Soft Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Sourdough Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level. They’re plush with an amazing flavor and texture thanks to the sourdough starter in the dough.

a sourdough burger bun on a white plate.

If you don’t already have one, I can show you how to make a sourdough starter and how to feed a sourdough starter.

Why you should make Sourdough Hamburger Buns

We spend lots of time thinking about what type of meat (or meat substitute) used to make a burger, and what type of fixins to put on top of the burger. But what about the bun?

A good hamburger 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.

That is exactly the type of bun this recipe will yield.

Ingredients

ingredients for sourdough hamburger buns in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

  • Sourdough Starter – Use an active, 100% hydration starter. If your starter has a different hydration percent you will need to adjust the flour or water in the recipe as needed.
  • 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.
  • 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 a smidge of sugar, tenderizes the dough for a soft crumb.
  • Sesame Seeds – These are optional but a very tasty addition.

Step by Step Process Photos

See the recipe card for detailed measurements and instructions.

sourdough bun dough in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the starter with the water and 1/2 cup of the flour and set it aside for 60 minutes. Add the milk/butter, sugar, salt, egg and half of the remaining flour. This will form a thick batter. Switch to the dough hook.
  • With the mixer running on low speed, add the remaining flour and mix to combine.
  • The dough will start out quite shaggy and sticky. Knead for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes the dough should cling to the hook and clear the sides of the bowl. This can also be done by hand.
a hand folding dough in a bowl.
  • Set the dough aside to ferment for 3-5 hours. Each hour stretch and fold the dough.
  • After the initial fermentation cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If you want to bake the same day proceed with shaping the buns.
dough balls and discs on baking sheets.
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Do this by eye or weigh the dough and divide by 8. Roll each piece of dough under your cupped hand to form a tight ball. Set the dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Use your hand to flatten each ball into a disc. Alternately, run a rolling pin over each ball to flatten.
  • Set the buns aside to rise for 1 – 2 hours. The rising time will be longer if the dough is cold after refrigerating.
  • The buns are ready when they are light and aerated. If you poke the dough it should form a dimple that slowly fills-in. If the dough springs right back it’s not ready.
sourdough hamburger buns before and after baking.
  • Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Bake until golden brown.

Timeline for making Sourdough Hamburger Buns:

Same Day Bake

  • Night before – feed starter
  • Early am – mix dough
  • Early afternoon – bulk fermentation complete
  • Early afternoon – shape Buns & rise
  • Late afternoon – bake buns

Overnight Cold Fermentation

  • Early am – feed starter
  • Early afternoon – mix dough
  • Early Evening – bulk fermentation complete
  • Early Evening – refrigerate dough up to 2 days
  • Next Day – shape buns, rise and bake
a split sourdough hamburger bun on a white plate.

I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

Juicy burger on a Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
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4.61 from 251 reviews

Sourdough Hamburger Bun Recipe

Soft with an amazing flavor and texture, Sourdough Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level.
Prep Time40 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Rising Time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 55 minutes
8 large buns
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Ingredients

  • 8 oz active sourdough starter (1 cup, 100% hydration)
  • 2 oz warm water (¼ cup)
  • 15 oz bread flour (3 cups, see note)
  • 6 oz whole milk (¾ cup)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 oz granulated sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine 8 oz active sourdough starter, 2 oz warm water and 1/2 cup of the bread flour to form a thick batter. Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to rise for 30-60 minutes.
  • Warm 6 oz whole milk in the microwave to scalding. Add 1 oz unsalted butter to the milk and stir until the butter melts. Allow the milk to cool to 110°F. Add the milk, 1 oz granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons salt and 1 large egg to the sponge. Mix to combine.
  • Add half of the remaining bread flour. Mix until the batter looks like thick pancake batter. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
  • With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining bread flour. Mix until the dough begins to gather on the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes. If mixing by hand, add as much of the flour as you can in the bowl then finish kneading in the rest of the flour by hand And then knead 5 minutes.
  • Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead to form a smooth ball. If the dough is very sticky sprinkle a little more flour as you knead. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover and set aside in a warm spot for the initial fermentation.
  • Each hour during fermentation, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You're basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast and strengthen the gluten.
  • After 3 hours the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. If you want to finish making the buns the next day return the dough to the bowl, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. The next morning continue with shaping. Otherwise continue shaping the buns on the same day.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 8 equal portions (see note). 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. Alternately, you can run a rolling pin over the dough to flatten.
  • Cover the sheet pan and allow the rolls to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour, longer if the dough is cold). 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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Notes

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.
For 1/4 lb burgers make 8 buns. For sliders make 12 buns.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bun | Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 462mg | Potassium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating




125 Comments

    1. Probably. As long as the dough is very active. A more sluggish dough might not do so well in the freezer. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. My preferred way to work ahead is to actually make and bake the buns. Freeze them as soon as they’re cooled. If you rewarm them in a low oven they’ll be as good as fresh baked.

