Homemade hamburger buns are easy to make and much tastier than store-bought burger buns. This recipe incorporates white whole wheat flour and full-fat oat milk for a healthier, dairy-free option. Can't wait to get started? Jump to Recipe.
I’ve been baking my own bread for several years, and yet it never occurred to me until recently to make my own hamburger buns. I realize now this was a major oversight, and thankfully, I’ve corrected the error in my ways. Indeed, after developing this recipe (and enduring several seventh-grade-level jokes from my husband about my “nice buns”) I’ve decided I’m never buying store-bought hamburger buns again.
These homemade buns are much healthier and tastier than their store-bought counterparts, and of course, making them yourself means they don’t come in a plastic bag. In this recipe, I used half white whole wheat flour and half bread flour, but the buns would still be just fine with a higher proportion of whole wheat.
Part of what makes hamburger buns so soft is that they are generally made with an enriched dough, meaning the dough contains ingredients such as milk and/or eggs. Instead of using dairy milk, I substituted full-fat oat milk, and it worked like a charm! While our family still uses some butter and other dairy products, I’ve been incorporating more plant-based alternatives. And I have to say, this recipe turned out just as good if not better with the oat milk.
And of course, you don’t just have to serve these with traditional hamburgers. They’re also great with veggie burgers, black bean burgers… you name it! They also freeze well, so you don’t have to worry about using an entire batch right away.
Here’s how to make them:
250 g (2 cups plus 1 TBS) bread flour or all-purpose flour
250 g (2 Cups plus 1 TBS) white whole wheat flour*
320 g (1 ⅓ cup) full-fat oat milk (whole dairy milk will also work)
30 g ( 2 TBS) Olive Oil
40 g (2 TBS Honey
9 g (1 TBS) Yeast
5 g (1 tsp salt)
*You can adjust the proportions of bread flour to white whole wheat flour to your liking. Just make sure your total amount of flour equals 500 grams. I highly recommend using bread flour and white whole wheat over all-purpose flour and regular whole wheat, respectively, if you are able, as they do achieve a better and more reliable rise.
Heat the oat milk so it is warm to the touch but not so hot that it will kill the yeast.
Add the olive oil, honey, and yeast to the oat milk. Stir the mixture and set aside for a few minutes to activate the yeast. You’ll know it is ready when the mixture becomes foamy on top.
Pour the activated yeast mixture into a large mixing bowl. Then whisk in the egg.
Add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients and work it into a dough. Your dough will be a bit sticky to the touch but should not stick to your fingers.
Tip: If your dough seems sticky, before adding more flour, try wetting your fingertips and working the dough. This may help you work the dough until it becomes more elastic, without adding more flour, which can throw off the proportion of liquid to flour in your recipe. If it is still too sticky, add a small amount of flour until your dough becomes workable.
5. Knead your dough by hand for several minutes, or if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook, let your stand mixer do the work for you at a medium-low speed. Work your dough until it is smooth and elastic.
6. Place your dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel to rise until doubled in size. Depending on how warm your kitchen is, this should take about an hour.
Tip: Because of the decent amount of yeast and the available sugars in the honey and oat milk, this dough rises pretty quickly, so keep an eye on it.
7. Once your dough is doubled in size, punch it down and knead it for a few minutes (or run it with the dough hook on your stand mixer). You’ll know it’s ready when you can form a windowpane with the dough when it is stretched gently.
8. Divide the dough into 12 equal balls.
Tip: I weigh my dough with my kitchen scale, and then divide that number by 12 to determine how large each ball should be. Then I weigh each ball and try to get it as close to that number as I can.
9. Arrange your dough balls onto baking sheets and/or glass baking pans. I used two different baking sheets with six balls on each to ensure they had room to rise. While it is okay if your buns end up touching a bit after they rise, you don’t want them to be back as tightly as dinner rolls.
10. After arranging your dough, flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand so they will rise into the traditional hamburger bun shape.
11. Loosely cover and place your dough in a safe place to rise until they are about doubled in size (about 1 hour).
12. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown on top.
13. (Optional) Brush the tops with a bit of butter, olive oil, or vegan butter.
14. Wait until the buns are completely cool, and then slice them in half across the middle to use as a vehicle for your favorite burger.
That's really all there is to it to enjoy healthy, homemade hamburger buns. If you're looking for more baking recipes, be sure to check out my 100% Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe and my Easy (Mostly) Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe.