The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Please help me improve this recipe

mochaccino's picture

Please help me improve this recipe

For a long time the following recipe was my absolute favorite sandwich bread. Light and fluffy, with a flavor basic enough to be versatile, but still noticeably rich and buttery. Either my tastebuds have become more sensitive, or I've been exposed to a lot of higher quality bread recently, because I suddenly can not stand the flat bitter taste that comes from the short rise and large amount of yeast in this recipe. I've been spoiled by long rise baguettes, but I want a richer softer bread on my roster. What, if anything, can I do to improve it?
(Copied from Smitten kitchen)

Light Brioche Burger Buns
Adapted from Comme Ça restaurant in Los Angeles, via the New York Times

Go! Make these! What are you waiting for?

Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns

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
Sesame seeds (optional)

1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one 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, well-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 get. Try to leave them tackier than you would a round loaf.

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, one to two hours. (In my freaky, warm apartment this only took an hour.)

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. (Again, this only took one hour in my apartment and I suspect, you’ll also only need an hour for a second rise.)

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

flournwater's picture

Reduce the yeast by half.

mochaccino's picture

I'm gonna try cutting the amount of yeast in half and increasing the total time for all rises to about 5 1/2 hours. I'm sure the texture will be identical and the bitterness will be gone, but I hope the flavor improvement is good enough to make these worthwhile.

clazar123's picture

Make a preferment:

Use 1 cup water,1 cup bread flour (deduct both from the recipe),1/4 tsp active dry yeast (I prefer instant) and mix together. Put it in a big enough container to allow for some rise. Mix these three items up the night before and let set on the counter overnight.

The next day, add the ingredients left in the recipe. For the yeast just add the 2 tsp. If you need to proof it then just use the milk as liquid. It doesn't take much and is actually probably not necessary these days.

You may notice a flavor boost doing it this way.You could reduce the yeast by half and see if that will ad additional flavor.