  1. These are fantastic rolls, 10/10!! Thank you for making such an awesome recipe. I will be returning to your blog for more recipes in the future!

  2. Just found your site and eager to try some recipes! Can skim or lower fat version of milk be substituted. I don’t typically have whole milk in the refridgerator.

  3. These buns are delicious! I added chive flowers to the dough and the aroma is beautiful! Curious, if I made this into a loaf would you need to bake it for longer?

    1. Oooh, chive flowers sound heavenly in this soft bread. Yes, a loaf would certainly bake longer than the buns. As a guess I would say at least 35 minutes or so.

  4. Really excellent recipe as usual – they always work so well ! Thank you so much ! My husband loves burger buns with everything and I didn’t really want to buy any more of those ‘cardboard’ UPF ones in packets. Made a whole batch yesterday and already making more today – hopefully I’ll have some left to have a stock in the freezer !

    1. Made 2 batches and none had time to get to the freezer, so making a double batch today !!
      I found that proving in the oven at 30 deg C with a pan of hot water worked brilliantly. I make the dough up to the shaping stage in the late afternoon and then put it in the fridge overnight and shape and bake the next morning.

  5. This is an excellent recipe! I was looking for one without commercial yeast and I will look no further. I left the dough in the fridge for a few days before shaping into 8 buns and baking and they were still perfect.

  6. Great recipe! I was pretty laissez-faire with the mixing and timing of things and it still came out wonderful. My husband said it was our best buns yet! And thank you for not including yeast. I went with the other commenter’s suggestion to mix altogether in one step. Then placed in mixer and walked away for a few minutes. Next time I will time the mix so it won’t be so tough coming out. I also added one tablespoon of water to the egg wash. Can’t wait to make again! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Oh my GOODness! Absolutely delicious recipe! More than 5 stars! Mine rose so fast, because it’s hot and humid out, so it’s awesome to be able to have buns that quickly WITHOUT commercial yeast! You are genius, these are fabulous. I did 8 buns, perfect size, some plain, some with sesame seeds and some with everything seasoning………… excellent! I’m going to do a triple recipe tomorrow and share some with my family! Thanks for this recipe.

    1. You are welcome! The only drawback is that these totally ruined store bought buns for me. I bake batches and freeze them so I have them on hand all summer.

  8. I made these yesterday and they turned out great! I think next time I need to put a pan in the bottom on the oven- my bottoms got slightly more brown than I would’ve liked. I used all purpose and whole wheat flour mix. Also used skim milk instead of whole milk which probably wasn’t ideal – but that’s what I had and they still turned out great! I’ll definitely be making these again.

  9. I have been reading some of the comments on this recipe for sourdough buns and something caught my eye it says 3 cups of bread flour or 420 g I believe that a cup of bread flour is 120 g?

    1. The weight of a cup of flour is not an absolute. The amount of flour in the cup depends on how you fill the cup. I use the “dip and sweep” method to fill the cup. That is, I dip the measuring cup into the flour, overfill it, then sweep away the excess. Doing it this way I always get very close to 5 oz per cup of bread flour (5ozx28.3g=141.5g per cup) That means there is 423g in the recipe (141gx3 cups). If you fill the cup by first fluffing up the flour and then spooning it into the cup you will have less flour in the cup and a cup of flour will weigh less than 5oz. There is not a “correct” way to fill a cup of flour. All my recipes assume 5oz per cup. This is why weighing your ingredients is always the most accurate since an ounce or gram of flour is always an ounce or gram of flour.

  10. I am making buns with all purpose and like to measure by grams rather than cups. Recipe calls for 420g of bread flour. Would that be the same for all purpose flour as well? I use King Aurther flour. I don’t have a mixer so will me making it by hand.

    1. Yes, the weight would be the same. Bread flour does absorb more moisture than AP flour, so if the dough is unmanageably sticky you can sprinkle in a little extra flour.

  11. For anyone saying they had to add way more flour than the recipe called for, are you sure you’re giving your mixer ample time to develop the gluten?

