DIY: Better Hamburger buns

in Bread, Burgers & Sliders, DIY

I set out this year with with a goal of baking more bread. Muffins, bagels, sandwich bread, hamburger buns, baguettes, meatball sub buns… you name it. And since my husband loves sourdough bread, I have a starter bubbling away, stinking up a corner of the kitchen. Only time will tell if my sourdough starter will go the way of the last starter I tried… and every house plant that I’ve ever owned.

This is the third hamburger bun recipe I’ve tried, and our favorite so far. The rolls are slightly sweetened (thanks to an extra tablespoon of sugar) and perfectly domed, with enough body to compliment a messy pulled pork sandwich or a grind-your-own sirloin burger.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

It's so easy to make your own hamburger buns!


  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115)
  • 1 cup warm milk (105-115)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 to 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I only needed 3 cups)
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water
  • Sesame seeds for topping


  1. In a bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface and let sit for 10 minutes. If the mixture hasn't started to get frothy, start over. Add the warm milk, oil, salt and 1 1/2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
  2. Add an additional cup of flour and then the remaining flour 2 Tbsp at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This particular dough should be quite slack, i.e. very relaxed in order to make soft and tender buns. So you want to add only enough more flour, past the 3 cup point, to make the dough just kneadable, sprinkling in only enough more to keep it from sticking to you or the work surface.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough in oil. Cover with a dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Working with oiled hands, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces (a bench scraper and kitchen scale come in handy here). Shape each piece into a ball, and flatten into 3 1/2-inch disks. For soft-sided buns, place them on a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet a half-inch apart so they will grow together when they rise. For crisper bun, place them three inches apart. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  5. 15 minutes before you want to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400. Just before baking, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with any desired toppings.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.


Yields: 9 buns

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Annie's Eats

Estimated time: 2 hours 45 minutes

19 comments… add one

  • That looks like the perfect bun. I have never dared try making sourdough bread, the whole feeding a started scares me. Good luck with yours.

  • Your bread-baking skills are fabulous!!

  • Jen

    I support your goal of more bread baking! Every time I buy a package of hamburger buns, I think “I should really make these…” So I WILL try your recipe.

  • ColleenM

    I will give these a try! Thanks for the recipe. Please let us know how your starter turned out. I haven’t had teh courage to try sourdough yet!

  • Lana

    Ha! Hello blog twin – I made the exact same meal today! Right down to the buns!

  • I just made hamburger buns a couple weeks ago and we had pulled pork sandwiches last night.

    Great minds think alike :-)

  • First of all, the hamburger buns look terrific! I am totally into baking all my own bread too. It’s so much fun to make your own bread and you can personalize it however you like. I will remember this recipe for when I actually try hamburger buns. Thanks.

  • The buns are always my least favorite part of the hamburger, but I bet if I started making my own I’d be more interested!

  • Great looking buns!! I need to bake more, I just need more time!

  • I make mine too. People think I am odd (probably am but for other reasons). These look good, I will have to try this recipe out.

  • So glad you enjoyed them! They look beautiful.

  • Dave

    Is that 1/4 cup water? or 1-1/4 cup? The page shows the letter A!

  • Nicole

    I’m glad to have found this recipe just in time for grilling season! I can’t wait to try them out.

  • Adi

    Going to try this today for my lamb burgers, thanks!

  • Siobhan

    I made these the other night for my friends on our alphabet night for the letter ‘B’. They turned out great but next time I’m going to double the mixture to make them bigger so we have have bigger hamburgers. Thanks for your wonderful blog!!

  • I am very excited to try this recipe. I’ve been looking for a good hamburger bun recipe for a while but all the recipes that claim to be buns are really just rolls shaped like buns. I don’t want rolls masquerading as buns – I want an honest to goodness hamburger bun recipe. This looks like it might fit the bill. I’m going to give it a try.

  • I’m making the buns right now. Wondering if you’ve ever made them and frozen them. Also, have you ever used whole wheat flour instead of some of the white?

    • Yep, I have subbed 1/3 – 1/2 of the flour with wheat flour. They’ll freeze wonderfully!

  • My family loved these. I ended up making 4 ounce buns and the recipe only made 6, next time I might try to make them a bit smaller. Quickly scarfed up though, thank you so much for posting. Wonderful texture and flavor.

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