Once you try these homemade hamburger buns, you'll never use store bought buns again! They're soft, puffy, and surprisingly simple to make.
Three months ago, if someone had told me that Jack and I would start making homemade hamburger buns every week, I would have laughed. To me, hamburger buns seemed like something that only professional bakers could make. But since Jack’s been baking up a storm lately, the idea of homemade hamburger buns started to seem less and less crazy. If we could make bagels and bread, why not hamburger buns too?
After testing and re-testing this recipe, I’m happy to report that homemade hamburger buns are surprisingly easy to make! They require under 30 minutes of hands-on work, and they’re absolutely delicious. Light, puffy, and flavorful, they’ll take any burger to a whole new level.
Hamburger Bun Recipe Ingredients
You only need a few basic ingredients to make this hamburger bun recipe:
- All-purpose flour and whole wheat flour – This combination yields really soft buns with a lovely whole wheat flavor.
- Active dry yeast – It’s what makes these buns so puffy!
- Warm water – Aim for it to be between 105 and 115 degrees to best activate the yeast.
- Sugar – It feeds the yeast and gives the hamburger buns a lightly sweet flavor.
- Butter – You’re going to want your butter to be at room temperature, so plan ahead! If it’s too cold or the opposite – melted – the hamburger buns won’t be as light and fluffy.
- An egg – It helps the buns puff up and adds moisture and richness, making them super soft and tender. If you don’t have eggs on hand, or if you prefer not to use one, you can substitute 3 tablespoons water. The buns will be slightly less puffy, but they’ll still taste great.
- Sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!
We also like to finish our homemade hamburger buns with an egg wash and sesame seeds. I love the way the crunchy, nutty seeds contrast with the lightly sweet, soft buns!
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
How to Make Hamburger Buns
This hamburger bun recipe is super simple to make. Here’s what you need to do:
First, make the dough. Activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and a teaspoon of sugar. When the yeast mixture foams, add it to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, and mix it with the flours, salt, butter, egg, and remaining sugar until the dough is smooth, slightly stiff, and not sticky, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Then, transfer the dough to a clean work surface, and knead to form it into a ball. Place it in a large bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside for an hour, until the dough has almost doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, shape the buns! Turn the dough out onto a clean, unfloured work surface and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on the countertop with a cupped hand to form it into a ball.
Next, transfer the dough balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press each one down slightly to form it into a 3-inch disk. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for another hour.
When an hour has passed, bake! At this point, the dough balls will look slightly more puffy, but they’ll still be relatively flat. That’s ok! They’ll puff up more in the oven.
Transfer them to a 375-degree oven and bake for 13 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, brush the buns with the egg wash, and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. Return them to the oven and bake for 2-5 more minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown. That’s it!
- Weigh your flour. Because this hamburger bun recipe uses a large amount of flour, you should weigh it if you can. This way, you’ll know exactly how much flour you’re using. Cup measurements are much less precise, as they can vary based on a variety of factors (your specific measuring cups, how tightly you pack your flour, etc.). If you don’t have a kitchen scale, check out this post for my best tips on measuring flour with measuring cups.
- Let the dough rise somewhere warm. Yeast responds to warmth, so, for an extra productive rise, stick the dough somewhere warm. We like to put ours on a sunny windowsill!
- No stand mixer? No problem. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment is the quickest and easiest way to make these hamburger buns, but if you don’t have one, that’s ok! Just knead the dough by hand until it’s stiff, but not sticky, and forms a smooth ball, 12-15 minutes.
- Change the topping. I love these homemade hamburger buns with sesame seeds, but if you don’t have any on hand, feel free to try something different! Poppy seeds or everything bagel seasoning would both be great. You could also skip the egg wash and the topping and just enjoy the buns plain.
Hamburger Buns Serving Suggestions
These hamburger buns are best on the day they’re baked, but they’ll also keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. I recommend slicing them in half and toasting them before serving.
When you’re ready to eat, load them up with your favorite fixings and any type of burger you please! We love these homemade hamburger buns with all of these recipes:
- Best Veggie Burger
- Black Bean Burger
- Portobello Mushroom Burger
- BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
- Chickpea Harissa Veggie Burgers, page 173 of Love and Lemons Every Day
Homemade Hamburger Buns
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 360 grams (3 cups) all-purpose flour
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons room temperature butter or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 egg* (see note)
- 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon water
- sesame seeds, for sprinkling
- Prepare the dough: In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and proof for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, place the flours and salt. Mix briefly to combine the flours, then add the remaining sugar, butter, egg, and the yeast mixture. Mix on medium-low speed for 5 to 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and well-formed around the hook. It might seem dry at the beginning but should become a smooth, stiff, yet not sticky, dough by the end.
- Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead to form into a ball and place into a large bowl. If it's sticky, add a bit of flour to your work surface. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 1 hour, until the dough has nearly doubled.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a clean, unfloured work surface and divide into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a ball by rolling on the countertop with a cupped hand. Place onto the baking sheet and flatten into 3-inch disks. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. They’ll look slightly more puffy, but they’ll still be somewhat flat disks - that’s ok.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Uncover and bake 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown. At the 13 minute mark, brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and return to the oven.
- Let cool on a wire rack and serve.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.