    Dough should be sticky. It shouldn’t be dry, or else your final product will be dry. But if you let your mixer do its job, eventually it becomes manageable.

    Just my two cents, but the exact amount of flour listed here was actually perfect for me.

  12. This recipe was favored by my family over the last recipe I used even though it was a bit more work. It didn’t rise as well, needed extra flour (like over 1/2 cup) and took 20 minutes to bake. Also, the shape didn’t come out as well as my previous ones. Very favorable. I put onion on some and Everything spice on the others.

  13. Thank you for this recipe, I also had to add quite some flour to make the dough form a ball (ingredients by weight). So I was curious and and weight out a cup of flour (dip and sweep) and it came out 167g, almost 5.8oz. Maybe that’s where the problem is.

    1. I test all my recipes by weight and then add the cup measures as a convenience for US readers who often prefer volume measure. I use the dip and sweep method and always get very close to 5oz per cup of bread flour. But volume measurements are variable based on how the baker fills the cup. If you weighed your ingredients you should have the proper texture for the dough. As noted in the recipe, the dough will start out a little soft and sticky and the gluten will continue to develop during the fermentation.

  14. I have made this recipe several times. Turned out well every time. Freezes well. I have also tried substituting different kinds of flour.

  15. I used the quantities (by weight) of all the ingredients listed in this recipe (although I subbed the cane sugar for honey), except rather than mixing the starter with flour and water and waiting an hour, I combined everything into my stand mixer *all at once* and kneaded it with the dough hook for about 10 minutes. I didn’t bother scalding the milk either. Then, I let the dough sit for 1 hour and did 3 stretch and folds every 30 minutes or so. I let the dough sit out on the counter for probably about 3-4 hours, til I could see that it was noticeably puffier, then I put it in the fridge overnight. I took the dough out in the early afternoon, shaped them, and let them rise for an hour then baked them. They turned out amazing!

    I can’t say if I’m not missing out on some awesome taste by cutting out some of the steps but I found this way to be much better for my cooking style 🙂

  16. I have made these 3 times now and they were great each time. I too had to add more flour than the recipe amount. Almost 100g extra! The resulting buns are amazing.

  17. I made this recipe per instructions… They rose beautifully bit turned out more like a yeast roll…not light and fluffy. What did I do wrong?

    1. Well, they are a yeast roll. They are fairly soft because of the milk, butter and eggs in the recipe. But they are more substantial than packaged rolls.

  18. I made these last night and they were delicious! Super easy and turned out beautifully. I sprinkled everything bagel seasoning on top. Thank you for the recipe!

  19. So good. I followed the recipe and they came out light and flavorful. May try as dinner rolls minus the egg wash and seeds.

  20. I should have waited until the baking was completed before responding. This will be my last comment on the Sourdough Hamburger Bun Recipe. I just took them out of the oven and most of them have a crack on the side near the bottom of the buns. I’ve never had this happen before. I’d like your thoughts on what could have caused this. Thank You.

  21. After shaping I let the rolls rise for 2 hours and they didn’t double. I usually do the overnight rise but thought I’d bake same day. After the second 60 minute rest I didn’t find my dough very “lively” so I left it for another hour. My starter looked great this morning. Is it possible that leaving it overnight after feeding was too long? I’m just not sure what the problem could have been.

  22. I am making tis recipe for the second time. This time I had to add a lot more flour (almost 2/3 cup more) so that the dough formed a ball and I was able to turn out and knead. What I did different this particular time: I added the flour and water to the starter and left it overnight. In the past I usually feed first thing in the morning and only leave for about 4 hours. Could this have made the difference in requiring so much more flour? I have made 4 of your recipes many times and this was the first time I had to add so much more flour.

  23. Great flavor! Swapped out 1/2 the bread flour for whole wheat. It’s definitely going to be difficult to buy store-bought buns again!

  24. What do you mean by *Sponge* when you say: “Add the milk, sugar, salt and egg to the sponge.” I’m keen to try your recipe, but not sure of what you mean by this term, as it is only mentioned once? Also, do you have a video of this recipe?

    1. The sponge is the mixture of starter-water-and flour you make in the first step. I’ll edit the recipe to make that more clear.

  25. I made these today and they are so delicious! I had to add a little more flour to bring them together but as you’ve said, it was most likely, the difference in the thickness of my starter. I did do the overnight slow rise because I like a longer fermentation time. Thank you for a great recipe!

