Super soft, buttery, and rich burger buns made completely from scratch! No bread machine and no stand mixer required, this dough is simple to make and you’ll never want store-bought hamburger rolls again! Recipe includes a how-to video!
It’s grilling season but if you’re still buying your hamburger buns from the supermarket, your burgers are seriously missing out. They deserve something better.
Today I’m sharing my recipe for homemade burger buns. They’re buttery, rich, super soft and fluffy (similar to a brioche!), and easier than you probably think.
If this is your first time working with yeast or making bread, I recommend you watch my how-to video in the recipe card, I think that could be helpful!
What You Need:
- Water & milk. We’re using mostly water, but a splash of milk to enrich the rolls and make them more tender. You’ll combine the two liquids and heat to 105-115F, just the right temperature for activating your yeast.
- Yeast. I use active dry yeast, but instant could be substituted. You will not need to proof the yeast if you use instant. Keep in mind the dough will rise faster.
- Sugar. A pinch of granulated sugar helps feed the yeast and activate it faster, but we’ll also use some in the actual dough. This doesn’t make the rolls sweet, but does makes for a better flavor.
- Salt. for flavor.
- Eggs. We’ll use one egg and one egg yolk to enrich the dough, it makes it similar to a brioche dough. Save your egg white, you can use it to brush over the burgers before baking for shiny tops!
- Butter. You guessed it, to enrich the dough. This also gives our rolls incredible flavor.
- Flour. While all-purpose flour would work, I highly recommend using bread flour. I talk about this a bit more below.
You can make this recipe in either a stand mixer or by hand. I generally recommend a stand mixer since the dough is fairly sticky, but in my video I demonstrate making the recipe without a mixer.
- Watch your yeast! Your water needs to be warm, but not too hot or it will kill the yeast. A pinch of sugar helps the yeast to activate faster. If you don’t get a foamy cap after 5-10 minutes (see video for visual), discard your mixture and start over; your yeast is likely dead and your burger buns won’t turn out properly.
- Sticky dough = soft buns. This recipe yields a much stickier, softer dough than many other yeast recipes (like my pizza dough). You want the dough to be manageable, but don’t add so much flour that it’s no longer a bit sticky, or the rolls will be denser and tougher than is desirable.
- Bread flour > all-purpose flour. Bread flour lets the rolls rise higher for a fluffier and more rounded burger bun, better for slicing in half and for your hamburger needs! All the wonderful, flavorful ingredients that we’re adding for rich rolls (butter! eggs! sugar!) weigh down the bread, so a high gluten bread flour really helps give them lift.
- Brushing your burgers with egg white yields a shiny, golden exterior. You can sprinkle poppy seeds or sesames seeds over the egg white and they’ll stick perfectly. Brushing the rolls with butter instead yields a softer, not-shiny exterior that seeds won’t stick to. Not as pretty, but my taste testers liked the butter-brushed buns best (say that 5 times fast).
If you’re more of a visual learner or are nervous about baking with yeast, watch my how-to video in the recipe card!
Making in Advance
This dough may be made in advance. To do so, after kneading the dough, placing it in the oiled bowl and covering, transfer to the refrigerator for it to complete its first rise overnight. Return the dough to room temperature before deflating and continuing as instructed in the recipe.
Storing and Freezing
For freshest taste, I recommend serving these buns within 3 days of making them. Allow them to cool completely then store in an airtight container until ready to use. They may also be frozen. Allow to cool completely and then freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Summer Salads To Accompany Your Cookout:
If you try your hand at making homemade hamburger buns, I’d love to know what you think of them! Please leave me a comment or share a photo of your creation on Instagram and tag me @sugarspun_sam!
Burger Buns Recipe
- 1 cup water (236ml)
- ¼ cup whole milk (60ml)
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar plus a pinch for activating the yeast
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten, room temperature preferred (save the white for brushing on top)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 4 cups bread flour² (500g) + additional as needed (I often need ½ cup additional or more, but your mileage will likely vary.)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cornmeal optional
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- Combine water and milk in a microwave-safe bowl and heat to 105-115F (40-46C). Be sure to stir before checking the temperature as sometimes the microwave heats unevenly.
- Pour warmed water/milk into large bowl (or you may use a stand mixer) and add yeast and a generous pinch (about 1 teaspoon) of granulated sugar. Stir briefly and allow mixture to sit until foamy (about 5-10 minutes). If yeast does not become foamy, it may be dead or your liquid may have been too hot or not hot enough. You will need to discard and start over.
- Once yeast is foamy, add 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, melted butter, egg, egg yolk, and salt. Stir until well-combined. Gradually add flour and stir (use a spatula or wooden spoon or the dough hook attachment on your mixer) until you have a soft, slightly sticky/tacky, but still manageable dough. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes until you have a smooth, elastic ball. If dough is too sticky to manage you may add more flour, but do so sparingly. You want the dough to be somewhat sticky! (If using a stand mixer, you can knead with the dough hook and your mixer on a medium-low speed for several minutes.)
- Transfer dough to a large, clean, lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (this could take 1-2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
- After rising, gently deflate the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 even pieces (see note 1. I form the dough into a ball, divide the dough in half and repeat until I have 8 even pieces). Form each piece into a smooth ball.
- Line a standard-sized cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper, dust the parchment lightly with corn meal (this will keep the rolls from sticking), then transfer rolls to prepared sheet, spacing them evenly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until increased in size 50%. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F (190C).
- Once rolls have risen (it’s OK if they’re lightly touching each other, you’ll just cut them apart after baking) and oven is preheated, remove plastic wrap and lightly brush rolls with reserved egg white³ and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If you notice any bubbles forming on the surface of the buns, take a toothpick and gently pierce the bubbles so they deflate.
- Transfer to oven and bake on 375F (190C) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Allow rolls to cool completely and then use a sharp serrated knife to cut in half lengthwise. Enjoy!