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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 have one, you can learn How to Make a Sourdough Starter. Then I can show you how to Feed and Maintain Sourdough Starter or How to Keep a Small 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

Pastry chef M

Monday 18th of October 2021

This recipe needs at LEAST double the salt that it calls for. It's bland and not sour without more.

Mary

Monday 13th of September 2021

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

Shan

Tuesday 27th of July 2021

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 :)

Dave

Tuesday 25th of May 2021

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.

Hannah

Sunday 16th of May 2021

These burger buns turned out perfectly! So much tastier than anything shop bought!

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