1 ¼cupsmilk(warmed to 105 - 110 degrees F/40 - 43 degrees C)
2Tbspinstant yeast(or 3 packs active dry yeast)
⅓cupbutter(5 Tbsp + 1 tsp - unsalted, melted and set aside to cool)
2largeeggs(1 egg at room temperature, the other for the egg wash)
3 ½cupsall-purpose flour(plus more flour for your working surface)
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In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the milk then the yeast and sugar. If using active dry yeast, let stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast then add the melted butter and 1 egg. If you are using instant yeast combine the warmed milk, yeast, sugar, melted butter and 1 of the eggs. Gently stir all of the ingredients together.
Add the salt then flour, beginning with about 3 ¼ cups. You are looking for a sticky dough that will stretch without breaking. So, start with the lower amount of flour, and add more a tablespoon at a time until you reach the right texture of your dough. (think more sticky than a standard bread dough without being so wet that it would pull apart when you pick it up).
Knead the dough with your stand mixer for about 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide your dough into 8-10 buns (I usually make eight fairly large 4" buns).
Shape the dough portions into round dough balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches spacing between each bun and also the baking sheet edges. Cover lightly with oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise for 10 minutes. *These buns only require one rise, no need for a second rise!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C) while the dough balls are rising. Whisk the second egg with the cold water and gather any additional toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds) if desired.
Coat the tops of the risen dough balls with the egg wash and add toppings (if using). Bake at 425 degrees F (218 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the buns are nicely golden in color and the bottoms are also lightly browned.
Remove from the oven, lift parchment paper and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
Storing & Freezing Your Homemade Brioche Buns
I prefer to keep my brioche buns, stored in an air tight container or storage bag, for one to two days at room temperature. The brioche buns can also be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The better they are stored, the more moisture the brioche buns will retain.To freeze your brioche buns, wrap individual buns tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in a freezer storage bag. They will last up to 3 months, for best results.