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Brioche Burger Buns
|3||tbls||Whole Milk (110º)|
|1||pk||Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast|
|2½||tbls||Unsalted Butter (cold)|
Beat each egg separately and set aside . . . adding a tbls of water and a pinch of salt to one for the egg wash at the end.
In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk the two flours with the salt. Add the cold, softened*, butter to the flour and rub into between your fingers to incorporate, making crumbs. Using a dough whisk, stir in yeast/water/milk mixture and the beaten egg until dough forms. Scrape dough onto floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic**, 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but keep in mind that the more flour you knead in, the tougher the buns will be. Try to leave it tackier than you would with other bread.
Shape dough into a ball and return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each one into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on a baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated with nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place, again, for one to two hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the center. Set a large shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven***. Brush the top of the buns with egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish.
Bake, turning sheet halfway through, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
* Clubbing the butter with a rolling pin (hopefully, not a ball bearing one), wooden spoon, skillet or hammer . . . renders the butter soft, yet still cold.
** Google "Slap & Fold technique".
*** Unless you can accommodate a 4½ cf, 36" wide, 90,000 btu steam injection oven with a 3,000 cfm exhaust hood for $3500, just use a large (as large as the oven as possible), aluminum or cast iron (better) pan that you can sacrifice to the bread gods, by pouring one cup of water into the hot pan / hot oven just after loading the bread. And if that sounds too risky to you, just put a pan of water, about 4 cups worth, in the bottom of your oven, just before, loading the bread.
P.S. You can make hot dog buns too! Just roll the dough into about the size and shape of a hot dog (not bun) and voilą, like magic, hot dog buns! (see also: Perfect Hamburgers)
P.S.S. Some other good choices for hamburger buns are Onion Buns, Sesame Kaiser Rolls and for smaller burgers (sliders) use Rosemary dinner rolls.