The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brioche Burger Bricks

Syd-a's picture

Brioche Burger Bricks

Well, what can you say.

A novice baker is going to make a few mistakes, and I am almost happy that I did this so I could learn about dough and not getting it right every time.

The weather has turned, sunny and BBQ weather finally, so the obvious choice was to make hamburger buns. The best recipe, the obvious one was light brioche burger buns. Using the generic recipe you can find online, I threw myself into the enriched dough and the long proofings.

I very quickly realised that this "enriched" dough with egg and sugar would cause me trouble. The dough was very, very sticky, more than I had ever experienced before. I couldn't knead the dough, it was impossible. How on earth do people hand knead with his type of wet dough? I had to revert to tipping it into my kitchenaid. After 12min it was a nightmare, but I let it rest for 2h to prove in the warm day we had. After 2h the dough rose (good atmospheric temperature), it was more workable and I got into nice round balls. My optimism rose.

It was still a nightmare, but I had a little hope that they could be something. A 2h proof later and the dough had still not risen well enough, very flat and that was a major problem I think. Was that why things turned out bad?









The crumb shot revealed a stodgy, doughy bad crumb and there was no way it was edible. I was very disappointed I have to say.

So what did you think went wrong? Too little initial kneading? Bad proofing?

Thanks for any tips and advice


CB85's picture

I can commiserate! I know people are intimidated by starters and all, but it is the enriched doughs that scare me! I have made several challah's that were never edible, and I always end up feeling like I did something wrong. The dough just isn't as "alive" to me, if that makes any sense. I just took an enriched loaf out of the oven (a tangzhong one which I've never done either) and I almost don't want it to be ready to cut because I'm intimidated!

Well, the fun part about baking is you get to try again and learn something every time! :)

clazar123's picture

I have made his recipe countless times and it has never failed me. It turns into a very satiny,lovely dough. A key step is to make sure you get the dough to a good windowpane. For that I use my kitchenaid stand mixer.


JDYangachi's picture

Of course, there are many possibilities.

Looking at the crumb, it looks underbaked. The bake temperature could have been too high.  Also it was likely underproofed.  But it seems the problems really began with the initial rise.  The dough not initially rising could be due to:

- not enough yeast
- old yeast
- liquid at wrong temperature
- proofing environment not warm enough
- too much salt
- too much sugar
- too much flour  (I know you said the dough was sticky, but did you use much flour during shaping?)

Without knowing the formula and the process you followed, it's hard to say.  If you post these details, it may be easier for others to help you troublehsoot.

My guess is that the dough was probably underkneaded.  I suppose there's an outside chance that it was overkneaded in the sense that excessive heat killed the yeast, but I doubt it.  Twelve minutes really isn't that much time.  I'm guessing the problem is this:

- butter added before enough gluten formation has occurred (and maybe also too much butter?)

I would recommend an autolyse for 30 minutes, before adding the butter and salt.

Just my novice $0.02.

isand66's picture

Please share your formula with us.  Per JD above it looks like you may have had several issues and formula could be a problem as well as your yeast.

Syd-a's picture

It is the very well known LA times brioche recipe.

250ml warm water

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)

Ii knew when I posted that the answer to my question is really something that could be one of a number of things and probably in combination with each other. I know my yeast is good, the instructions on mixing the ingredients together is very basic, but I think it came down to my knead and subsequent rising.

The dough was so wet, just crazy for a novice. I tried to knead, but it stuck like crazy to my surface. In an almost disappointed panic I reverted to my KitchenAid and gave it a good knead. However, I did it for only about 10min because I was worried about overworking it and was panicked as a newbie can be, now I know I should have done maybe even twice that to almost 20min. That surely would give a bad start to the dough.

My first proof was ok, it increased in size ok, but the second proof was rubbish and I just knew it was over, baked them anyway. Interestingly after the first proof the dough was sticky, but infinitely more manageable and easy to roll into bun balls.

Thanks to all for the links and advice and tips. I think if I was to do these again I would definitely do a machine knead straight away. I really believe it was a newbie mistake encountering an Enriched dough for the first time. How these doughs are hand kneaded directly I will never know.

thanks again



isand66's picture

You can try the recipe I posted that is on the home page.  If you don't have the exact flour just substitute AP or Bread flour.  This recipe works real well.

In the future if the dough is sticking too much for your liking, you can sprinkle some additional flour on the work surface or try using PAM or any oil spray.  I also find that using my dough scraper helps when handling very sticky doughs.  What kind of surface are you using to work the dough on?

You also have to remember that depending on the type and brand of flour you use it will absorb liquid at a different rate sometimes than the recipe so you need to adjust the flour or water accordingly unless you are told in the recipe that the dough should be extremely wet.  A lot of this will come with practice and experience.

FlourChild's picture

One way to hand-knead sticky, enriched doughs like brioche is to use the Bertinet slap-and-fold method, there are a number of good videos on YouTube of Bertinet teaching his method.

Once you get the structure well-developed through either machine mixing or slap and folds, be careful with the proofing/fermenting.  Watch temperature and that you don't over- or under- proof the dough.  If temps are warm, watch volume carefully as the dough rises and don't let it exceed double.

lazybaker's picture

I watched Essential Pepin and saw him making brioche. There's an online video of it. You have to fast forward it to about 14:30

He mixes the dough in the food processor. The dough looks like batter. He then placed the dough in a glass bowl and covered it with plastic wrap. He allow the dough to rise in the fridge overnight. Maybe leaving the dough in the fridge firms up the dough because the butter is chilled. He uses the brioche molds. Without the molds, I don't think the dough will rise up because it doesn't have a mold to support the dough rising up. Since you're making buns, you might have to add a bit more flour, so the dough won't spread out during proofing.