  26. This recipe produced the best hamburger buns I’ve ever made. Knowing that the hydration of the barm varies, I added enough flour to pull the dough away from the sides of the mixer. I did use some whole wheat flour. I followed the instructions as written. Beautiful.

  27. I find that with all of the recipes lately, I need to add at least an extra half cup.of flour. It hasn’t affected taste or texture, but I’m not sure why it’s happening!, any thoughts?

    1. With sourdough recipes so much depends on the condition of the starter when you make the recipe. If you’ve ever noticed, which you feed the starter it is quite thick. As the starter sits it becomes more liquid. When I have a starter that hasn’t been fed for a few days it goes from a very thick batter to thinner than a pancake batter. I like to mix my dough when my starter is just below it’s peak of rising from a feeding.

    2. @Eileen Gray, Thanks Eileen so much for mentioning about the thickness of the starter. I feel much better now!! My starter, which works well, most of the time, is very thick when I go to feed it. It’s almost so thick that it’s hard to stir. I’m going to try your recipe for the sourdough rolls, I’ve never made any using a sourdough although over the years (I’m 82+) I’ve made lots of rolls.

  28. This dough makes delightful cinnamon rolls. At the shaping stage, I flattened it into a big rectangle, brushed with butter, and sprinkled it with cinnamon & brown sugar. Rolled up sliced into 10 rolls. Cooked for about 30 mins and glazed with a butter, icing sugar, vanilla mix. MMMMMMM.

  29. These hamburger buns were perfect! So soft and literally melt in your mouth delicious! Thank you for such a great recipe!

  30. Thank you for the quick response! Will I also need to change the amount of water or milk in the recipe? I’ve heard whole wheat flour is more thirsty than other flours.

    1. No, it should be fine. Actually, because of the high protein content, bread flour absorbs lots of moisture. If anything, the dough might be a little more wet. If so, just sprinkle in a little more bread flour as needed.

  31. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Thank you for the great instructions.
    I would like to make whole wheat hamburger buns. How would you recommend modifying this recipe for whole wheat hamburger buns?

  32. Hi. Just baked these buns using convection. Dough was super sticky. Had to add another 1/2 to 3/4 cup of flour to get the dough to come together in the mixer. Maybe I missed a cup while measuring out the ingredients. Will use for tri-tip sandwiches tonight. They look great!

    1. Same, not entirely sure the cup to gram equivalent is where it should be? I could not get it to come together despite adding more flour and extra time in the mixer.

      1. A cup of flour weighs 5 oz using the “dip & sweep” method for filling the cup. The conversion for oz to grams is 28.3. The numbers are correct. Generally, if you’re having trouble with the dough coming together it probably has to do with the texture of your starter. An overly ripe starter, or a starter that is not fed at 100%, will yield a different dough.

    1. I’m surprised you didn’t get any browning with egg wash. Perhaps your oven is heating unevenly. If you have a convection setting for you oven you’ll get more browning with the convection on.

  33. Wonderful recipe. And your instructions are so good. Texture and flavor came out great. Unlike the ones in the photos, they split on the sides, much like bread would do it it wasn’t scored. What should I do in the future. And, that will have nothing to do with us eating them.

    1. Hmmm, I’ve made these countless times and haven’t had them split on me. Did you flatten them before baking? Also, when you form the rolls make sure to rotate them in your hand to make a very tight ball of dough. That action of rotating the dough around form a tight skin on the outside of the bun. I find by forming a tight ball and them using my hands to flatten the balls I haven’t had any splitting.

      1. thanks for your quick answer. I could have flattened them a bit more and I may not have rolled them tight enough. I’ll try next time. This recipe is a keeper. Thanks

  34. Hello, going to give this a try today when I found our home to be lacking milk but I have buttermilk…. your thoughts on substituting buttermilk, perhaps reducing the butter in the process? Thanks

    1. Turned out well enough, used buttermilk, also used Everything Bagel seasoning on top instead of sesame seed. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  35. Some of the ingredients appear to be duplicated as the exact same ingredient and amount is presented on two lines. Is that an error or are we really supposed to add 2x?

    2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
    2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1.5 teaspoons salt
    1.5 teaspoons salt
    1 large egg, room temperature
    1 large egg, room temperature
    1 egg, whisked for brushing
    1 egg, whisked for brushing
    Sesame seeds for garnish
    Sesame seeds for garnish

    1. Where are you at in the process? Have you just made the dough, or did you already finish baking the buns. The dough will start out quite sticky, but after the long fermentation and a night in the fridge, the dough will become more cohesive.

