Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns
I can't believe this is my first time attempting to make burger buns. Gosh, they couldn't have been easier! Like pizza dough or tortillas, it is now one of those things I will think twice about before buying from the grocery store. Sure it takes a bit more time to make from scratch, but the investment pays significant dividends in taste (and quality).
What used to intimidate me about making breads at home was the yeast. Sometimes the yeast was good, sometimes it wasn't and I wouldn't really know until after I had put in all the work. Well let me share with you my tips for using yeast: 1) freeze your yeast so it keeps longer, 2) sugar your water so that the yeast has something to feed on, and 3) create more acidity which the yeast likes.
Sometimes it's not always possible to do #3, like in pizza dough, for instance. But it's really easy to do with burger buns. I actually mixed the yeast in a mixture of water, buttermilk, and sugar that I had warmed up in the microwave. Boy, let me tell you that yeast went crazy! It loved that sugary, acidic mixture! And it created some nice springy dough that formed the perfect buns and proofed pretty quickly.
This is helpful because that means I can make these burger buns in under an hour. Once I had mixed and kneaded the dough, I formed them into even balls. I then left the dough balls out on the counter to rise a bit while I went back to work in the kitchen getting the rest of dinner prepared.
I let these bad boys rise until they expanded to about the size of a standard burger bun, which took me about 20 minutes. They will puff up quite a bit in the oven, but they won't get much wider (if that make sense) so make sure you like the size of them before baking.
And let me tell you, your kitchen will smell amazing while these bake. They should make a candle that smells like fresh baked bread. I would love for my house to smell like that every day.
Because of the egg wash on top, I knew they were ready when they turned nice and golden brown on top. I was totally tempted to cut right into one while it was warm, but I restrained myself. If I had done that, they might have still been a little moist in the center instead of nice and light and spongy. So it's really important to let them cool completely.
But once they are cool, I cut them in half then toasted them a bit in the oven so they got even more crispy. I used these particular buns for some smokey sloppy joes, which I will be sharing soon. Of course they would be good with burgers of all kinds, chicken breast, and anything else you want to turn into a sandwich!
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar cup sugar (divided)
- 1 tbsp yeast
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- In a small bowl, mix together water and buttermilk. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute, or until the liquid is warm to the touch. Stir in 1 tbsp of the sugar until completely dissolved. Then stir in the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes until yeast has fully bloomed and is foamy on top.
- Meanwhile, mix together flours, salt, and the rest of sugar. When yeast is ready, pour yeast mixture into flour, then add about 3/4 of the whisked egg (saving some for the egg wash), and the vegetable oil.
- Mix together until everything is completely incorporated. Then, using the dough hook attachment to a stand mixer, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until dough is slightly sticky and springs back. If the dough is too wet, add more flour 1 tbsp at a time. If dough is too dry, add water 1 tsp at a time.
- Once dough is ready, dump out onto floured surface and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together remaining egg and 2 tsp of water. After dough balls have risen and are approximately the desired size for your buns, brush with egg mixture then sprinkle on sesame seeds.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until brown on top. Let cool completely before cutting or serving.