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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.

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5 from 2 votes
Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns | Letty's Kitchen
Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
32 mins
 

Serve with veggie burgers and all your favorite fixings. Makes 8 (3 1/2-inch) burger buns. If you like, make slider buns by cutting the dough with a smaller 2 ¼-inch cutter. 

Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: homemade, burger buns, hamburger buns, whole wheat
Servings: 8 buns.
Calories: 109 kcal
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 3 to 3 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1 cup hot water (120° to 130°F)
  • 1 teaspoon honey or pure cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • About 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 egg , for egg wash shine, optional
Instructions
  1. In the workbowl of a heavy-duty mixer, or in a large bowl, mix the yeast with 3 cups of the whole wheat flour.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the hot water, honey, oil, and salt. Add the egg.
  3. With a wooden spoon, mix the liquid ingredients into the flour and yeast. If using a stand mixer, fit it with the dough hook and knead at low speed. Otherwise, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand. Knead 4 or 5 minutes, adding the remaining 1/2 cup of flour a tablespoon at a time, as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

  4. Place in an oiled bowl at least twice the volume of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until the dough has doubled, about one hour.
  5. Gently turn the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and press into a rounded rectangle with your hands. Use a rolling pin to roll to a thickness of ½ inch (not thinner.)
  6. Cut 8 circles out of the dough with a 3- or 3 ½-inch round cutter. (see note)
  7. Brush a baking sheet with oil or spray with cooking spray. Arrange the buns on the pan, allowing room for sideways expansion. Cover very loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  8. Make an egg wash with the egg and a teaspoon of water. (You will have egg wash left over—use it for French toast!)

  9. When the buns have risen, brush them lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  10. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until the buns are lightly golden. Cool before slicing in half. 

Recipe Notes

Make slider buns: cut the dough with a 2 ¼-inch cutter. 

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Amount Per Serving
Calories 109 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 41mg14%
Sodium 308mg13%
Potassium 44mg1%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 60IU1%
Calcium 6mg1%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

5 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

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