Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns are a variation of my most popular bread recipe.
It’s grilling season! Is there anything as satisfying as a juicy burger, hot off the grill?
We spend lots of time thinking about what type of meat (or meat substitute) we should use to make the burger, and what type of fixins to put on top of the burger, but what about the bun?
Most of us just buy packaged buns without even thinking about making our own. But I can tell you that these Whole Wheat Burger Buns will ruin packaged burger buns for you. But don’t worry, they’re really very easy to make with no deep bread-baking knowledge required.
What makes a great burger bun?
I adapted this recipe from my most popular bread recipe, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread. There’s a reason that recipe is so popular. It’s the perfect sandwich bread; soft, ever-so-slightly sweet with wholesome wheat flavor.
As good as that bread is, I knew I’d need to make a few changes to turn it into a really great homemade burger bun.
First of all, a good burger bun should be soft enough so you can bite into the burger without all the toppings squishing out. But the bun should also be substantial enough to hold up to the burger juices and toppings without disintegrating.
Finally, I don’t think the bun should just be a blank canvas. I wanted the bun to have great flavor on it’s own.
Scroll through the step-by-step process photos to see how to make Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns:
Keys to making a great homemade burger bun recipe:
- I added 1 egg for structure and just a tiny bit of butter was needed for extra richness.
- An extra teaspoon of yeast ensures a nice, light texture and speeds up the entire process from dough to oven.
- Finally, I used slightly less whole wheat flour to keep the flavor light. I wanted the bun to taste great, but also let the flavor of the burger take center stage.
- For me sesame seeds are essential, but you can use poppy seeds or just leave them au natural.
To me this is the perfect burger bun. You can make the dough in the morning and have fresh burger buns ready by the time you fire up the grill for dinner. But please don’t limit yourself to using them for burgers, they’re also fantastic for sandwiches.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it 5 stars.
- 1 cup (236 ml) whole milk (warmed to 100°-110°F, slightly warmer than body temp)
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temp (it will melt in the warm milk)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast
- 1 cup (5oz, 145g) stone ground whole wheat flour
- 2 cups (10 oz, 290g) bread flour, approximately
- 1 egg white for brushing
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Combine milk, butter, honey, salt and egg in a mixer bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Add the whole wheat flour and mix until a thick batter is formed.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour until the batter is very thick. Switch to the dough hook or turn out onto a floured surface to finish by hand. Add enough of the remaining bread flour until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. Knead for 2-3 minutes to develop the dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Set in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in volume (1 - 1 1/2 hours).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 equal portions (based on how big your burgers are). Roll each portion to a ball and set them a parchment lined baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball to a disc about 1" thick.
- Cover the sheet pan and allow the rolls to rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 hour). Press a roll with your finger. If it springs right back it's not ready, if the dent slowly fills in the rolls are ready to bake.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush the tops of the buns with egg white. Sprinkle each bun generously with sesame seeds. Bake until the buns are golden brown and feel light when lifted off the sheet pan, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
The buns freeze very well.
I made 6 buns for burgers that were about 6 oz each (uncooked). For 1/4 lb burgers you could probably get 8 buns. For sliders I would estimate 12-16 buns.
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