If you’re at all like me, you absolutely loathe the crappy, mass-produced, light-as-air hamburger buns that they have on hand at most major supermarkets.  I’m talking about the ones that you throw your hot, juicy burger onto, that in turn dissolves into a condiment-laden sponge within minutes.  Last Summer, I’d finally had enough and decided to try making some of own.

While significantly more substantial than those found at most fast food establishments, these little guys are still very tender and delicate, retaining a resiliency that not many sesame seed buns can boast.  Unlike those at the grocery store, these will not melt or crumble in your hands.  They can stand up to a good amount of juices and have a flavor infinitely more complex than your typical factory-made variety.

With Memorial Day hours away, grilling season is finally upon us. Do yourself a favor this summer and try making these buns from scratch at least once.  I promise, your burgers will thank you.


From Saveur Magazine

This isn’t the type of thing you make every weekend, so take your time and don’t rush the process.  I like to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of my milk.  It might be a little over-the-top, but properly warmed milk and a bit of sugar will get the yeast activated quickly.  When it comes time to knead the dough, don’t be afraid to do so on medium-high heat.  Let the machine do its job and really work the dough.  For best results, leave your dough to rise in a warm, draft-free spot for the full two hours before moving on to the next step.  For good looking buns, pinch the dough a bit as you roll them into tight balls.  This creates a smooth, uniform skin in the final product.  These buns are by no means just for burgers.  Try them with sloppy joes or even BBQ beef sandwiches.


  • 1  1⁄4-ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 1⁄3 cups milk, heated to 115°
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2″ cubes, softened
  • Canola oil, for greasing
  • 3 teaspoons sesame seeds


1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle, stir together yeast, milk, and 1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar; let foam. Stir in remaining sugar, flour, salt, and egg. Mix on low speed until dough forms. Replace paddle with dough hook; add butter; knead on medium-high speed until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 8 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

2. Heat oven to 400°. Divide dough into 12 portions; shape each into a tight ball. Place balls on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Lightly brush balls with oil; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 1⁄2 hours.

3. Uncover dough and, using a spray bottle filled with water, moisten dough; sprinkle each ball with 1⁄4 tsp. sesame seeds. Bake, rotating once, until golden brown, 18–20 minutes. Let cool.

Makes 12 buns

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  1. Hi Mike! I just made some hamburger buns from scratch last week too! They made such a difference. They tasted good for several days after too! Yours look perfect.

  2. Beautiful buns! I bet these make all the difference when it comes to great burgers!

  3. These look so great! I’ve been meaning to try making buns for the longest time and keep putting it off. I’m inspired again. Must try soon!

  4. I can already taste pulled pork and slaw (from the south) in between that tender delicious bun.

    • Melissa
    • June 7th, 2010

    Oh wow, they look great! Thanks, this was the inspiration I needed to finally make a batch myself!

    • Jules
    • March 24th, 2011

    Going to make these today.. Only making them mini’s for sliders. These look great ! I love when I go out to eat a homemade roll just holds up better. I’m tired of the grocery store rolls

  1. May 30th, 2010