Friday, July 19, 2013

Homemade Hamburger Buns – Oh, My, God. Becky, Look at Her Bun!

Finding high-quality hamburger meat at the market is a lot easier than it used to be, but the same cannot be said for the buns. They’re never the right dimensions for a decent sized patty; and they’re either made from some insipid white sponge with seventy-three ingredients, or from high-fiber, whole grains, which in many ways is even worse.

A proper bun should be nothing more than a light, buttery, airy delivery system for getting a hot, juicy hamburger into your mouth. Oats, spelt, and flax seeds have no business getting anywhere near this type of operation. That's what turkey sandwiches are for.

Above and beyond taste and texture, the bun needs to be the right diameter to fit a classic half-pound burger, and should be twice as thick as the patty. I guess you could drive all over town looking for these magic buns, but it would be a lot easier just to make them yourself.

They do take few hours, but most of that is rise time, and when you see and taste the results, I’m sure you’ll agree it was well worth the investment. By the way, don’t worry if your buns are slightly irregular in size. We’ll assume you’ll form your burgers with the same precision, so in the end they should match perfectly. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy! 

Editorial Note: Today’s title will only make sense if you watch the video, and are familiar with Sir Mix-A-Lot’s "Baby Got Back."


Ingredients for 8 large hamburger buns:
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's “RapidRise” Yeast)
1 cup very warm water
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 pound all-purpose flour (about 3 1/2 cups)
Note: add a 1/2 cup of the flour to the yeast and water, and then the remainder before kneading
 
for the tops:
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk
sesame seeds
*bake at 375 degrees F. for 15-17 minutes

View the complete recipe

88 comments:

Brian Fitzpatrick said...

Oh man, I've been toying with the idea of making these for years. In fact, this may give me an excuse to finally invest in a stand mixer. Any recommendations for a good mixer CJ?

Keep up the great work, you rock!

donna mikasa said...

Great buns, Chef John! A great tutorial, too!

Jennifer said...

I was just thinking I should try making my own hamburger buns! I will definitely be trying this, but I did have a question about freezing. I generally only ever need 2 buns at a time so at what step could i freeze these? Would it work to freeze them after they have been shaped and before any egg wash is applied? I don't really like the idea of freezing already baked breads but maybe I'm wrong.

Thanks for the help!

Lisa from Indiana said...

The video demo on how the dough should look is invaluable! Novice bakers take heart, follow the Chefs advice and all will be well.

Don't even ask if you can substitute whole wheat flour or butter look-alikes. Just enjoy!

Lisa from Indiana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
REO said...

Chef John,

For those of us who were not blessed at birth with wonderful parents who value cooking appliances: Is there any way to knead this dough properly sans stand mixer?

I've done your Wolfgang pizza with the kneading technique and while it was quite the forearm and shoulder workout, the dough came together beautifully. Any chance hand kneading will work?

Many thanks from a deprived teenage cook.

Chef John said...

Hand kneading always works! :)

Chef John said...

Jennifer, I've never tried to freeze dough, but maybe someone here knows. I've frozen cooked rolls and they are okay, but usually a little dry.

Chef John said...

Brian,

I've only had a Kitchen Aid which work great.

Kayla Neuberger said...

How long should these last?

Vinny Ferrara said...

I can't say this about everything you do, but that burger is possibly the best looking burger I've seen that hasn't been photoshoped XD

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Hi Chef,

Is the aluminum foil necessary to cover the dough or can one simply use a dinner plate to cover? Just wondering... Thanks.

Chef John said...

Yes. You can cover with anything.

Chef John said...

They last only a day or two.

Wendy Tung said...

I made these right after watching... And you're right - 100x better than what you can get in a bag!

Chuck said...

Another 5-star recipe!
Had you been around when I had my last restaurant, I'd probably still have my last restaurant.

Alyssa Johnson said...

Awww. A family classic. (referring to the song and the recipe)

Olgalii. said...

@Jennifer & Chef John:
I've been freezing quite some of Chef Johns doughs, and I usually freeze some before the last rising. So here, After dividing them, I'd (and will) freeze half of them, because my boyfriend and me can't eat as much as 8 burgers, but I like to have some dough for fast pizza/burger/etc making in hand.

Hope that will work and that it helps!

Chef John, I've been waiting so long! It always feels a little bad to buy premade burger buns, and calling the burger "homemade" ;( So I'm really, really happy and I'll be making these today! Thank you so much, you have transformed me from a "I can throw a package of instant sauce and noodles in some water" to "yesss, my friends, come over I'll cook XYZ and it will be AWESOME!"

Drake said...

Don't have a stand mixer but I got a food processor... with a dough setting. Should this work fine or am I making some huge mistake by not using a stand mixer?

ET said...

As to freezing dough...I have frozen pizza and foccacia dough and it survives for a month or so in good shape. If you portion the dough into storage bags you can pull out just what you need. Make sure you let the dough come up to room temperature before you start working with it so the yeast can wake up.

Chef John said...

Anything that kneads the dough to that texture should work.

Mark Ruz said...

Awesome! Thank you! I've been experimenting with some burger recipes and now the meal will be complete!

SurprisingWoman said...

I make the dough in my bread machine on the dough setting and then take the dough and shape them into buns, freeze them at that point, before the second rise. You can wrap them in waxed paper and place in a freezer bag.

t3ch said...

This looks fantastic, plan to make these tomorrow. Quick question though, your posts used to have a "complete recipe" link with printable instructions... Are you not doing these anymore or am I simply missing where they're at in the newer posts?

t3ch said...

This looks fantastic, plan to make these tomorrow. Quick question though, your posts used to have a "complete recipe" link with printable instructions... Are you not doing these anymore or am I simply missing where they're at in the newer posts?

t3ch said...

These look great, looking forward to trying tomorrow. Quick question, your posts used to have "complete recipe" links where there were printable directions. Are you not doing these anymore or am I simply missing where they're at in the newer posts?

Chef John said...

Those links, are done when someone from allrecipes.com posts a written version of the dish. If you don't see a link under a recipe that means they haven't done that yet. Thank you!

Jason Smith said...

For 3 years now I have been watching and making your recipes. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please, never stop.

Also, these buns are the best that I EVER tasted.

Roberto said...

To answer Jennifer, I freeze raw pizza dough all the time, but I also freeze baked hamburger buns with great success. I would definitely bake all eight buns and then freeze six rather than freeze the raw dough. That way, making a burger involves only thawing rather than thawing and baking.

themmadero650 said...

Can i do this with out a mixer i dont own one

Judy said...

I freeze already baked bread all the time. It is edible just thawed, but fabulous toasted (since it does get a tad bit drier when you freeze it). Since toasted buns are nice for burgers, I would personally go with freezing the baked buns and toasting them to thaw ;) YMMV

Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon said...

I love that you gave the weight of the flour,it has improvement my baking significantly. I make a similar roll, but I always learn something from you. I was not shaping my rolls correctly so thank you again for all you do.

shtank said...

Hi Chef John. Been a fan for a while. These buns look great! I was wondering whether you use the same camera for video and stills and which one it is. I am looking to get into photography and have always loved the image quality on your site.

cookinmom said...

Hello Chef, I need your help! I'm going to make these rolls tonight to make fish(jack)sanwiches with remoulade sauce (tartar) but can't seem to find the sauce on the sight. I know it's just mayo,relish,lemon,worch. and maybe capers, etc. but...any other ideas to make it extra special or direct me to that recipe. I do have some dill pesto to put in it. Thanks in advance chef!

Chef John said...

Not sure what happened to the tartar sauce post but here is the video! http://youtu.be/1i4rtgP3B1M

Chef John said...

I use canon 3ti for all. Thanks!

SurprisingWoman said...

Why was my comment not approved? I make hamburger buns all the time and I think my tips about using the bread machine dough setting and freezing in wax paper was of value.

Maddie said...

Can i use whole wheat flour?

Chef John said...

Sure but not nearly as good.

Chef John said...

SurprisingWoman, you must have had an Internet error when you left it as this last one was the only comment from you.

cookinmom said...

Oh me, oh my! Just made these and talk about soft! Mine were huge, perfect, soft. Will have to make more for pulled pork this week! One secret that I picked up along the way, place your dough on a LIGHTLY floured towel, cut to size,place dough on pan, and flip the floured towel on it (flour side down). No mess to clean up. I will use that towel a couple of times before washing. Sooo easy and no mess. May try a 1/2 c. whole wheat on the next try just for fun! Keep um' comin'!!

Jon of San Bernardino said...

Chef John, the bun looks toasted. Did you put them on the grill or in a toaster oven?

Jon
San Bernardino CA

Chef John said...

Under broiler!

Fatcat said...

Alright your killing me with these buns, any chance of getting a Poppy Seed Kaiser roll tutorial in the future? Thanks

Chris K. said...

Do you think this dough recipe would work for hot dog buns too? Or is it optimized for maximum burger delivery?

Chef John said...

Should work perfectly fine for hot dog buns!

Mexican Climber said...

Is this a convection oven? Every time i try a bread or bun recipe, it doesnt work very well, I think it is becouse I dont have a convection oven.

Chef John said...

No it's a regular oven! :-)

1Bigg_ER said...

I can confirm that this works perfectly fine for hot dog buns and sandwich bread.
I make about the same recipe, from foodwishes dinner rolls, except I use just the egg yolk. I came up with the yolk idea coz I only wanted 4 rolls.
Use milk instead of water for soft white loaf of bread.
And I don't have mixer, I use my hands. That's home cooking.

Gunn said...

Just in time, as tomorrow i gonna make some burgers :D
But just curious to ask, whats going better or worse if i gonna use milk except water? Or it doesent matter?

Chef John said...

It will be slightly different, but can't say if you'll like better or worse! Try it and see.

steelo brown said...

I laughed so hard at your title! Half the fun of your recipes is the hilarious comedy references you sneak in.

Aestille Simons said...

I baked these buns on the same night I was cooking my burgers - a mistake, as it turns out. These are not very hardy when straight out of the oven and even after toasting, they led to a mushy, lackluster burger. However, the next day we tried again and after pan frying them 'till their insides were golden, everything turned out splendidly. 8D They're buttery and slightly sweet and look like they're from a commercial when you pull them from the oven.
Just don't forget to let them cool. ^^;

Abigail Z. Somai said...

Hey Chef John,
If I want to double (or possibly triple) the recipe, should I double everything like the eggs and yeast and stuff??
Thanks!

Abigail Z. Somai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chef John said...

Yes, you can scale up as much as you want.

Chef John said...

Yes, complete cooling is critical! :)

Cynthia Vosmer-Hagenstein said...

Hello Chef John,

I live in Holland, and over here we use grams instead of cups and spoons... So I'm a bit confused. How much is a cup in grams? Could you help me out here? I would love to try your recipe, the buns look very tasty! Thank you very much in advance!

Chef John said...

Here you go, just use this calculator! https://www.google.com/search?q=metric+conversion&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Natalie Ford said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. They look and taste amazing. I'm in Australia but I convert the ingredients myself. It's not hard to do :)

leniweitweg said...

Hi John, I was wondering what substitute I could use for the egg in both the dough and the topping, since I am vegan. I guess the beautiful brown color comes from the egg? I would use "No Egg" for the dough. Thanks for your help. Magdalena

Raymund Trillanes said...

Hi Chef John, I'm wondering if I'm going to use whole wheat flour, what is the best ratio so that the buns are still fluffy? I'm thinking of 2 cups whole wheat and 1 1/2 AP flour. Thanks Raymund

Raymund Trillanes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bulko said...

Hi chef, I made the burger bun I'm speechless !! Great recipe it's my first time and my family loved it it's amazing chef ... I'm really happy ... Keep going I do appreciate ur effort
Thanks again chef

Janne said...

I made these yesterday! Turned out really good! Everybody said it was the best burger (and bun) they ever had! :) Thanks Chef John!

Paul E said...

Hi Chef john, I used the dough to make a bread loaf instead of buns and it came out undercooked. Is there an alternative baking temp/time I'd need to follow?

Julie said...

Perfect texture, Chef John! Thank you for the recipe! The only thing I'd do different the next time is one extra Tbsp. sugar, for my husband's desire for sweetness. But I still can't get over how light and fluffy these are!

I divided the dough in half and shaped one half into 4 hamburger buns, then divided the other half into 6 pieces for hot dog buns. Topped some off with poppy seeds and they were gorgeous inside and out.

Marinos Tsoukalas said...

Chef John thank you for the wonderful videos and your wondreful recipes! May I ask you something? I made those burger buns and they taste so good!!! BUT.. (yes..there's a "but") they didnt came out inflated...and my dough was very stiff... :(

Maybe the problem is that I live in Europe and "converted" us units to European?.. :( Can I find the dosages for Europe? :(

Thanks!

As I remember I put 450gr. of all-purpose flour, 45grams melted butter, 45gram sugar, 6,5 grams salt, 12,5grams of yeast, 128grams of water...

Melinda Haiden said...

I read a comment about freezing the buns, if u want to keep them from drying out place them on a cookie sheet I line mine with unbleached parchment paper and pop them into the freeze as is to freeze before placing in the ziplock. Then take them out the night before place in fridge and let come to temp. They r prefect when toasted lightly and topped accordingly (: I do this with pancakes, breads, muffins, broccoli, anything really.

Tecfield said...

Have an unhealthy idea for this recipe. In fact I did do it and it turned out super great. You can substitute butter with equal amount of the remained fat/oil from cooking some good quality beacon in its own fat. This way you can have some beacon for breakfast then a good burger in beacon flavored buns for lunch/dinner :)

Tecfield said...

Got an unhealthy idea. Substitute the butter with the remained fat from cooking some good quality beacons. This way you can have a perfect day starting with beacon for breakfast and then some awesome burgers later :)

Ibrahim Bolarinwa said...

Best buns ever.

13weberr said...

This recipe is AWESOME. I messed up a few parts (I used a packet of instant yeast, and the dough rose super-fast, so I did a triple-rise; I didn't properly shape the buns). However, they turned out AMAZING. As dinner rolls, but still, I'm so happy. Thank you so much for this recipe, and for your easy-to-follow videos.

Miriam Rüfenacht said...

I looooovvvveeee your recipes. Buuut, I have one issue. As a european it's very hard to get around with those cup mesurements. Would you mind additionally writing the measurements in the metric system?

Love, miriam

Benni said...

i love èm! These are the best buns in my life! Hope my girlfriend don`t read this... ;)

Brad Dougan said...

Recipe called for 3 and 1/2 cups of flour total, but I found this to be too much flour! My dough was not sticky at all. I made a second batch using only 3 cups flour total, and it came out much better and similar to the texture I seen in the video. Thanks!

Ponderous Troll said...

I absolutely love this recipe!! It's absolutely wonderful! I really wanted to make my own hamburgers with hamburger buns too and this recipe was perfect! Except that I didn't have sesame seeds so I didn't make hamburger buns. I merely made buns! But still, awesome!!

Chas Bordeaux said...

Chef John. Next time you make these would you please weigh one out in grams so we have a frame of reference as to how big to make them. Thanks

Peter Sices said...

These buns turned out picture perfect. I notice although it isn't mentioned in the video you toasted the buns after slicing. Did that in a skillet?

Cathy Van de Moortele said...

Those were the best buns ever... We loved every one of them. Thanks! I would like to add a pic, but I don't know how?

Byun said...

Love your videos! These look great. What brand of AP flour did you use?

Christine Peart said...

Thanks so much for this recipe chef. Ive been needing a good burger bun for a while now. Going to try them this week, will let you know how they turn out! P.S. Love your blog!

Christine Peart said...

Wowzers chef John! Ive just pulled them out of my oven and they are the most amazing burger buns ive ever seen! Just had to tear off an edge and try. So soft and yummy. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I use so many recipes off your site now, these are another regular ;-)

Lisa Vande Velde said...

Great recipe chef! I use this recipe well.....like every time I need burger buns. It wasn't until today that I tried doing it with whole wheat flour, following your advice and techniques, they turned out awesome! PS. Every time I shape my buns, lol, I find myself singing "I like big buns and I cannot lie!" Oh ya....and I put oats on top not sesame and it was more like 2:1 whole wheat to white flour. Thank you chef for this awesome recipe! MUAH!

Bea said...

My family loves these hamburger buns! Every Chef John recipe I have tried, comes out perfect! Thank you so much!

Jose Saca said...

Hello Chef John!! I need to make around 40 buns. How do you recommend me to proceed? Can I double the recipe to make 16 instead of 8 or should I just make one batch at a time?

Thank you!!

Chef John said...

Yes, u can double!

Matthias Müller said...

And i left so many Euros in the supermarket for bad buns...
It's so easy and they taste great.
Thx Chef