb-topped concoction, a cobbler or crostata or maybe something new.

Final note: With salad season upon us, I’ve compiled all of my favorite dressings and vinaigrettes onto one page.
kale caesar salad with brioche croutons

We’re keeping things simple this Memorial Day: burgers, salad, beer. I love the above-pictured kale caesar, but a Greek salad or a simple romaine salad with blue cheese dressing would accompany the burgers just as well.

And while I’d love to try out something new for dessert, I might just have to turn to some old favorites. Memorial Day has to be celebrated with pie or crisp or cobbler, right?

peach-blueberry cobblernectarine-blackberry crostatas

A few months ago, a NYTimes recipe that has been circulating the blogosphere for some time now usurped my favorite burger bun recipe. Try it! You’re burgers will never taste so good.

light brioche buns, baked

light brioche, unbaked

light brioche, baked

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Light Brioche Burger Buns

Source: The New York Times

Yield: 8 to 10 buns

Before reading this article, I had tried countless recipes for brioche, none of which produced the texture I had hoped for, all of which made me cringe at every step of the process — the amount of eggs and butter I wasted on unimpressive loaves is sinful. This recipe is it. Search no further. Yum.


  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.


  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. (Note: I think dividing the dough into 10 pieces rather than 8 yields better sized buns — when divided into 8 pieces, the buns are rather large.) Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.

  5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA

Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA


  1. says

    Currently incredibly nostalgic for Memorial Day BBQ’s….siiiigh. These burger buns look delish. Zach and I absolutely LOVE your other burger bun recipe, it pretty much revolutionized burger night. Enjoy your burgers, beer and crumbles!! Will definitely try this bun recipe the next time it’s warm enough to grill (brrr, rainy and chilly here today).

  2. megan says

    I just started following your blog and I love it. But as a fellow craft beer lover I have to tell you that you are missing out on most of the flavor of your craft brews by serving them in a chilled or frosty glass.

    The idea of serving beer in a cold glass is perpetuated by the large beer breweries (Budweiser, Coors, Miller) because the colder the beer is the less you can actually taste it. And who wants to actually taste a Bud Light or a Miller Lite?

    Check out this article:

    • says

      Megan — thanks so much for sharing this article and your tips! I’m going to have to do a side by side taste test. I imagine what you are saying is true — I find that extreme temperatures (too hot especially) mask the flavors of food, so I could see how a too cold glass could mask a beer’s flavor. I’m going to check out this article right now

  3. says

    I hadn’t seen this post yet – too funny that we posted about buns on the same day :) Dogfish Head is a favorite beer brand of mine.

    • says

      Dalton — oh my gosh, I was about to pick up a 6-pack of the Raison D’Etre, and then I thought I better just stick to what I know. I will for sure be trying that one next. Thanks so much for the tip! And the buns are delish. I almost can’t serve burgers now if I don’t have these buns made. And, the recipe makes about 10, so I always have a stash in the freezer. Happy Memorial Day to you!

  4. says

    Yum. Those buns look amazing! I’ll have to try them this Memorial Day weekend and I haven’t tried the IPA, so I guess I’ll just need to check that out as well :)

  5. Trish says

    Your refrigerator sounds like mine! My husband loves artisan beers. They take up a lot of space in our fridge. Is it supposed to be used for anything else? I agree with your menu for Memorial Day. Great burger, beer and a pie or cobbler. Last year it was homemade blueberry fried pies except I baked them. Yum!!! Enjoy your holiday!

  6. says

    Oh my goodness, Ali, you have outdone yourself… brioche buns for burgers are my absolute favorite, and I cannot wait to try your recipe. I’m weak in the knees looking at the pictures… why don’t I have any ground beef right now… so I can make these RIGHT NOW?!

    • says

      Whitney! So nice to hear from you. It has been too long. I am making your German pancakes tomorrow for breakfast. Husband is home for the day — such a treat — and he has yet to try this culinary wonder. Can’t wait!

  7. Trish says

    Hi Alexandra! I couldn’t try your brioche burger buns for Memorial Day because I was on vacation. But I made them today and they are wonderful!! They are so light, tender, moist and delicious. I was a bit nervous because it is so humid here today. But it didn’t affect the buns a bit. And because I haven’t developed the art of kneading, I made most of the recipe in my Kitchen Aid mixer. So easy!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe! I can’t wait to use them for lobster rolls tonight.

