DIY Burger Buns fresh out of the oven. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
DIY Burger Buns fresh out of the oven. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but baking your own burger buns is really no big deal. With very little hands on time (mostly just waiting around for the dough to rise and then rise again), you’ll be rewarded with quite possibly the best-tasting buns you can imagine. Tender and buttery but sturdy enough to soak up those yummy meaty juices, I will always choose these over store-bought buns.

This recipe started as dinner rolls, but I now turn it into burger buns most often. However, it’s such a versatile dough, you can easily turn it into rolls or even hot dog buns!

For pull apart dinner rolls: Follow the recipe, but divide the dough into 18 equal pieces, forming it into rounds as instructed with the burger buns. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans, and place half of the rolls in each pan, spacing them evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and proceed with the burger buns recipe from here on out.

For hot dog buns: Follow the recipe, dividing the dough into 8 or 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log 4 to 6 inches long. Proceed with the recipe as written from here on out.

These would make an excellent addition to your Father’s Day BBQ, especially with the Chili Burgers!

Ingredients for homemade burger buns. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Ingredients for homemade burger buns. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend

Recipe: Homemade Burger Buns

Makes 8 burger buns


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  1. In a saucepan, melt the 6 tablespoons butter with the honey over low heat. Stir in the milk and gently warm the mixture to 110°F (43°C)—it will warm up quickly so keep an eye on it. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl). Stir in the yeast and let it stand until it started to get foamy, 5–10 minutes.
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  3. Stir in the egg, flour, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is supple and smooth (it will be soft and slightly sticky). Alternatively, you can make the dough in a mixing bowl using a wooden spoon, then knead it on a work surface until supple.

  5. Transfer to a greased mixing bowl and cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen town. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot (such as your turned off oven) until doubled, about 1 hour depending upon how warm it is that day.
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  7. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, each about 4 ounces. (This is when a scale comes in handy!) Roll each piece into a ball and place them on the baking sheet, spacing them evenly and pressing to flatten the balls slightly. (If you want smaller burger buns, go ahead and divide them into 10 equal pieces.)
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  9. Brush the dough balls generously with about 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until puffy, about 1 hour. (When you gently poke your finger into the side of a bun it should retain the indent and not pop back up quickly; if it deflates they are overproofed so get them into the oven fast but know that they will like deflate in the oven.)
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  11. About 15 minutes before the buns are finished proofing, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Bake until the buns are golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Let cool to room temperature before splitting and eating.
 Brush with the remaining melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Let cool to room temperature before splitting and eating. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
Brush with the remaining melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Let cool to room temperature before splitting and eating. Photo: Wendy Goodfriend
How to Make Your Next BBQ Exceptional: Do-It-Yourself Burger Buns 16 June,2015Kim Laidlaw


Kim Laidlaw

Kim Laidlaw is a cookbook author, editor, food writer, producer, project manager, and baker who has been in the kitchen covered in flour since she was big enough to stir the biscuit dough. She has over 16 years of experience in book and online publishing, and a lifetime of experience in the kitchen.

Her first cookbook, Home Baked Comfort, was published in 2011; her second cookbook, Baby & Toddler On the Go, was published in April 2013; and her third cookbook, Williams-Sonoma Dessert of the Day, was published in October 2013.

She was the first blogger on KQED’s Bay Area Bites blog, which launched in 2005, and previously worked as a professional baker at La Farine French Bakery in Oakland, CA. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and their child, whom she cooks for everyday. Find out more at


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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