Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Super soft with a hint of honey sweetness, Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns will upgrade your burger game this grilling season.

a whole wheat burger bun on a white plate.

Why you should make Whole Wheat Burger Buns

A perfect hamburger bun should be soft enough so you can bite the burger without all the toppings squishing out the other end. It should also be substantial enough to hold up to the meat juices without disintegrating. Finally, it should taste great all by itself.

Most of us just buy packaged buns without even thinking about making our own. But these Whole Wheat Hamburger buns enhanced with milk and honey are totally worth the time and effort.

Make the dough in the morning and have fresh buns ready by the time you fire up the grill.

But please don’t limit yourself to using them for burgers, they’re also fantastic for sandwiches.


ingredients for whole wheat burger buns in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Bread Flour – High protein bread flour promotes great gluten development in the dough. The stretchy dough rises high in the oven and the buns keep their round shape.
  • Whole Wheat Flour – The recipe has 1/3 whole wheat flour and 2/3 bread flour. You can up the whole wheat to 1/2 the total flour for a heartier bun.
  • Yeast – I prefer instant yeast to rapid rise yeast for a slightly slower rise. A slower rise gives more time for flavor to develop.
  • Milk – Scalding alters a protein in milk which can interfere with gluten development. Don’t skip the scalding step. The milk, along with butter and honey, tenderizes the dough for a soft crumb.
  • Sesame Seeds – These are optional but very traditional.

Process photos for Whole Wheat Burger Buns

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

dough in a mixing bowl.
  • Allow the dough to double in volume before shaping.
portioning dough with a bench scraper.
  • Portion the dough into 8 pieces for 1/4 pound burgers.
  • For sliders divide the dough into 12-16 pieces.
balls of dough on a baking sheet.
  • Roll the dough into tight balls.
a hand flattening a ball of dough.
  • Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand to a 1″ thick disc.
  • Set aside to rise until the dough is puffy and the dough slowly springs back when pressed.
sprinkling sesame seeds on whole wheat burger buns
  • Brush the risen buns with egg wash for shine and add optional sesame seeds.
whole wheat hamburger buns cooling on a rack.
  • Bake until golden brown.

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If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it 5 stars.

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4.55 from 40 reviews

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level.
Prep Time40 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Rising Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 55 minutes
8 large buns
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  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ oz honey (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 5 oz whole wheat flour (1 cup, see note)
  • 10 oz bread flour (2 cups)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)


  • In a microwave proof measuring cup or bowl, scald 8 oz whole milk. Add 1 oz unsalted butter to the milk and allow it to melt. Set the milk/butter aside to cool to about 100F.
  • Combine the milk/butter with 1 ½ oz honey, 1 ½ teaspoons table salt and 1 large egg in a mixer bowl. Sprinkle 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast over the mixture. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Add 5 oz whole wheat flour and mix until a thick batter is formed.
  • Switch to the dough hook and slowly add 10 oz bread flour. Knead for 5 minutes to until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. If working by hand add as much of the flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead.
  • Put the dough into 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 – 1½ hours).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 8 equal portions. 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 wash. 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.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The buns freeze very well.
For 1/4 lb burgers make 8 buns. For sliders estimate 12-16 buns.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made these buns the other day but changed it a little from 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose and they came out amazing!!!! My loving man even received compliments on a chicken sandwich I made him of how great the buns look, nothing about the chicken lmao Thanks so much for the recipe!!! I’m going to try it in a loaf soon

  2. I have made these 3 times now as burger buns ( large buns and slider buns) and I absolutely love them! I also made this recipe into a loaf of bread as well and it came out just perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. I am currently making my 4th batch of slider buns in a week and my 2nd loaf of bread. Thank you for this recipe. I have been trying to find a flavorful bread recipe and I will use this one as my go-to! I have already shared this recipe with 3 friends. 🙂

  3. Upon reading the reviews, looks like this is another baking to try and keep. I want to double the ingredients to make half on hotdog buns. Do you think that will work that way?
    Thank you.

    1. Pastry flour is softer than bread flour, meaning lower protein content and less gluten making ability. Did you want to use all whole grain bread rather than some white flour? Better options would be all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or even all whole wheat flour. With all whole grain the buns will be more dense.

  4. I’ve made these buns twice now, and they are delicious! This is the best recipe I have found. They turn out so soft and chewy. I top them with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and they are the perfect complement to a burger or sandwich!

  5. Just put these in the oven – they’ve risen beautifully. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  6. Ok this is a clear “must do” this summer! I love the touch of honey in there, make me thing of the best bagel (Montreal ones;)) from home plus the mild help to keep the moisture! I’ll try this out for sure.

  7. I am totally loving the homemade buns! So awesome and I totally need to make these! Thanks for sharing on Friday Frenzy Link Party!! Xoxo

  8. I totally agree that many ready made buns are just tasteless, its so important to have a bun that tastes good. These look like the buns I buy but I’m sure they taste so much better! I feel I owe it to our tastebuds to try these.

  9. I haven’t ever made my own hamburger buns before. I have made bread, so am familiar with the practice. I love that these are whole wheat. I bet they wouldn’t last long at our upcoming Father’s Day cookout.

  10. I would have never thought that I could make my own burger buns! These ones sounds and look delicious, I will make my hubby whip them up for our next BBQ since he is the “King of the Grill”!

  11. These sound like a good bun for a nice hearty burger, how long will they keep fresh for?

    1. Because of the milk, honey and butter they’ll keep fresh for a couple of days. Longer than that they freeze really well.

  12. I’m going to have to give these a try this weekend. I’ve been looking for a better hamburger bun recipe. The ones I have always turn out a little blah. These look fantastic!

    1. They are so good Gloria. Definitely add your favorite seeds and other goodies to customize the topping.