How to Make Burger Buns - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Bread | Burger | How To | Savory | Videos

How to Make Burger Buns

By Tessa Arias
March 25th, 2015
4.89 from 52 votes
4.89 from 52 votes

How to Make Burger Buns in your own kitchen that are one thousand times better than anything store-bought. These are the BEST. So light fluffy yet rich - nothing competes!

Yield: 8 buns

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Want to make the BEST burger buns you've ever had!? Pin this one!!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: So rich and tasty, with a hint of sweetness. I have had a longtime obsession with these.
Texture: Paradoxically light and fluffy AND rich with a bit of a crusty exterior. The absolute perfect canvas for any type of burger.
Ease: The dough takes quite a bit of kneading to come together and is on the sticky side, but follow the recipe exactly and with a bit of patience you should have a batch of these beautifully buns in your kitchen.
Appearance: Gorgeous.
Pros: One thousand times better than any store bought burger bun. Period.
Cons: Dough is a little difficult to work with, just follow the video and if in doubt, keep kneading!
Would I make this again? I’ve made this recipe many times.

Between the first day of spring and the fact that high temperatures in Phoenix lately have been upwards of 90°F lately it only felt right to get a jump start on warmer weather recipes!

Want to make the BEST burger buns you've ever had!? Pin this one!!

I couldn’t think of anything more perfect to share than a step-by-step tutorial with all the tips and tricks for how to make burger buns with my all-time favorite bun recipe. These homemade hamburger buns will seriously wow the pants off anyone who comes to your next BBQ. They elevate any burger to a whole other level.

The buns are light brioche in base which makes them incredibly light and fluffy yet rich and crusty on the outside. The perfect home for a burger! Watch the video below to see exactly how they’re made. Then check out my extra recipe notes below to answer any bread baking questions!

See the WHOLE WHEAT version of this recipe here! I also have a recipe for Potato Burger Buns here.

How to Make Homemade Burger Buns from Scratch

Here are some recipe tips to ensure your success!

How can I use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast?

Instant yeast and active dry yeast are interchangeable at a 1:1 ratio, active dry yeast just needs to be proofed with liquid before continuing with the recipe and may take longer to rise.

Why do you use bread flour in this recipe? Can I use all-purpose flour instead?

For best results, avoid replacing the bread flour with anything else. Bread flour has more protein content than all-purpose flour, which helps develop the gluten in the dough. Since gluten is the backbone of any bread’s structure and since we are adding ingredients that prohibit gluten development (butter, egg, sugar), this dough needs all the help it can get in developing the gluten.

Plus we want to make sure the buns keep a nice tall firm structure and don’t fall flat. These buns need to hold up to a juicy burger with all the fixins!

Can I knead this dough by hand without a mixer?

I would advice against kneading this dough by hand. It is on the sticky side and requires a lot of kneading to develop that gluten, it’s best done in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. However, if you must then check out my video tutorial on how to knead dough here.

How to make fluffy bread:

Avoid adding any extra flour to the dough. Since this dough takes quite a while to come together it’ll look really wet and sticky like it needs tons of extra flour. Any extra will create a more dense and tough bun instead of the light fluffy brioche-style bun we want.

It’s better to be sticky than dense. The sticky factor should continue to lessen as the dough is kneaded and as it rises. If the dough doesn’t seem like it’s coming together at all, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing kneading to relax the gluten.

How do I make these burger buns ahead of time?

To make the dough ahead of time, feel free to let the first rise of the dough occur in the fridge overnight. Let it come to room temperature before shaping into buns and proceeding with the second rise.

These buns can also be frozen! Bake the buns as directed, let cool completely, then place in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.

SO light and fluffy!! We LOVED these homemade burger buns!

More Recipes You’ll Love:

4.89 from 52 votes

How to make
Burger Buns

Yield: 8 buns
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
How to Make Burger Buns in your own kitchen that are one thousand times better than anything store-bought. These are the BEST. So light fluffy yet rich - nothing competes!


