I know that I have not been updating as regularly as I usually do, but I’ve been so swamped lately that I just can’t find the time. I’ve been trying to get to the gym a little more frequently (see: get to the gym at all), but that means that by the time I get home, shower, and have sat down for a quick meal with Kramer, it’s no earlier than 8:45. I also seem to be a 22 year old living in the body of an 82 year old, because I am exhausted and ready to go to bed around 10 PM. Seeing as how I like to be able to spend more than 30 minutes a day with my husband, and there are always other chores to be done, like putting away laundry, doing dishes, and occasionally, cleaning, this doesn’t leave me with much time for editing photos, writing recipes, and the like. However, I absolutely adore this site and I am doing my best to find time for it. I usually work on it on the weekends, but lately, they’ve been jam packed with commitments, too. I know that April will be relatively easy going, so I am looking forward to getting back on my regular schedule at that time. Despite how hectic my days are, I couldn’t be more excited for this weekend: my parents and my brother, Wyatt, were just in town! Whenever someone comes to visit, I got a little planning-crazy. I do live in New York City, after all, and there is so much to do and see. I want to share all of the things that I love about New York with my guests, but it’s nearly impossible to do, even if my parents have been out to visit a handful of time since we moved here (this will also be Wyatt’s third trip to the city). On Friday night, we enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Hatsuhana with our friend, Morgan. The sushi there is so delicious and the sake is even better. On Saturday, we headed over to Chelsea Market for breakfast and some shopping. We ate at Friedman’s Lunch and had coffee from Ninth Street Espresso, both of which were well worth the trip on their own. Afterward, we picked up everything we would need for our pizza party that we were planning for that evening. While wandering around BuonItalia, we spotted the man, the legend, Tom Colicchio! I was too nervous to even go walk near him, but my dad dragged me over to him, and I got to say hello and shake his hand. He was with his young son, so I didn’t want to bother him for a photo, but it was beyond exciting to even be in his presence. My dad even went and bought the same mozzarella that Colicchio did, and let me tell you, it was some mouth-watering mozzarella. On Sunday, which was my parent’s last day in the city, we had brunch at Landmarc and said goodbye. Wyatt will be back on Tuesday to spend the week with us, since he is on spring break from college. Best weekend ever? I think so.
These brioche slider buns were made with the help of She Simmers and a little patience. Kramer did 99% of the work, as he loves making bread and I always get frustrated with it – it never seems to come together or cease to be a sticky mess when I’m in charge, for some reason. The buns would later serve as a vessel for some delicious sliders, but those are yet to come. For now, let’s focus on making a perfect brioche bun. Kramer and I had never made brioche before, so it was quite a fun experience, watching the sponge form and watching it rise and rise to more than double its size on our windowsill (we even had to switch it to a bigger bowl because it rose so much). The buns turned out beautifully, just as brioche should be. They were sweet, but not overwhelmingly so, and they held up perfectly to being toasted while still remaining sort of soft. The bread literally just melts in your mouth as soon as you take a bite, and they are quite a site to see, too, with their wonderfully shiny tops. I must warn you, though, that if you don’t have a stand mixer, this may not be the recipe for you, as the dough is quite sticky and difficult to manage with just your hands. Having said that, this is an amazing recipe and I hope that you will set aside any fears you have of making bread to give it a try.
Your brioche ingredients.
Start by lightly beating one egg.
Heat your milk in the microwave to 110 degrees F.
Create your sponge by combining your egg, milk, yeast, and 1 cup of flour.
Sprinkle another cup of flour over your mixture and let sit for 30-40 minutes.
Watch as it starts to crack and create a “sponge”.
Place the sponge in your mixer.
Separate 4 eggs and beat the egg whites until slightly foamy.
Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, egg whites, and egg yolks to the sponge. Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix on low for 2 minutes until the dough begins to come together.
Add in another 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, and continue to mix on medium for 15 minutes stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
Cut up your 3/4 cup of butter.
Add your butter, a few cubes at a time, allowing the butter to fully incorporate before adding more.
The dough should again start to cling to the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl.
Place your dough into your extra-large greased bowl. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
Form your buns by rolling them into small balls and smushing them on your greased pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 45 minutes
Brush the egg wash onto the buns and sprinkle the sesame seeds onto them. Add another egg wash over the seeds to ensure they stay in place.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (this is usually the size of 1 packet)
- ⅓ cup milk, 110 degrees F
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1.5-2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 egg, beaten
- sesame or poppy seeds, for garnish
- Mix together 1 egg that has been lightly beaten, 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, 1 cup all-purpose flour, and ⅓ cup of milk, heated to 110 degrees F. Over all of that, sprinkle another 1 cup of all-purpose flour - this is going to "sponge" the mixture (see photo above). Let it rest, uncovered, in a large bowl, for 30-40 minutes. When the sponge is ready to go, the flour will have cracked and it will truly look like a sponge.
- Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ⅓ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 4 more lightly beaten eggs to the sponge. Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, mix on low for 2 minutes until the dough begins to come together. Add in another ½ cup of all-purpose flour, and continue to mix on medium for 15 minutes (yes, it's a long time), stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- The dough will be very, very sticky while you mix it, so if it looks too wet and soft, you can add up to 3-4 more tablespoons of flour to the dough. The dough should start to wrap itself around the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl.
- After 15 minutes, continue to mix on medium speed while gradually adding in your ¾ cup of butter to the dough, a few cubes at a time, allowing a minute or two between each addition so the butter has a chance to incorporate itself into the dough. Continue to mix the dough as you add in the butter - the dough will look strange, but just keep going. The dough should again start to cling to the dough hook and slap against the sides of the bowl.
- Grease a very, very large mixing bowl with plenty of butter. Transfer the dough from the mixing bowl to the greased bowl. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours. We put our dough on our window sill (with the window shut, obviously) in the sunlight. After it has risen, deflate it gently with your hands. Using new plastic wrap, cover the dough again and chill it for at least 6 hours or as long as overnight (we did ours overnight). After it has been refrigerated, you are ready to bake your slider buns.
- Lightly flour your hands and shape the dough into 25-30 balls by rolling them in your hands, but still working quickly because the dough is best when it is still cold. Place them on a lined or greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten them slightly with your palm, then cover the dough again with some towels and allow to rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Beat 1 egg, and brush the egg over the buns to give them a nice sheen. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or poppy seeds over them for a garnish, and brush them with a bit more egg to keep the seeds in place. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the sheets once through the baking time, until golden. The buns are ready when you tap them and they feel sort of hollow inside. Allow to cool, slice open, and fill with your favorite slider fare (meatballs, hamburgers, pulled pork, etc.). You can also freeze them after the cool and use them on another date. Kramer and I made these a week beforehand and froze them, then let them thaw at room temperature for 1 day, cut them open, and toasted them a bit before using them. They freeze very well and I highly recommend it, especially if you're got a long day of cooking ahead of you.