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Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns are a variation of my most popular bread recipe.

a plate with a milk & honey whole wheat burger bun

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:

dough for milk & honey whole wheat burger bun

Allow the dough to double in volume before shaping.

portioning dough for whole wheat hamburger buns

Portion the dough into 6-8 pieces, depending on the size of your burgers.

a tray of burger buns ready for the oven

Roll the dough into balls

showing how to flatten dough for burger buns

Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand so the buns are not too thick

sprinkling sesame seeds on whole wheat burger buns

Brush the risen buns with egg white for shine and add optional sesame seeds

Golden brown whole wheat hamburger buns cooling on a rack

Bake until golden brown.

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.

milk & honey whole wheat burger buns

the interior of a Milk & Honey whole wheat burger bun

These burger buns are light, yet substantial enough to stand up to a hearty burger.

milk and honey whole wheat hamburger buns

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.

Want a great burger to go on your fresh baked burger buns? How about Chicken Satay Burgers for a change? If you’ve got a sourdough starter I highly recommend these Sourdough Hamburger Buns.

Now that your family is spoiled, you’ll probably need to make Homemade Hot Dog Buns too.

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

a juice burger on a plate

Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Yield: 6 large buns
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level.


  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  7. 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


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Saturday 24th of April 2021

My search for the best hamburger buns recipe is over! These are perfect!


Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

So easy and beautiful outcome! Love it ! Thanks for the recipe!


Saturday 20th of February 2021

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.

Eileen Gray

Saturday 20th of February 2021

Yes, certainly. You can visit my Hot Dog Bun recipe to see how to shape them.


Wednesday 9th of December 2020

Would whole wheat pastry flour work for the bread flour?

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 9th of December 2020

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.


Saturday 23rd of May 2020

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!

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