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Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns

Homemade whole wheat burger buns shine with the yummy subtle nutty flavor that comes with whole wheat. They’re soft, like a good dinner roll, and the ingredient list is short and wholesome–flour, olive oil, salt, yeast, egg, and a pinch of honey. You’ll be a burger bun pro after making this easy recipe just once.

Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns stacked with serrated knife on cutting board | Letty's Kitchen

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Start by mixing flour and instant dry yeast in a bowl. In a second bowl, mix hot water, the oil, honey, egg, and salt. The oil cools the water down just enough so you can mix the wet into the dry without worrying if the yeast will die on you.

From there you either let your stand mixer form it into a smooth mass, or you get right in and knead the dough into smooth and elastic with the heels of your hand.

Cutting Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns from rolled out dough | Letty's Kitchen

The whole wheat dough rises in the fridge. An hour later, you roll it out and cut circles with a cookie cutter—yes, a cookie cutter makes the buns.

Let them rise 45 minutes, give them an egg wash shine and sesame seed sparkle, and pop them in the oven. 12 minutes later you’ve got homemade whole wheat burger buns. Pat yourself on the bum—nice buns!

Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns on sheet pan ready to slice | Letty's Kitchen

Give them a few minutes to cool before cutting them in half. They’re the very best when you toast the bun halves either on the grill or in a toaster.

Sandwich your burger with all the fixings—lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado sauce. My lentil quinoa veggie burgers crave homemade whole wheat burger buns. Regular hamburgers crave a good bun too.

A friend of mine gives thumbs down to burgers with dry cotton-tasting bun. She says burgers are only as good as their buns. After tasting homemade and whole wheat buns, she’s a convert. You will be too!

Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns recipe notes:

  • White whole wheat flour is lighter in color and flavor than the whole wheat flour we are most familiar with. White whole wheat flour, ground from white wheat berries, includes the bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat grain, the same as regular whole wheat flour, which is ground from hard red wheat berries. Feel free to substitute unbleached all-purpose flour for all or some of the white whole wheat flour.
  • Instant yeast is part of what makes this recipe easy—practically no fail. No separate mixing on the side to get it to bubble. Just mix in with the flour, and then add the warm liquid.
  • All told, 15 minutes to mix and knead, 1 hour to rise, 10 minutes to cut out the rounds, 45 minutes to rise again, and 12 minutes to bake. Use the down time to get the rest of your meal together.
  • For homemade slider buns cut the dough with a 2 ¼-inch cutter.

hamburger dough rounds on sheet pan ready for their second rise Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns | Letty's Kitchen

There will be dough left after cutting out the buns. What to do with any extra dough:

  • Gently merge the scraps together and cut out a few more circles.
  • I usually turn the extra dough into mini cinnamon rolls or pesto rolls.
  • To make mini cinnamon rolls, roll the extra dough into a thin long rectangle, spread with soft butter, sprinkle with sugar (I use Sucanat or coconut sugar), and cinnamon. Roll the long edge up and pinch the edges to seal. Cut about 2-inch lengths and place them on a cookie sheet, flattening with your hand. Let rise and bake.
  • Alternatively, spread with pesto and sprinkle with Asiago cheese. Roll the long edge up and pinch the edges to seal. Cut about 2-inch lengths and place them on a cookie sheet, flattening with your hand. Let rise and bake.

Can you freeze extra buns or the dough before cutting?

Yes! 

  • To freeze the extra buns, cut them in half first and make the packaging as airtight as possible. (The moisture in the dough creates ice crystals.) Re-heat the frozen buns right from the freezer–don’t thaw first.
  • You can also freeze the dough to use later. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. Roll out the dough, cut the buns, and let rise as you would if the dough had never been frozen.

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Tools/equipment used in this recipe:

Wishing you a fabulous weekend–get in the kitchen and bake something delicious!

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Nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and any substitutions.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 308mg13%
Potassium 102mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 59IU1%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

11 comments

  • Love making my own buns! Can’t beat the fluffy freshness! Reply · 18 June, 2016

  • Love homemade fresh bread! Reply · 19 June, 2016

  • I have made all of my own bread for years. I could never go back to store bought! Reply · 20 June, 2016

  • Rachelle

    Hey Letty,
    Is there a good way to save this dough overnight before cooking it? I would love to be able to prepare the dough the day before hosting a cookout. What do you recommend for make-ahead adjustments to the recipe? Reply · 18 July, 2016

    • Hi Rachelle,
      I would cut the yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons instead of 2. Then mix the dough, cover with plastic wrap in a bowl (large enough for the dough to double in volume), and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight. Roll the dough out cold, and allow a bit more time to rise before baking. Note that the recipe specs instant yeast–if you use active dry yeast you can probably use 2 teaspoons. (for converting recipes: if recipe calls for active dry yeast, you can use instant dry yeast but reduce by 25%.) Reply · 18 July, 2016

  • Grace Fuller

    My buns didn’t turn out. They didn’t seem to rise and were very dense. I would have given 3 or less stars, but i think my water may have been too hot and killed the yeast. They were fine other than the rising issue. Reply · 3 August, 2020

    • Grace, I’m sorry to hear this. How did the dough rise in the bowl? Did it double in volume in the bowl? If not, that would be the indicator if your water was too hot. Feel free to write me if you want to try again and we can talk aboaut it. Reply · 3 August, 2020

  • Angelique

    How are you calculating the calories pls? The flour alone should be 150kcal per bun alone. Reply · 14 October, 2020

    • Thank you Angelique. I caught the mistake in the online nutrition calculator. I needed to move the word “cups” into a different column.
      It’s fixed now and each bun is about 284 calories. Reply · 14 October, 2020

  • BK

    Do you think extra buns could be frozen? Or part of the dough frozen for later use? Reply · 7 days ago

    • Good question. You can freeze the extra buns. Cut them in half first and make the packaging as airtight as possible. (The moisture in the dough creates ice crystals.) Re-heat the frozen buns right from the freezer–don’t thaw first. You can also freeze the dough to use later. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. Roll out the dough, cut the buns, and let rise as you would if the dough had never been frozen. Reply · 6 days ago

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