  • 3 tablespoons warm whole milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups (382 grams) bread flour (do not substitute this)
  • 1/3 cup (43 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For topping:

  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Sesame seeds, optional


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, water, yeast, sugar, and egg. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until frothy, before continuing. Add the flour to the bowl, and mix until incorporated. Mix in the salt and butter. Knead on medium low speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough comes together into a soft yet tacky dough (should not be unbearably sticky). Avoid adding too much extra flour because it will create tough buns, it’s better to be sticky than dense I promise!
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each portion of dough into a ball and place on baking sheet, 2 to 3 inches apart. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until puffy and almost doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Brush the tops of the buns lightly with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake the buns about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve or store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Let defrost at room temperature before reheating in a 350°F oven until warmed or toasting.
Course : Main Course
Cuisine : American

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Donna — October 4, 2022 at 10:30 am

    I have made your burger buns time and again — and they are the best! One quick question. Would it be possible to make these buns using only all-purpose flour? I’m looking for something a little lighter to serve turkey sandwiches on average Canadian Thanksgiving. If you could let me know your thoughts on this, I would greatly appreciate it.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 6, 2022 at 7:17 am

      Hi Donna! I wouldn’t recommend making these with only all-purpose, as it won’t provide enough structure. I would instead recommend trying Tessa’s delicious Dinner Roll recipe. It’s a very similar recipe, but contains more enriching ingredients to give a softer finished roll. Alternatively, we also have this Hawaiian roll recipe, which are also deliciously soft! Good luck and happy baking 🙂

  2. #
    Lesley — October 1, 2022 at 12:32 am

    I wasn’t very confident about the buns as the dough was very sticky, but they turned out beautifully. I will definitely make these again.

  3. #
    Kimski — September 17, 2022 at 3:53 am

    Brilliant, have been making this recipe for a couple of years. Will never be buying burger buns again.
    Take care when adding the water it can turn out a little wet.

  4. #
    Joann Petit — August 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    I made this recipe and the whole wheat version today and I wish I could return the buns I bought at the store recently. It is true, you will not want store bought buns after you make these. The white version dough remained very sticky so I kneaded it maybe closer to 15 minutes. I should have reread where it states to let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Resisting adding more flour, I slicked up my hands and got the dough in the bowl to rise, which for me was a little more than an hour. Both recipes turned out great. I’m learning more about finger testing my dough during each rise to see when the dough is ready. My husband loves these! With both recipes, I made 8 hamburger buns and 8 hot dog buns with the hot dog weenie being cooked inside the dough. When I shape hot dog buns again, this recipe could easily make 10 or more as the hot dog doesn’t need as much dough. Would love to see a recipe with sprouted wheat flour or be taught how to convert. I know I can go other places, but I trust Handle The Heat the most when it comes to baking. Thank you!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 25, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      So thrilled that you enjoyed these buns so much, Joann!!

  5. #
    Yvonne — March 20, 2022 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Tessa, thank you for your recipes. I will like to know if bread flour is the same as white flour. I’m in Nigeria and most of the grains in the stores are usually labelled as “whole wheat, unbleached all purpose flour, white flour” and thd gluten free alternatives. I’m yet to come across “bread flour” even at the high end stores.
    Please advice

    • #
      Emily — March 22, 2022 at 10:05 am

      Hi Yvonne! I’m not sure if white flour in Nigeria is bread flour, that’s typically all-purpose flour in the U.S., which we don’t recommend for this recipe. I’m guessing that white flour is bleached all-purpose flour. Are you able to purchase bread flour online?

  6. #
    Robyn Fortier — February 14, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Amazing recipe. I will never buy store bought again. I only had skim milk so substituted with whipping cream, and no bread flour so I used AP flour but added wheat gluten.
    Still turned out amazing.
    I will pick up bread flour for the next time.
    5 stars, hands down!!

    • #
      Emily — February 15, 2022 at 9:48 am

      So happy you loved this recipe!

  7. #
    Alexa Montenegro — November 10, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    What if you don’t have milk? Substitutes?

    • #
      Emily — November 11, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      We don’t bake with substitutes, so I can’t say for sure!

