Burger Buns

Posted by    |  January 27, 2010  |  Filed under: Recipes

Adapted from the King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion

To many people, making homemade burger buns might be what defines me as a culinary lunatic.  Actually, I only made them because of my unwillingness to cross the threshold of a grocery store more than once a week.  I was thinking about dinner one afternoon and had a hankering for burgers.   I didn’t have any buns and I wondered how difficult it would actually be to make my own. No big deal, actually.These taste wonderful.  They’re soft and savory and yeasty-just perfect.   If you rise the dough in an oven with a proof setting, the rises will go faster.  Allow more time if you’re rising on the counter.

1 cup water (105-110 degrees)
1 tablespoon instant (Rapidrise) yeast or regular yeast
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
3 ¼ cups (13 ¾ ounces) unbleached all purpose flour.   I always use half AP and half WW.
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
¾  teaspoon onion powder
¾  teaspoon garlic powder

Special Equipment
Parchment paper
Stand mixer fitted with a dough hook

If using Instant (“rapid-rise”) yeast, skip this step.  If using regular yeast, proof it.

  1. Mix water and yeast.  Leave for 5-10 minutes until slightly foamy .  If it doesn’t foam  up, discard and try new yeast.  This proofing process is to your yeast what your morning cup of coffee is to you. It wakes it up and gets it ready to do its work.

Make the dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients, including yeast with proofing liquid if proofed.
  2. Fit mixer with dough hook and knead at low speed for about 10 minutes.  Dough will look very squashy and loose for a while.   When it comes together in a tight ball and almost nothing is sticking to the sides of the bowl, it is complete.

When the dough is done, all of this shaggy stuff will come off of the sides of the bowl and it will form a smooth, cohesive ball.

First Rise

  1. Lightly grease a large bowl.  Place dough in bottom and cover tightly with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel.
  2. Allow to rise in oven on proof setting (about 90-degrees) or on counter in a warm room.
  3. Dough should approximately double in size, about 1 hour.

Second Rise

  1. Place parchment paper onto one or two baking sheets.
  2. Remove dough from bowl to a lightly-floured  counter.
  3. Cut dough into eight pieces.  Handling as little as possible, shape into slightly flattened balls.  Place balls on baking sheets.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray (a lightly-oiled pastry brush will do the trick too).
  5. Rise on counter or in oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

There's something especially delightful about a misshapen burger bun with the imprints of a toddler all over it.

After the second rise, the buns will have increased in size by about 30% and will have a smooth, silky appearance.


  1. Remove buns from oven if oven-rising.
  2. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Bake 10-12 minutes.
  3. Remove to a rack to cool. Split when well cooled.

Off Script…

Make them into hot dog or sausage buns by rolling them gently into a long shape,

Make “mini” burgers by cutting the dough into smaller shapes.  I love to do this when I’m having young kids over because I hate watching good quality meat go to waste.  When I make the kid-sized burgers, they’re easier for them to eat and there’s much less waste.

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