I think if you are a parent you will find yourself at some point say something that your young child will think is the funniest thing and from that time forward it becomes an in joke.
Several years ago we were having a family game afternoon, I think it was Monopoly, and I was ready to make a big move. I meant to say “I’m bringing out the big guns!” Instead I said “I’m bringing out the big buns!” Oh boy. The kids just lost it laughing.
This past weekend I managed to do it for real with brioche. I was going for small but ended up with the opposite. I was planning on making cheeseburgers so I wanted to make the buns. I found a brioche recipe by Paul Hollywood. Most of the recipes follow pretty much the same ingredient list. I chose to follow his because he used weights for the ingredients. This is a two day affair.
In a large mixer bowl add 500g of bread flour, 7g of salt, 50g of sugar, and 10g of yeast. Keep the yeast separate from the salt until you start mixing.
Add 5 medium eggs and 140ml of whole milk that has been warmed. You don’t want the milk to be hot, just warm to the touch.
With a dough hook blend all the ingredients together. Once the ingredients are combined increase the speed of the mixer to medium and “knead” for 6-8 minutes. The dough will become shiny and elastic.
Add 250g of softened butter.
Mix until the butter is completely incorporated. You will need to scrap the sides of the bowl a few times to make sure all the butter is mixed in. This will create a very soft pliable dough.
Place the dough into a plastic container with a lid. Put it into the fridge overnight. You want at least 7 hours to chill. The next day flour a counter well and tip out the stiffened dough onto the countertop.
Punch the dough down to remove the air. I followed the recipe and divided the dough into 9 equal pieces. Paul Hollywood’s recipe called for baking this in a round tin with nine balls proofing together. I wanted separate buns so I got out a cookie sheet. Roll out each piece into smooth balls.
Evenly space out the balls. Spray cling film with oil and cover the dough. Proof the dough for 2-3 hours. They will be about double the size. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
Bake until the brioche is golden brown and cooked through. You will need to check with a skewer to make sure the brioche is done. It takes about 20-30 minutes.
It was at this point I realised I probably should have made 18 balls of dough. Here were the big buns. Keep in mind I only had a pound of ground beef which means quarter pounders with buns that could take a lot more. Harkens back to the “Where’s the Beef” adverts.
You want an even crumb that is soft and bounces back when pressed with your finger. If it stays indented it wasn’t baked completely.
I made up our gourmet burgers and kept it simple with a side of chips. This bread isn’t difficult to make and the flavour is really good. If you can find the time I highly recommend giving this a go.