  8. #
    KORTNEE HECK — September 22, 2021 at 10:41 am

    These were the best burger buns. (no more grocery store for me) Nice and soft but sturdy. I was concerned since they were so soft that the buns would fall apart but that was not the case. Please do watch Tessa’s tutorial on this burger buns recipe, I think it had very helpful information. Thank you again, Tessa!

    • #
      Emily — September 23, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      Wonderful! So happy you loved this recipe, thanks for the rave review! 🙂

  9. #
    Chelsea — July 16, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    This bread mixture is way too wet. I’ll cut down on the water next time but it was way too sticky to even work with.

  10. #
    Michael Dwyer — July 4, 2021 at 6:06 am

    They turned out! Not quite as evenly dark as yours, but just as light and fluffy and pillowy soft. I was worried, as the dough never really seemed to “come together.” The beautiful lump that I started kneading (in my Kitchen Aid mixer), quickly turned soft – almost like batter. I tried the 10-minute rest and more kneading. I eventually added another 3 to 4 tablespoons of flour (my altitude should handle it, I hoped), and increased the speed a notch.

    We did not have instant yeast on hand, so I started the dry yeast with water and sugar for 5 minutes. I used the King Arthur altitude tips of reducing the yeast and making a “sponge” of the yeast, milk, balance of the water, and 127 grams of bread flour, letting it “work” for a few hours in the refrigerator. Then I mixed egg and sugar, added the sponge, and continued with the rest of the flour, and finally the salt and the butter. My butter may not have come fully to room temperature.

    Finally, though – I didn’t give up! – the dough began to show some “windowpaning” in the bowl. I started tearing off pieces – there was no way that dough was going to let me cut it into 8ths – and rolling into (uneven) rounds for the final rise. Some egg wash and sesame seeds, a slightly warmer oven (405°), and 12 minutes later a gorgeous set of burger buns. (Photos are on instagram @doulosg.)

    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — July 5, 2021 at 10:39 am

      Yay! I’m glad they still turned out well for you! They looked absolutely delicious on IG, I’m so happy you enjoyed them 🙂

  11. #
    Vivian Luka — June 21, 2021 at 5:44 am

    I have made these 3 times and the last time I made 32 for a gathering. Unbelievable. Fantastic. I tried forming into a loaf and also amazing. After forming into a ball I flattened them a little. Gorgeous. Thank you

    • #
      Tessa — June 21, 2021 at 1:25 pm

      Amazing!! I’m so thrilled to hear this, Vivian 🙂

  12. #
    Donna — May 1, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Thank you for posting this great recipe for hamburger buns. The recipe was easy to follow and the video on “how to” was great to watch prior to baking. You do a great job of explaining your recipes. I will say that a “store bought” hamburger bun will never grace my home again!

  13. #
    Victoria — April 28, 2021 at 5:32 am

    Great recipe! Great explanation too. I made some buns last night and it came out beautiful soft and better than store bought.. Thank you so much and may God bless you

  14. #
    Joni Theurer — March 16, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    The best recipe ever. Can you make a loaf of bread with this recipe?

    • #
      Tessa — March 17, 2021 at 9:42 am

      Hi Joni, I’m so glad you love these burger buns! I haven’t tried baking these into a loaf, and I’m not sure that would turn out. You can check out my Ultimate Simple Dough recipe, which includes instructions for how to make a loaf of sandwich bread:

      • #
        Joni — March 20, 2021 at 4:02 am

        Thank you. I have used your Hamburger bun recipe and nothing compares. I will check out the ultimate dough recipe. Does that make a soft loaf. So many bread recipes for bread are heavy and not light that’s why I thought about the hamburger bun recipe but, I will check this out.

        • #
          Tessa — March 22, 2021 at 1:37 pm

          It does make a soft loaf! I hope you give it a try!

  15. #
    Anna — February 10, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Great recipe! The buns turned out fluffy and about twice the size I had envisioned. 🙂
    I ended up using 4 cups of bread flour and no AP flour at all.

    • #
      Tessa — February 10, 2021 at 2:11 pm

      So glad you tried these buns out!

