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Soft Sourdough Hamburger Buns

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

a basket of sourdough hamburger buns

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 homemade Sourdough Hamburger Buns

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 Sourdough Burger Buns will ruin packaged burger buns for you.

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.

Scroll through the step by step process photos to see how to make Sourdough Hamburger Buns:

a bowl of sourdough hamburger bun dough
The dough for the sourdough hamburger buns can be made the day before or early the same day.
a slab of sourdough hamburger bun dough divided into 8 equal pieces.
Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, depending on the size of your burgers. Make 12 buns for sliders.
two photos showing how to shape sourdough hamburger buns
Shape each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten each ball into a disc of dough. Set aside to rise.
showing sourdough hamburger buns before and after baking
The buns will puff up in the oven.

A timeline for making Sourdough Hamburger Buns:

  • If your starter needs feeding, do that the night before or early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough.
  • If you want to make dough the same day that you will bake, mix the dough first thing in the morning. This means your starter should probably be fed the night before. Allow the dough to ferment at room temperature during the day. By later in the afternoon the buns should be ready to bake and will be fresh for dinner.
  • If you want to make the dough the day before baking, mix the dough in the afternoon. Allow it to ferment at room temperature during the day. Refrigerate the dough in the evening before going to bed.
  • The dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2 days at this point.
  • Take the dough out in the morning, shape the buns and set them aside to rise. The rise will take longer since the dough is cold.
a sesame seed sourdough hamburger bun on a plate
showing the crumb on a sourdough hamburger bun

If you want to make buns in under 4 hours, I highly recommend these Milk and Honey Hamburger Buns made with yeast. If you’re looking for a new burger recipe I think you’ll love this amazing Chicken Satay Burger with Peanut Sauce.

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

Since you’ve got your starter fed, peruse the entire list of My Best Sourdough Recipes. Have fun!

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

Sourdough Hamburger Buns -

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

Soft with an amazing flavor and texture, Sourdough Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8oz, 224g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 56g) warm water
  • 3 cups (15 oz, 420g) bread flour
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz, 180 ml) whole milk 
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg, whisked for brushing
  • Sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine the starter, 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.
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave to scalding. Add the butter to the milk and stir until the butter melts. Allow the milk to cool to 110°F. Add the milk, sugar, salt and egg to the sponge. Mix to combine.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour. Mix until the batter looks like thick pancake batter. If using a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining cup of the 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.
  5. 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.
  6. After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, 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. Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.
  7. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes fold the dough one more time. By now 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.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  11. 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.

Notes

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

Kate Robs

Friday 20th of May 2022

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.

Eileen Gray

Friday 20th of May 2022

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.

Kim

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

Best SD Hamburger bun recipe that I have tried by far! Great success every time - thank you!

Janie

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

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.

Michael

Wednesday 13th of April 2022

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?

Eileen Gray

Wednesday 13th of April 2022

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.

Susan H King

Monday 28th of February 2022

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.

Eileen Gray

Monday 28th of February 2022

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.

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