I have been making bread for a long time now, and although I started with simple loaves and rolls, I now find myself looking for homemade alternatives to anything bread-like that we usually buy. One day I decided to make burger buns from scratch, and although my first attempt was not perfect, what I came up with was still miles better than anything we’d previously bought. After some fiddling with various recipes and making a few tweaks here and there, I have settled on this one. These burger buns are far more delicious than the processed supermarket variety, and sturdy enough that they won’t fall apart, even if you top them with something like Sloppy Joes.
These burger buns also freeze really well. I make a batch and my husband and I eat one each, then the rest go in the freezer for future burger type meals. I’ve never kept them more than a month or so, but I expect they would stay good in the freezer for at least 3 months. To reheat, wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds.
How to Make Burger Buns
For more detailed information on general bread making steps, please see my recipe for Basic White Sandwich Bread.
Mix Yeast, Sugar and Water
In a medium bowl, dissolve one teaspoon of sugar (which is the 1/3 tablespoon in the recipe) into the lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and set aside for about 10 minutes, until frothy.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, and beaten egg, and stir until everything comes together to form a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This may take ten minutes or so. It is alright if the dough is tacky, but it should not be so wet that it is difficult to knead. If it is, incorporate more flour a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size. The time it takes will depend on the temperature of your kitchen; one hour is sometimes enough on hot days, whereas I usually leave it for two in winter. If you’re unsure, you can just leave it for two as it won’t do the dough any harm to rise a little longer at this stage.
Deflate the dough gently and divide into 8 pieces. If you’re like me you’ll weigh everything to ensure your buns are equal, but you don’t have to if you are less fussy. Shape each piece into a smooth ball, and flatten slightly before placing on a light greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Silicone baking mats will also work here and they are what I usually use.
A note on the shaping—I know a lot of people struggle with this, and I’m still not perfect. I tried various methods but only one really worked for me. I smooth part of the dough and pinch the sides together, so that I have one smooth side and then one side where the rest of the dough is bunched up. Then I place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, smooth side up, cup the sides in both hands and turn until a nicely shaped ball forms. I place a little pressure on the dough to try and smoosh the bottom bits together. This will take practice; my first attempts were very rough on the bottom, but now it’s much smoother. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter what your burger buns look like, as they will still taste good!
Cover the shaped buns and allow to rise for about 45 minutes to an hour more. The buns won’t quite double in size but they’ll expand and puff a little. The time is more important here; leave the buns too long and they may collapse in the oven.
Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C).
Brush the rolls with the other beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The 1 tablespoon is a rough measurement; I just sprinkle straight from the container until I think the buns look nice.
Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 1 1/3 tablespoons sugar divided
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 420 g all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- In a medium bowl, dissolve one teaspoon of the sugar (this is 1/3 tablespoon) into the lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast on top and set aside for about 10 minutes, until frothy.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Add the yeast mixture, melted butter, and egg, and stir until everything comes together to form a dough.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- Gently deflate the dough and divide into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball then flatten slightly and place on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until rolls have risen and are slightly puffy. They won't quite double in size.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F (200°C).
- Brush the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer buns to a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.
- These burger buns freeze really well. Make sure they have cooled completely, then put them in a ziplock bag and freeze. They stay good for at least a month.
- Recipe adapted from King Arthur.
Did you make this recipe? If so, follow @theflavorvortex on Instagram and post a picture using #theflavorvortex as I would love to see it!