  16. #
    Don — January 25, 2021 at 7:13 am

    I have recently received a silicon hamburger bun pan. I bake by weights not volumes. What is the weight of each dough bun? Thanks.

    • #
      Carolee — January 25, 2021 at 7:52 am

      Don: I make these buns all the time. Tessa’s recipe indicates that it gives 8 buns, but I find those too big for our purposes, so I usually make about 10 from each recipe. The actual weight will vary each time. Just take the weight of the whole ball of dough (remember to subtract the weight of your bowl), and then divide it by the number of buns you want. I find that when I make them, anything from 70 – 90 grams of dough makes a size that works for me and I get 10 or 11 buns from the recipe.

  17. #
    AllisonB — December 16, 2020 at 1:37 pm

    I’ve made these twice, and even after eating them with sloppy Joe’s, my family will finish off the remaining buns with some Kerrygold. So good!

    • #
      Tessa — December 17, 2020 at 11:39 am

      I’m so glad you and your family have been enjoying these buns! Hooray!

  18. #
    Kevin — December 4, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    I never leave reviews…ever, but I have to for this one. I have been trying to get a bun recipe that works for my burgers and when I found this one (two flours and butter cut at the end) I knew I was in for something good.

    Made this in dry Alberta, Canada and it turned out fantastic. This is the bun recipe I have been looking for.
    No weighing at all, just straight measurements and this is the first recipe I have seen that needed zero alterations. I usually go to war with many recipes in my kitchen (I spent a year nailing down angel food cake), but this one just worked.

    Everyone was blown away by these. I made the same burgers I always do and only changed the bun and everyone said it was my best burger ever. Now I have to start looking at your other recipes.

    Thanks for this!

    • #
      Tessa — December 7, 2020 at 10:56 am

      This makes me so incredibly happy! I’m so thrilled these burger buns were a hit. Thank YOU for the kind feedback, Kevin!

  19. #
    Marta — December 1, 2020 at 2:19 am

    This is the second recipe for burger buns that I tried so far and now i’m finally satified. They are extremaly tasty, my husband was very happy with burgers he made with them.
    They are very delicious even with butter only.

    • #
      Tessa — December 1, 2020 at 3:57 pm

      Yay! So glad you love these burger buns!

  20. #
    Carolee — November 21, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Oh my gosh. I have made these many times, and every time I make them I love this recipe even more. Absolutely delicious. And the leftovers (and these days, a household of two has leftovers) freeze beautifully. We use them as burger buns, but also just as sandwich buns, with any kind of filling. Thank you Tessa. Great recipe, and great instructions!

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad you loved this recipe!!

  21. #
    Natalie — November 1, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    Followed the recipe exactly and let the stand mixer so all the hard work. I did not add al the flour all at once to ensure the right consistency and ended up needing just a bit less than the recipe calls for. It was a particularly humid day and that can affect the ratios. Thanks for a great recipe! I have a picture but don’t see a way to attach it.

  22. #
    Zoe — September 7, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Burger buns are so good homemade! Thanks, Tessa!

  23. #
    Margaret — August 28, 2020 at 8:25 am

    These are PHENOMENAL. My husband let me know that I can go ahead and make them every week for his work sandwiches. 🙂 Thank you for all of your recipes. They always come out great.

  24. #
    Dawn Thompson Bridgeford — August 27, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Have made these wonderful buns many times now, and they are a huge hit. Question for Tessa or her fans: Can I divide the dough into 12 or 16 for little slider buns? If so, should I adjust the baking time? Thanks everyone, very much!

  25. #
    Elisa Sellars — August 19, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Finally made these! It’s no exaggeration that the dough is sticky! Didn’t spend time shaping them, so they’re not perfectly round, but they’re light and beautifully brown. I added no extra flour except on my hands before cutting and putting them on baking sheets. One substitution I used was coconut cream in place of whole milk. I also sprinkled seaweed flakes with the sesame seeds on top for more color. Will be making these again!

  26. #
    Anita — August 15, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you so much for doing this recipe in cups vs grams. I don’t have a scale but I do have measuring cups. I will be trying this weekend. And thank you for the video showing the steps!

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