Hamburger Bun Recipe

So you're having burgers. You've shaped the patties, cut the tomatoes, sliced the cheese, chopped the lettuce, and laid out the condiments. Sounds like you made your burger from scratch, then. Good for you! Well, almost. Chef and food writer Tynia Peay of On Ty's Plate wants you to tackle just one more step: making the buns yourself. 

You can't beat a fresh-made hamburger bun, but there are admittedly a few ways to mess up when making said fresh buns. The biggest mistake most people make when baking bread? Too much flour. "Don't use extra flour," says Peay, which may seem tempting with a soft dough, but will also make for a tough dough. Instead, Peay recommends that you "brush your kneading surface with oil" instead of falling back on flour.

Also, though baking a hamburger bun may seem like a simple enough project, you actually need to be quite precise in your measurements if you want your buns to be uniform in size and texture. "Use a kitchen scale to weigh the flour in grams," says Peay, and "if a scale is not available, use a spoon to lightly scoop the flour into the measuring cup and [then use] the back of a knife to level it off."

If you follow this recipe closely, you're about an hour away from about a dozen perfect hamburger buns. Oh, and these buns also work great for chicken sandwiches, crab cakes, and all manner of other good bread-related stuff, too.

Gather your ingredients for hamburger buns

This recipe will make as few as eight buns if you go with larger dough balls or as many as 16 if you decide to make them smaller. But, in a perfect world, it will yield you 12 regular-sized hamburger buns. 

Whatever size you decide to make, you'll need 4 1/4 cups of bread flour (which comes out to 510 grams for those of you with a kitchen scale). Yes, there is a difference when it comes to all the varieties of flour out there, so be sure that you've grabbed the right package of bread flour for this recipe. 

You'll also need 1 tablespoon of rapid rise yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 cup of evaporated milk, a 1/2 cup of water (at room temperature), 1 large egg, 3 tablespoons of canola oil, 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon of water (for an egg wash), and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.

Prep the yeast and the dry ingredients for hamburger buns

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let this solution sit and proof for 10 minutes, right at or ideally a bit above room temperature. Peay points out that "rapid rise yeast cuts the [proof] time in half," but you can use regular yeast. 

If you go with regular yeast, just remember that you need to be more patient. You will know that the yeast is proofed and ready when it's begun to get foamy. This means that the yeast is now active, having "woken up" and gotten ready to help your bread rise.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour and salt together in the bowl of your stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the evaporated milk. 

Make the hamburger bun dough

Pour the proofed yeast, oil, and egg into the well you hollowed out of the dry ingredients, then use the mixer to knead the dough for 8 to 9 minutes on medium speed. On a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, this will be about a 4 on the mixing speed control.

Scrape the dough onto an oiled baking mat. Remember, don't use flour, as this will develop too much gluten and make your buns tough. Divide the dough into 12 pieces for standard-sized buns. You may also divide the dough into 8 pieces for extra-large buns or 16 smaller portions for slider-sized ones. Roll the pieces into balls, then place the dough balls on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently press the dough balls down to slightly flatten them each to about 3 inches across.

Cover the dough with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes. At the end of this rise, the dough should be gently puffed up into a classic hamburger bun shape.

Bake the hamburger buns

Before you move on to the next step, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit to make sure it's ready to receive the buns. 

Once the dough balls have risen, brush them with the egg wash. Sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds. Now bake the buns in that 375-degree oven for 15 to 16 minutes, until they are golden brown on top. Once you've achieved that step, move the buns to a rack outside of the oven and immediately brush them with the melted butter.

Allow the buns to cool completely before serving. You can store them for several days in an airtight container at room temperature or for a week or so in the fridge. If you freeze them, they should last for about two months. But of course, they're best super fresh.

Hamburger Bun Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
Bread baking may seem intimidating but never fear. If you follow this recipe closely, you're about an hour away from about a dozen perfect hamburger buns
Prep Time
Cook Time
hamburger buns
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 4 ¼ cups bread flour (510 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup water room temp
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Dissolve the sugar in warm water and sprinkle the yeast over the top to proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk the flour and salt in a stand mixer bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the milk, proofed yeast, oil, and egg. Knead the dough for 8 - 9 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Scrape the dough onto an oiled baking mat and divide it into 12 pieces. You may also choose to divide them into 8 pieces for extra-large buns or 16 for slider-sized buns.
  4. Roll the pieces into balls. Place the dough balls on an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet then gently press to slightly flatten to about 3" across.
  5. Cover the dough for 30 - 40 minutes to rise until puffed.
  6. Once risen, brush the buns with an egg wash and sprinkle the tops with the sesame seeds.
  7. Bake the buns in a preheated 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 - 16 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Move the buns to a rack outside the oven and immediately brush with melted butter, and allow the buns to cool completely before serving.
Calories per Serving 255
Total Fat 9.2 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 38.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.5 g
Total Sugars 3.3 g
Sodium 207.7 mg
Protein 7.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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