  36. These burger buns were a hit and ruined store bought for ever! Easy and oh so delicious! I will definitely be making them again…

    1. Yes, I can’t buy buns from the store anymore. But I do make a batch and freeze extras to make it easy.

  37. I made these with oat milk and vegan butter to make them dairy-free and they turned out great! thanks so much for a delicious recipe 🙂

  38. Thank you for this great recipe! I have made it before and it turned out perfect! I started a batch yesterday and forgot to put it in the refrigerator last night. Can I still continue with the recipe and use my dough or since it sat out all night should it be tossed? Thank you!

  39. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    I baked mine just a few hours ago! They are so cute 🙂

    I skipped steps 5 to 7. After kneading it, I let it proof for 5-6h (it grew like 3x) and then put it in the fridge. This morning I shaped them in 6 balls (about 180g)… After 1h or so, sprinkled each with black sesame and chia and baked them. Can’t wait for this night for having them 😛

  40. Hi,

    The tops of my buns are very pale, though they are cooked. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

    Thanks

  41. These were delicious! I topped w/ steak seasoning because I didn’t have sesame seeds. Tasted great with the burger I made last night; soft but not falling apart. As per your detailed tips—super helpful!—I fed my starter in the evening, mixed the dough in the morning, proofed all day and baked in the early evening, Thanks for a great recipe, and keep the sourdough coming!

  42. If my starter seems sluggish, or I want to speed things up, can I add a tsp or two of dry yeast? Is that basically all that’s required to convert a recipe like this into a “discard recipe”?

    1. Yes, you can add a smidge of dry yeast to speed things up. I think of a discard recipe being one where the main purpose of using the unfed starter is for flavor and texture, but it’s not doing the heavy lifting for the rise of the baked good. Generally, baking powder/soda or yeast will do that. The question I would ask is why does your starter seem sluggish. Does it need a feeding or is the temp a little too cold? If it needs a feeding then the best way to speed things up would be with a little commercial yeast. If it’s sluggish because of temp (either room or dough) I will often set the bowl of dough over another bowl with some warm water in the bottom. Another way to warm the dough is to turn the oven on for just a minute to get it barely warm. Set the bowl in the warmish oven to jump start the dough. Right now it’s quite warm where I live so I have the opposite problem of the dough just growing wild in the warm room.

  43. I live in a hot (85 Fahrenheit) humid climate and was worried about following the timings provided as I have had a few experiences of overproofing with other receipes. My dough was quite sticky and I had to dust more flour when kneading and again when shaping. Also after 1 hr and 20mins of letting it rise the buns were about 1.5x bigger but not doubled. I decided to bake them anyways and it turned out pretty delicious!! My kids love them! Just wondering if I should have let them stay out longer and waited till they doubled. Would this have resulted in a softer crumb?

    1. You are absolutely right to adjust the timing to your climate. All the times listed for bread recipes, especially sourdough, are only a guideline. Use your eyes and your own judgement, as you did, for the best outcome.

      1. I am new to sourdough baking and wondering would leaving it out for longer say 2hrs for the second rise help you produce a more airy crumb (bigger holes) ?
        Thanks:

    1. Yes. Make the dough and take it through the fermentation stage. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Shape the buns while the dough is still cold. Then leave them to rise.

  44. Quick question! Just put them in the fridge to make tomorrow. How long can I leave it in there? And last, do I have to have dough at room temp for shaping or can I do it right out of the fridge?
    I guess I hope you answer quickly lol! Thanks and this is my first try at Hamburger Rolls – they look delicious! THANKS!!

    1. I hope it’s not too late. The dough can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days and you can shape the buns right out of the fridge. Then rise and bake them.

      1. This is great. I made them the first time & everyone went WILD! They were just fantastic – after fridge for less than 24 hours. I am sharing this recipe with everyone!!! Thank you!!

        1. So glad you like them. The only problem with these buns is that they totally ruin store-bought buns. Now I just have to make my own.

  45. These are delicious! Would it work with applesauce for egg substitute? Would it work with almond milk instead of whole? I used the applesauce substitute actually today and they were delicious but didn’t rise much. Haven’t tried the almond milk. (There are vegans in my life.)
    Thanks!

    1. Almond milk shouldn’t be a problem. Applesauce would change the texture quite a bit since it’s adding sugar, moisture and fiber. I don’t have a lot of experience with replacing eggs with vegan ingredients. I have used commercial egg replacer in cookies with good results. Here’s a list of other egg replacers. At the very least you could simply leave the egg out and reduce the flour by about 1/4 cup to compensate for the lost moisture. The crumb will be a bit less open and spongy but the buns will be tasty.

