A Tale of Two Hamburger Bun Recipes (in which I forgo the easy route for something much more complicated and delicious)

On Sunday, Kenny and I had a few friends over to celebrate my birthday (this was AFTER Ken had made me waffles for breakfast AND gave me a super nice camera). It was a delightfully rainy day, perfect for painting or reading or baking.

This was fortunate, since we’d planned on making hamburgers but had neglected to pick up hamburger buns. I decided to make my own. So I googled a recipe, picked the first result (the picture looked great and it said “40-minute hamburger buns”), and got to baking.

I used my mother-in-laws supersized KitchenAid to spare my poor flabby arms. It was a wise choice.

Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe! (2)

Here’s the recipe I used:

40-Minute Hamburger Buns from Taste of Home, tweaked by Yours Truly

1 packet fast-acting yeast

1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm/hot water

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup canola oil

1 egg

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions: dissolve yeast in water with sugar for 5-7 minutes, add everything else and let the mixer do its thing for about 5 minutes.

Here’s where things should have been done differently. Though the original recipe said to divide the dough into 12 balls, we were planning on cooking humongous hamburgers. So I divided the dough into 8 pieces instead and plopped them onto a greased cookie sheet. The weird thing about this recipe (and why it only took 40 minutes) is that you don’t let the dough rise at all.

Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe! (3)

I popped them in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes and they came out all round and cute and cheerful.

And much, much to small to hold our hamburgers. These buns would fit about a quarter of the slab of meat we were calling a burger.

Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe! (5)

So I tried again and whipped up a second batch of hamburger buns. This time I tried a recipe that directed me to let the dough rise, which I think was a logical step missing from the aformentioned recipe.

Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe (from the Kitchn), Take Two, adapted by me, duh.

1 packet fast-acting yeast

1/2 cup warm/hot water

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 tbsp canola oil

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups whole wheat flour*

1 cup bread flour*

*(by this point, I’d run out of regular flour, but I’m sure it would’ve worked. Did I mention I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies in between these two hamburger bun endeavors?)


Directions: Dissolve yeast and sugar in water and milk. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the butter, and let your mixer do its thing for about 10 minutes.

THEN, let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Divide into bun pieces (the original recipe said 8 pieces but I did 6) and let THOSE rise for another 20-40 minutes. Until they’re hamburger bun size.

Then you can cook ’em, at 375 for 15-18 minutes. Smear butter over the tops first so they get a shiny look (and taste even more delicious).

Homemade Hamburger Bun Recipe! (1)

These turned out to be a much better size. My only complaint is that they sort of fell apart while we were eating our burgers. It made for a very messy meal, so it’s a good thing we were among friends (good ones).

We kept the initial batch and have been snacking on them since then. THEY TASTE AWESOME. In retrospect, I’d make the first recipe again but experiment with letting the dough rise. OR I’ll just trot to the bread store down the street and grab a pack for $.69. But where’s the fun in that? ;)


  • I made those 40-minute burger buns before too and was sorely disappointed in the size. No one eats a hamburger that size unless they are calling it a slider and then you need at least 3 or 4 per person…and well, I digress. I’ll have to try your Take Two recipe sometime!

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