Scenes from My Pantry: Homemade Hamburger Buns

PUBLISHED ON: 05.29.2024

Homemade Hamburger Buns
Recipe from King Arthur Baking

Lately, I have found myself drawn to baking bread. The baking process induces a sense of calm in my monkey brain. The tactile experience of kneading dough feels grounding, and unlike my other daily tasks, baking bread has clear beginning, middle, and end with a rewarding outcome. There are some days you really need this in your life.

After traveling for three weeks, we had a craving for a grilled burger. We had no buns! Since I was needing to reconnect to my sense of home, I turned to my reliable King Arthurs website and found an easy-to-follow recipe for hamburger buns, which could also be used for sandwiches or toast. The recipe provided a lot of flexibility, so I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. I weighed each dough piece to 97 grams, though next time I plan to increase it to 100 grams and topped the buns with ‘Everything Bagel’ seasoning. While I rarely achieve visual bread perfection, I could see improvement with each subsequent roll, proving with practice it becomes more visually perfect.

If you need or want to embark on your own bread baking journey there are a million ways to make good bread and plenty of good books and reputable internet sources. My go-to is the King Arthur baking website.


2 Tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
4-1/2 teaspoons (14 grams) instant yeast or active dry yeast
1/2 cup (113 grams), water warm (105 F- 115F)
2 cups (454g) milk, warm (105-115F)
2 Tablespoons (27g) vegetable oil
2 teaspoon salt
6-7-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour (720-900g)
*note- I combined all-purpose flour with equal parts of whole wheat flour
1 large egg beaten with one tablespoon water
(egg wash)
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, caraway seeds, coarse salt (optional).


To mix the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt and 3 cups (360g) of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup (30g) at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

Knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Because this dough is so slack, you may find that a bowl scraper or bench knife can be helpful in scooping up the dough and folding it over on itself.

Put the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide into 18 equal pieces. This is done most easily by dividing the dough first into thirds, then those thirds into halves, then the halves into thirds.

Shape each piece into a ball. For hamburger buns, flatten the balls into 3 1/2″ disks. For hot-dog buns, roll the balls into cylinders, 4 1/2″ in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly; dough rises more in the center so this will give a gently rounded top versus a high top.

For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet a half inch apart so they’ll grow together when they rise. For crisper buns, place them 3″ apart.

For the second rising, cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Fifteen minutes before you want to bake your buns, preheat your oven to 400°F. Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with whatever seeds strike your fancy.

To bake the buns: Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°F when measured with a digital thermometer.

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.

Split the buns in half and toast or griddle before serving, as desired. Store leftover buns at room temperature in an airtight container for several days, or freeze for longer storage.



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