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Sourdough Demi-Brioche Buns

If you haven't eaten a beef burger in a brioche bun then you haven't been eating burgers properly. It's the only way to eat them, well, perhaps a sourdough demi-brioche is actually the only way to eat them. Sourdough starters don't have to be consigned to making only loaves, they are versatile and can substitute dried yeast in many recipes including this one.

I should note all photographs are from a larger batch I made. If you want to make 16 buns, double the recipe. For 24, triple etc.

Makes 8

Hands-on Time 60 minutes

Proving Time +3 hours (plus overnight Sourdough feed)

Cooking Time 14 minutes


50g Sourdough starter

275g plus extra for dusting Strong bread flour

1 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Caster sugar

2 Eggs, medium (beaten)

50ml plus 2 tbsp Full-fat milk

100g Unsalted butter (softened)

Oil for greasing (I use olive oil. You may want to use flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)

1 Egg yolk, medium

Sesame seeds (optional)


Mixing bowl



Freestanding mixer or large mixing bowl and wooden spoon

Dough scraper or knife

Baking parchment

Small bowl

Pastry brush

Baking sheet

Wire rack

The night before you intend to make the dough, take 50g of your starter add it to a mixing bowl along with 50ml of water and 50g of flour. Mix until fully combined.

Cover with clingfilm and leave on the worktop overnight to feed.

When you’re ready to make your dough add the remaining 225g of flour to the bowl of your mixer. It’s recommended you do make this dough by machine rather than by hand as it can be quite messy.

Add the starter, salt, sugar, whole egg, and 50ml of milk to the flour and mix until combined.

You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl down now and then.

Knead the dough for 5 minutes. If you’re doing this by hand, knead on a lightly oiled worktop.

Whilst the mixer is still kneading, slowly add the butter one knob at a time.

Add more butter until it has all been incorporated.

Knead the dough for a further 5 minutes.

Lightly oil a mixing bowl before transferring your dough into it.

Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove until doubled in size. This should take a couple of hours. I leave my dough in the fridge overnight to prove.

Lightly flour a worktop and tip the dough out onto it.

Divide the dough up into 8 portions, placing them onto a floured surface.

Prepare your baking parchment, you will need 1-2 pieces cut to the size of your baking sheet in order to bake 6-8 buns at a time. I prefer to bake in batches of 6.

Take the first piece of dough and place it in front of you. Make sure you have flour within reach should you need it.

Ensuring your hands stay dusted at all times, cup the dough with both hands. Draw one hand towards you whilst you push the other away. This should turn the dough as you move them. Release your hands and cup the dough again. As you repeat this action you should slightly pull down the sides of the dough smoothing out the top, and start shaping it into a round. Your floured hands should stop the dough sticking to them. At the same time the lack of flour on the surface should help the bottom of the bun seal. If you do this on a floured surface you will end up with lots of joins underneath the dough which won’t seal as the flour will prevent this from happening. It won’t hinder the bake if you do this, they will just have ugly bottoms.

When you’re satisfied with the dough, gently place it onto the baking parchment. Repeat with the other pieces of dough until you have 8 rounds.

Lightly grease 1-2 pieces of clingfilm with oil and cover the dough rounds.

Leave them to prove for at least an hour until they have doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C(Fan)/425°F/Gas mark 7.

Carefully remove the clingfilm when the dough has finished proving.

Mix together the egg yolk along with 2 tbsp of milk in a small bowl using the pastry brush.

Gently brush the tops of the dough.

If you want, you can then sprinkle over some sesame seeds.

Carefully slide one piece of baking parchment onto the baking sheet and pop into the oven on a middle shelf for 13-14 minutes until they are a gloriously golden brown.

Remove from the oven once baked and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat the above steps with the remaining batches.

If you are making these in advance you can put the buns in sealable food bags and freeze, remembering to put them in the fridge to defrost the night before you intend to eat them.

Recipes you can serve with the buns:


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