Between the first day of spring and the fact that high temperatures in Phoenix lately have been upwards of 90°F lately it only felt right to get a jump start on warmer weather recipes! I couldn’t think of anything more perfect to share than a step-by-step tutorial with all the tips and tricks for how to make burger buns with my all-time favorite bun recipe. These buns will seriously wow the pants off anyone who comes to your next BBQ, they elevate any burger to a whole other level. The buns are light brioche in base which makes them incredibly light and fluffy yet simultaneously rich throughout and crusty on the outside. Exactly what anyone would want in their burger. Watch the video to see exactly how they’re made then check out my extra recipe notes below that will hopefully answer any bread baking questions!
See the WHOLE WHEAT version of this recipe here!
- You can also use active dry yeast in this recipe. Instant yeast and active dry yeast are interchangeable at a 1:1 ratio, active dry yeast just needs to be proofed with liquid before continuing with the recipe and may take longer to rise.
- Do not replace the bread flour with anything else. Bread flour has more protein content than all-purpose flour, which helps develop the gluten in the dough. Since gluten is the backbone of any bread’s structure and since we are adding ingredients that prohibit gluten development (butter, egg, sugar), this dough needs all the help it can get in developing the gluten. Plus we want to make sure the buns keep a nice tall firm structure and don’t fall flat.
- I would advice against kneading this dough by hand. It is on the sticky side and requires a lot of kneading to develop that gluten, it’s best done in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Avoid adding any extra flour to the dough. Since this dough takes quite a while to come together it’ll look really wet and sticky like it needs tons of extra flour. Any extra will create a more dense and tough bun instead of the light fluffy brioche-style bun we want. It’s better to be sticky than dense. The sticky factor should continue to lessen as the dough is kneaded and as it rises. If the dough doesn’t seem like it’s coming together at all, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing kneading to relax the gluten.
- To make the dough ahead of time, feel free to let the first rise of the dough occur in the fridge overnight. Let it come to room temperature before shaping into buns and proceeding with the second rise.
- These buns can also be frozen! Bake the buns as directed, let cool completely, then place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.
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Taste: So rich and tasty, with a hint of sweetness. I have had a longtime obsession with these.
Texture: Paradoxically light and fluffy AND rich with a bit of a crusty exterior. The absolute perfect canvas for any type of burger.
Ease: The dough takes quite a bit of kneading to come together and is on the sticky side, but follow the recipe exactly and with a bit of patience you should have a batch of these beautifully buns in your kitchen.
Pros: One thousand times better than any store bought burger bun. Period.
Cons: Dough is a little difficult to work with, just follow the video and if in doubt, keep kneading!
Would I make this again? I’ve made this recipe many times.
How to make Burger Buns
Yield: 8 buns
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 35 minutes
3 tablespoons warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour (do not substitute this)
1/3 cup (1.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, and egg. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until frothy, before continuing. Add the flour to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the salt and butter. Knead on medium low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together into a soft yet tacky dough (should not be unbearably sticky). Avoid adding too much extra flour because it will create tough buns, it’s better to be sticky than dense I promise!
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until puffy and almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.
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