I have said it before, and I will say it again – brioche is the most versatile dough. You can make anything with it. And if you did not know that then check out the Brioche page where I have plenty more delicious recipes using this soft and buttery dough.
But burger buns are a great introduction to it. Brioche buns are arguably the best burger vessels ever created. The sweetness of the bun balances the savoury filling, and the texture makes it effortless to bite through and get your teeth right into the burger.
The brioche dough does require a mixer unlike all my other recipes, but there is just no way of making this by hand. Or at least I have not learned of one yet.
The ingredients for the filling are enough to make 5 big burgers. But the total dough would make 10 buns. The reason for making double the dough is that my mixing bowl is quite large, and the mixer would not be able to pick up a smaller piece of dough and knead it properly. And I was not going to make 10 burgers, so I used the other half of the dough for another project. I would suggest you do the same and check out my other brioche recipes for inspiration.
You can fill these buns with what ever you like if you do not want to mess around making the Korean fried chicken, but if you have never tried it, I would strongly suggest giving it a go. The sauce is spicy, sweet, sour, and sticky and the best part is that the chicken stays nice and crispy. The other fillings like the slaw and pickles compliment it well cutting through the sweetness and fattiness. It is a well-balanced and crazy delicious burger!
Lastly, the dough will take around 25 minutes of total mixing so you must ensure that all the ingredients are stone cold before you begin. The eggs, butter, water, and flour! I even put my flour in the freezer, so it gets super cold alongside the dough hook. And I refrigerated the mixing bowl. Do not even attempt making this without chilling your ingredients because you will fail.
To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
500g (1.1lb) strong white bread flour, chilled
45g (1.6oz) water, chilled
250g (8.8oz) eggs, chilled
13g (0.45oz) salt
60g (2.1oz) sugar
8g (0.28oz) instant dry yeast or 9.6g (0.33oz) active dry yeast or 24g (0.84oz) fresh yeast
200g (7oz) cold butter that has been pressed between baking paper to make it soft
For the chicken –
5 large boneless chicken thigs. I used 6 in the video, but that is because they were small.
12g (0.4oz) salt
150g (5.3oz) buttermilk
150g (5.3oz) flour
150g (5.3oz) corn starch
5g (0.17oz) more salt to season the flour and starch mix.
For the gochujang sauce –
80g (2.8oz) gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
30g (1oz) mirin or Shaoxing wine
30g (1oz) dark soy sauce
40g (1.4oz) honey
20g (0.7oz) soft brown sugar
20g (0.7oz) finely chopped garlic
20g (0.7oz) finely chopped ginger
20g (0.7oz) vinegar. You can use pretty much any vinegar you like. I used apple cider vinegar. To keep it more authentic you can use rice vinegar.
For the slaw –
Thinly sliced Chinese (napa) cabbage
Thinly sliced spring onions
Thinly sliced ginger
Salt to season
For baking the buns –
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of milk for glazing
Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
To assemble the burgers –
Mayonnaise. Kewpie mayo is the ultimate one for this, but you can use any mayo you like.
Sliced pickled gherkins
Kimchi. This is optional as the napa cabbage and the sauce on the chicken are basically what kimchi is made of so you can skip it not missing out on much.
You will also need oil for frying and more butter for toasting the buns.
- Marinade the chicken. Mix the buttermilk and salt. Add the chicken and coat it well. Leave in the fridge until needed.
- Make the sauce. In a small pan combine all the ingredients. Bring up to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for around 10 minutes or until thickened. Pour the sauce in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
- Make the dough. In a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, yeast, sugar, eggs, and flour. Switch the mixer on 2nd (slow) speed. Mix for 10 minutes. After the first 10 minutes start adding the butter in chunks. Mix for another 5 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl down if need be. Once the butter has mixed into the dough turn the speed up to medium which on my mixer is the 4th Mix for around 7 minutes or until the dough stops sticking to the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Turn the speed back down to the 2nd (slow) setting. Keep mixing for another 3 minutes. The total mixing time should not exceed 25 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25 – 26C (77-79F).
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Refrigerate for 1 more hour.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and shape into balls. Wrap them in clingfilm and cold proof for up to 24 hours. One dough ball will make 5 large buns. If you want to use the whole dough to make 10 burgers, then keep it whole and give it one last fold instead of dividing it. And double the ingredients for the fillings.
- The following day divide the dough into 5 equal pieces and pre-shape.
- Rest for 20 minutes.
- Final shaping.
- Place the buns on a non-stick paper lined baking tray with generous gaps between them. Cover and ferment for around 3 – 4 hours or until doubled in size. The final proofing time will depend on the temperature of your kitchen. *During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
- Brush the buns with the egg yolk & milk glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for around 25 minutes. You can turn the tray around half-way through for an even bake.
- Leave the buns to cool down.
- Prepare the chicken for frying. In a bowl combine the flour, corn starch, and salt. Mix well. Coat each chicken thighs in the flour mix and place on a tray or on a plate. Once you have coated all the thighs repeat the process.
- Fry the chicken thigs in preheated oil at 180C (350F) for around 7 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken comes up to at least 75C (170F). Fry it in batches and do not over crowd the pan as the chicken will cool down the oil. Make sure you do not get distracted when doing this. If you have kids or pets, then get them out of the kitchen. Distractions and hot oil are an accident waiting to happen!
- Brush the chicken generously with sauce as soon as you finish frying. I left the sauce out to come up to room temperature before using. You can re-heat it in a microwave right from the fridge too.
- Mix the salad and leave on the side.
- Slice the burger buns in half, spread some butter on both sides and toast them in a pan on medium-high heat until golden.
- Assemble your burger and tuck in! 😊
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here