    • says

      Trish — so happy to hear this! I use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this recipe, too. I should make a note about that. I think it helps preventing adding too much flour to the dough while kneading, which I think is important for ensuring that light texture. So glad you had success with the recipe!

  8. says

    Just made the buns and they’re great. So pretty. You were right about the size…I made 8 and they are large and in charge. I subbed out the 1/3 cup white flour with whole wheat and turned out great. Also needed a good bit more flour, but it’s kind of humid today… Great recipe!

    • says

      Flynn — I almost always have to add more flour, so it might not even have been the humidity causing you to have to add more. I’ve been meaning to make a note in the recipe. So glad you liked them!

  9. Kathleen says

    I also had to add more flour-they are rising right now so I hope I added enough. I put in a little over 2/3 cup of the bread flour and I kneaded it in my Kitchen Aid because like someone else I’m not a great kneader :). Love your blog it is beautiful! So glad I found you through your pinterest pumpkin bread!

  10. Julia says

    A Question for you:

    I am not an experienced bread baker. My question or actually 2 questions are-

    1. Can I “knead” it in a 7qt. Stand Mixer or will that damage the bread dough?

    2. If the dough is still sticky at the end of 8-10 minutes what should I do? This is why I don’t bake breads as the dough is sticky/tacky at the end. I try adding flour but it seems to make the final product rather heavy. I made the Type 00 pizza dough recipe last week you posted and the dough was horribly sticky- so much so that I couldn’t slide it onto the grill pan. It just stuck horribly and eventually became so mangled I had to toss the whole thing away.


    • says

      Julia, h!

      1. Absolutely. I should make a note in this recipe: kneading in the stand mixer is totally acceptable — I always do with this recipe.

      2. If the dough is still sticky, I would try adding just enough flour to the bowl and to your hands so that you can remove it from the bowl, shape it into a ball, and return it to the bowl. Adding too much flour will make the final product heavy, so go as light as possible.

      And I am SO sorry to hear about the pizza dough :( It definitely is a recipe that takes some getting used to. Were you able to divide the dough into 6 balls, wrap them in plastic and chill them? When did it start getting really tricky? This is actually one dough where you can go a little heavier on the flour because it is such a wet/sticky dough. When I am ready to bake one of the rounds, I always place it on a lightly floured work surface and let it rest for a half hour or so. Then I use floured hands to gently stretch it out. I might have to make another video of the portioning/shaping step.

  11. Julia says


    I just saw your comment, thank you! I’ve tried several of your recipes now and am getting used to hand-kneading and figuring out how to get the dough right. I haven’t retried the pizza dough recipe yet, that will be tomorrow or Saturday. I just started using a fine mesh sifter and adding 2 tbs of flour to it. I gently sift so that by the end of the process, I’ve added no more than 1-1.5 tbs of flour.

    Thanks for all of the responses, they have helped me greatly!

  12. Alex says

    These are amazing! I’ve never had much success with bread making — perhaps because I never really have the time to give it my full attention. Reading the comments encouraged me to use my Magimix to knead the dough (with appropriate attachment, of course)… why have I not done this sooner?! The dough became beautifully soft, smooth and elastic in minutes. And the buns baked up wonderfully — flavourful, rich (but not too rich) and light (!).

    I subbed half the water for milk, as suggested by Robert in the comments, and divided the dough into 8, as you recommended. Both great suggestions. I think baking on a pre-heated sheet or pizza stone is a also must.

    Alex, thank you — you have yet to let me down!

    • says

      So happy to hear this, Alex! Isn’t it a great recipe. I emailed the recipe to my neighbor a few days ago, bumped into her yesterday, and she said she was on her fifth batch — she’s freezing them for some big family event on labor day. Anyway, I love how they taste both light and rich — so often I find brioche disappointing because you use SO many eggs and so much butter and so much milk, and the resulting loaf doesn’t seem to reflect the ingredients. Glad you had success with the Magimix!

  13. Anna says

    This is my new go to buns recipe! I love it. I also tweaked a bit, and then form it into my Pullman pan for sandwich bread. I then make grilled cheese with it, on my Panini press. It’s my latest addiction. Thank You!

  14. autumn says

    I cant wait to try these for dinner tonight , hears tip if your really busy Preheat oven to 220 degrees F turn off the preheated oven and place the bowl with dough inside. Close the door and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 30 to 40 minutes. thought id pass on this great tip these look so good

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