You need these soft and fluffy homemade potato buns at your next cookout to take your burgers to the next level! A cup of mashed potatoes in the dough makes for the most melt-in-your-mouth, pillowy-soft hamburger buns you’ve ever had! Recipe includes a how-to video!
A Better Burger Bun
If you’ve had potato buns before, you get what all the hype is about. Not only is this style of burger bun traditionally sweeter, softer, moister, and just all around better than your average hamburger outfit, it’s really no more complicated to make. If you can make mashed potatoes, you too can pull off these incredible potato buns.
Mashed potatoes are magic to bread dough. Potatoes hold more water and so help the dough retain moisture, which in turn yields the lightest, fluffiest, and best-textured rolls of your life.
Let’s get to it, and I’ll walk you through all the steps (including which potatoes are best) in my photos, recipe, and how-to video below!
What You Need
You’ll probably recognize all of the ingredients above, and I’d bet you already have them in your pantry. Let’s go over a few key players in today’s recipe and the role that they play!
- Flour. All-purpose flour or bread flour will work perfectly fine here. While with some recipes I feel the difference is distinct (with bread flour yielding a chewier bread), I found very little difference in the end result for this recipe and just use whichever I happen to hand (which is usually all-purpose flour). Bread flour does typically lend more structure to the buns and yields taller results.
- Yeast. I use and prefer active dry yeast, but see my FAQ section below if you’d like to use instant/rapid rise yeast.
- Potatoes. Potatoes are our secret weapon here! Incorporating mashed potatoes into the dough allows the bread to retain moisture, resulting in potato buns with a moist texture.
- Sugar. Potato buns are notoriously sweeter than your classic burger buns, and these are no exception. I use a blend of granulated sugar and brown sugar because I love the subtle extra flavor the brown sugar adds. If you don’t like your rolls as sweet, you can eliminate the brown sugar entirely (but give it a try this way at least once, first!).
- Butter, milk, & egg (and an extra egg yolk). All of these ingredients specifically work to keep the rolls tender and soft.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients that I use and why I use them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Potato Buns
- First, proof your yeast! Heat milk and water to 110F and then stir in yeast and a pinch of sugar (the sugar helps the yeast proof faster). Let sit until the yeast forms a foamy cap. This should take 5-10 minutes, and if it doesn’t happen your yeast is likely bad or your liquid was too hot or too cold and you’ll need to start over.
- Add remaining ingredients, but only half of your flour, and stir until combined. Gradually add additional flour until the dough begins to cling together.
- Knead the dough in a stand mixer or on a clean, lightly floured surface, adding more flour as needed. The dough should be slightly sticky, but add the flour you need to make it is manageable.
- Continue to knead until you have a smooth, elastic, and still slightly sticky dough. For light, soft, and fluffy rolls the dough should be slightly stickier than your average dough (so stickier than my homemade bread dough, if you’ve made that before!).
SAM’S TIP: Use a stand mixer if you have one! While this recipe can be made either in a stand mixer or by hand, I really recommend using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment if you have one. A stand mixer allows for a stickier dough (which means lighter rolls), since kneading by hand unfortunately usually means adding more flour than is ideal to make the dough manageable.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled in size. Uncover and use your hand to gently deflate the dough.
- Divide dough into ten even pieces and form each into a round ball.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until rolls have risen and increased in size about 50%.
- Brush with egg wash (if desired) and bake until golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Combine yeast, half of your flour, sugars and salt and stir well. Add warm milk and water and stir to combine, then stir in melted butter, potatoes, and eggs and proceed with the recipe from step 4 (in the printable recipe below).
A starchy potato is best, and for this reason I like the versatile Russet potato. However, really any potato will work in a pinch (Yukon Gold are a fair choice!). The mashed potatoes you use should be unflavored, so don’t use leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving that have salt/pepper/butter/etc. added.
Potato buns, like all bread, are best served warm and fresh, but these will keep in an airtight container for up to three days. They may also be frozen! Allow to cool completely then wrap tightly or seal in an airtight container and freeze for up to several months.
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Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps to make perfect, soft & fluffy potato burger buns in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook!
- ½ cup water (120ml)
- ¼ cup whole milk (60ml)
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar firmly packed
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 cup unflavored mashed russet potatoes (225g) (for best results use room temperature or slightly warm mashed potatoes. Cold potatoes do not incorporate into the dough as easily)
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour plus additional as needed (500g+), divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon water
- Combine water and milk in a microwave-safe dish and heat in the microwave until you reach a temperature between 105-115F (40-46C). Always stir before checking the temperature!
- Pour into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and add yeast and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar. Stir briefly and allow to sit until yeast is foamy (5-10 minutes). If your yeast does not foam, you will need to start over.
- Once yeast is foamy, add remaining 3 Tablepsoons sugar, brown sugar, melted butter, potatoes, egg and egg yolk, salt, and approximately half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon (or a dough hook if using a stand mixer) until combined.
- Gradually add additional flour as needed until the dough forms a cohesive, somewhat sticky ball that clings together. You may not need all of the flour called for above or you may find that you need more.
- Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Add additional flour to the dough only as needed as the dough should be slightly sticky for soft, fluffy rolls. (If using a stand mixer, simply use the dough hook and low-speed for this step, it will likely only take about 5 minutes).
- Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and turn so the entire surface of the dough is coated with a thin layer of oil. Cover and let rise in a warm, dry place until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
- Once dough has rise, gently deflate and transfer to a clean, lightly floured surface.
- Divide into ten even-sized pieces and form each into a smooth ball.
- Place dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing at least 2-3” (5-8cm) apart (you will likely need two baking sheets).
- Cover each sheet with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm, dry place until increased in size about 50% (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375F (190C).
- Once rolls have risen, remove the towel and lightly brush with egg wash.
- Transfer to 375F (190C) preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until baked through and light golden brown (if using two baking sheets, bake one at a time).
- Allow rolls to cool on baking sheet and then use a sharp, serrated knife to cut in half. Enjoy!