sprouted kitchen buns Our fridge is jam packed with produce from a recent CSA basket pick up. I have lettuce heads so large they are taking up the entire bottom shelf and beets and their greens poking out their cramped heads from the crisper drawer. This abundance is what sparks creativity in me. As someone who thinks about food consistently, I enjoy the challenge of using what I have to make something different, despite there being swiss chard in EVERY.SINGLE.BASKET throughout the year. Hugh on the other hand sees chaos, not food. To use up some of my loot, and to prove there are, in fact, meals in there, we made some bahn mi style burgers (tofu or turkey as you choose). A tender homemade bun with dressed cucumbers, shaved carrots, cilantro and avocado. I regret I don't have a picture of that to share with you, but the recipe for the buns is not to be missed. 

If you want a successful recipe, Deb is your lady. Something tells me you're probably not a stranger to her site. If her dependable recipes and clean photos don't intrigue you, her wit and dry humor are sure to keep you coming back. There are rave reviews of the burger buns she featured and if there is anyone to be trusted, it is her. I tried to add some grains to them without risking a rock of a bun, and I think we did pretty well (you can find the original on her site). They have a bit of the heartiness that whole wheat products have, while still being gentle and delicate in structure. They make an ideal vehicle for a veggie burger, grilled salmon sandwich with greens and aioli or whatever you wish. Much like making pizza dough, it is a simple process, it's just the waiting time between rises that takes some planning ahead. Maybe it is not a quick weeknight endeavor, but there is no comparison to the storebought kind, and another bbq weekend is just around the corner. 

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

WHEAT BRIOCHE BUNS // Makes 8 buns

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who has a book coming!) via The New York Times

This recipe below reflects the amounts for 8 buns, though the pictures show I did make four. If you only want four, simply halve the amounts below. I meantion it in the direction, but it bears repeating. Form the final buns into a more height focused ball than a wider one, they spread during that second rise and I found mine to be flatter than I'd have hoped.

3 Tbsp. warm milk

2 tsp. active dry yeast

2 1/2 Tbsp. natural cane sugar

2 eggs

2 cups unbleached bread flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

sesame seeds, for topping

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

sprouted kitchen buns

In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. In a small bowl, beat one egg.

In another large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, just turn and fold and tustle it around, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. The dough will be on the sticky side so it can be a bit messy, but the more flour you add, the tougher the buns will get. Let it stay a bit tacky. 

Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with a dish cloth 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 into a ball (a taller ball, not a flat one, they flaten and spread on their own as they rise) and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with the dish cloth and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours. 

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. 

Keep buns in an airtight container. Should last about 3 days, getting firmer as days pass. 

sprouted kitchen buns

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Reader Comments (35)

SO in love with these photos. Literally gasped. Especially the one where you're dusting the board. Buh, could gush about this for a while. Thanks for bringing a hefty dose of beauty (and brioche--BOO YA!) into my Thursday. Much needed.

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

these photos. i can't even. just so beautiful, earthy, and raw.
i love brioche! going to have to make this for my family sometime.

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjocee

Stunning post today. And I love that you worked in some whole grains, too!

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternicole @eatthispoem

These look absolutely fabulous!! Great photos too :)

I've made brioche buns many times, and I think it's fair to say that once you go homemade, you really can't go back. Really stunning photos, Sara! Just in time for grilling season (oh if only I had a yard, and San Francisco had a real summer...) A girl can dream :) And grill indoors!

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKasey

Love these photos! I never would have thought black & white photos of food would be interesting or beautiful to look at, but you prove me wrong.

I also like the story you tell with these photos, great job. I'm GF so I won't be making wheat buns any time soon, but looking at these photos sure made me long for those days again (still haven't mastered GF bread making yet!).

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanae Wise

Thank you. I am glad you liked them and I agree that brioche is one of those things easily whole wheat-ed up with little lost because it's already so lush. The buns are a bit wide and flat; I have a bias against tall ones (that look more dramatic but are impossible to bite from) but know not everyone does. Can't wait for your book. Really love the cover, and I'm sure that everything inside will be just as enticing.

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeb

Oh my. The black and white photos, especially of your hands are stunning.

June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

Gorgeous photos and buns!

These look great. I just made my first buns yesterday. Not as fancy as yours, but very good.

I'm looking forward to using your recipe soon. :)

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterIdaBaker

Absolutely beautiful post!

I'm so happy to see this recipe! I've been wanting to make my own buns for a killer bean burger, but wanted whole-grain. You're a life-saver :)

PS My fridge has beet greens sticking out so far, the door is hard to close. Tell Hugh it's normal ;)

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDessertForTwo

this makes me so hungry, thanks so much for sharing =)

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommentertRiSh

Just gorgeous! Those black and white photos tell a whole story - I feel like I was there. Will try this brioche recipe soon. Thank you!

These look like magic! And how can you go wrong with brioche? You really can't.

These look fabulous. Homemade buns are completely underrated. They take burgers of any kind to the next level, and I suspect they would be similarly delicious toasted and spread with butter and honey.

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermeg

i LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE seeing the overview shot in this series. NICE buns, you two!

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertracy shutterbean

I LOVE these photos. So beautiful and intimate and moody. I hope you post that banh mi recipe at some point, because I love that stuff.

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKimberley

Loving everything about this post, and the B&W's are particularly stunning! What a great bun to make for fathers day weekend, I'm thinking salmon burgers :)
Thank you for the inspiration! And enjoy your weekend!

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

Gosh, I sure do love those black and white bread shots. Stunning!

June 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCalantha

Gorgeous shots and surely delicious buns.

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLorii Abela

Beautiful Sara and Hugh! I've never made a dish from Deb that I didn't like :)

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCoco

Amazing pictures! Now I'm craving these buns with salmon and avocado... Can't wait to make these.

June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSini

These look so hearty and homey. Nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread! These seem daunting (as anything bready does to me) but the photos are lovely and simple. Great idea for the bahn mi sandwiches. Here's a tip for all of your chard -- use them as sandwich wraps for lunch or wrap some fish in a leaf and steam it.


June 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

Absolutely gorgeous. Perfectly photographed! I'm craving these right now (even after a big pizza dinner). YUM!


June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMegan Taylor

Oh, really, these photos are gorgeous. The black and white! the beautiful floured hands! Stunning.
I just discovered whole wheat brioche a few weeks ago, and can't get enough. I've been making whole loaves, but am going to have to try your buns here - using store bought hamburger buns is always so disappointing.
{super love this post.}

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Wow, especially gorgeous photography on this post!

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

Nothing like a little palate of food to get the creative juices flowing! I hope you keep getting CSA baskets cuz then that means we can keep getting some delicious creations posted on the blog ;-) And these images??? Seriously rocks! Oh and lastly...banh mi's are best sandwich hands down!

June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYumi

I'm so excited for her book!! Love these photos...

June 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkale

Gorgeous photos and nice buns!

These images are stunning. So real. So vivid. We love your work and can't wait to share with our followers on Facebook and Twitter. No we aren't just saying this because you happen to use a lot of our glassware. Fantastic images.

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnchor Hocking Webteam

Aboslutly amazing post, the illustration is delicate and the photographs are really very gorgeous!

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJancey

The black & white montage is gorgeous!

August 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Very beautiful pictures and an wonderful recipe. Makes me want to have one of these bunse right now. :-)

May 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLysa

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