  46. Hi, on step 2 you say to add the mixed wet ingredients “to the sponge.” I’m not a baker and I’ve never heard that term before unless you mean an ACTUAL sponge. I’m guessing you mean to add it to the step 1 mixture? Help soon please lol

  47. Wow! these were the best hamburger buns I have ever had. Perfect crumb and tasty but not overwhelming the burger, I made 8 and they were perfect size my 1/4 lb bison burgers, about 110g each. I love that i could use them with my starter, I made a leavain with 30g of starter and 200 of flour to make the starter called for. Mixed them by hand and they look perfect like store bought but better.

    1. If you don’t want to freeze them keep them at room temperature in a plastic bag. Never refrigerate bread as that makes it go stale faster.

  48. I’m new to sourdough baking since sheltering in took place. I’m planning to bake these on a pizza stone lined w/ parchment paper and am wondering if I need to add a tray of water as per all the other sourdough recipes I’ve seen and tried?

    1. I don’t use steam in the oven for these buns. I like a thin, soft crust on a hamburger bun so just the egg wash is all you need.

  49. Can you freeze the dough and bake later? For one person I won’t go through a full batch of buns in time, but would bake ones I need on the weekend. Thanks!

    1. What I do is make and bake the full batch. I slice and freeze extra buns for future burgers. Defrost and rewarm (or toast) as needed.

      1. Hey. I’ve done your recipe and LOVE IT. Im doing the buns for 24 people. So could I shape the buns and leave them in the fridge and take them out the next day to bake them or would that overproof the recipe. There are too many buns for me to shape that day.

        1. I can’t say for sure since with sourdough there are so many contributing factors. How active is the dough, the temp of the room, etc. But I think if you shape the buns later in the evening, put them in the fridge and plan to bake them early the next day it should be OK. Maybe 8-10 hours in the fridge, tops. Of course you’ll need to evaluate the dough as it comes out of the fridge to decide if they go right into the oven or need more time at room temp.

      1. Thanks! I’m a newbie to baking bread and hoping this one is as good as your English Muffins and biscuits! We eat burgers every week!

      2. Hi! I used oat milk as a replacement for the whole milk. My dough isn’t riding between folding it every 30-60 mins. Do you have any suggestions?

        1. Give it some time. I find often my dough will seem quite inactive for the first couple of hours and then will start rising quite nicely.

  50. We are 3900ft altitude, I find altitude affects everything. For these, I used unbleached AP flour but needed 3/4 cup more flour before the consistency was right. I’ve currently got 8 buns sitting in the oven with the light on and covered with a tea towel while they rise. I just wanted to write a big thank you for your amazing recipes and straight forward, easy-to-understand writing style. I refer to your site often as I’m a complete newbie to creating with sourdough starter.

    1. I wish I knew more about high altitude baking. Having grown up on the east coast US I don’t have any experience with high altitude baking. Enjoy the buns.

      1. I’ve lived at sea level all my life, other than the last 6 years. I’ve tweaked so many of my ‘sea level’ recipes for high alt – most with success and some that have me stumped! The buns turned out delicious and were a huge hit (fam of 7 here). The 8th bun was my ‘taste tester’ lol. Thanks for the amazing recipe. I’ll be trying out more of your other ones too.

        1. Francis and Eileen, I’m at 4000 feet in the mountains of northern California. Having moved from around 100 feet in southern California about 3 years ago, I’m with you. Some stumping, some things better here than at lower altitude.

  51. Hi Eileen, I am very excited to make this recipe! I was wondering if I could leave out the sugar and maybe add more salt. Would that compromise the recipe? I am from Europe and none of our breads have sugar unless they are sweet ,dessert type breads. Thank you.

    1. This is not a sweet bread, the sugar is in there to help tenderize the crumb and help the buns retain moisture. Depending how much you add, more salt can make the bread more chewy and dense with a much stronger gluten. You can reduce the sugar and add more salt, but the basic flavor and texture of the bun will change. Hamburger buns are traditional on the soft side. Are you planning to use the buns for burgers?

    2. Andi, I made this recipe only once and I left out the sugar because I can’t have it. I also used AP flour instead of bread flour. They turned out great. So great that I got a request to make more for this upcoming weekend. You can leave out the sugar and still have great hamburger buns.

    1. You can, but you might need to add a little more flour since bread flour will absorb more liquid than ap flour.