How to make Burger Buns, a recipe by Tom Rees

How to make Burger Buns, a recipe by Tom Rees

10.06.2020 15:36

A good burger bun is pretty difficult to find in the shops. Why not have a go at making them yourself? They are easy and really worth the time.

This recipe gives you a brioche type dough, which is mixed in two stages. First we will combine all the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients (apart from the butter), and mix them all together for about 2 minutes until they form a kind of rough dough. Then leave them to rest for 15 minutes before squeezing in the butter. You can add strength to the dough using the same stretching and folding technique as in previous recipes (see link here).

Try to have your eggs and milk at room temperature (milk could be warmed up to 25 degrees if taken directly from the fridge). If all the ingredients are too cold, the dough may not rise well. It’s ideal if your butter is slightly softened, but not melted.

I used a combination of two flours – a refined white pastry flour (T45) combined with a smaller amount of whole wheat flour to give a little more consistency to the cooked bun. But you can use pastry flour on its own if you prefer. I have also made burger buns using strong bread flour (T65) as well; this made a denser bun,  but they were just as tasty. Make sure the sourdough you use is well fermented (doubled in size and with lots of bubbles) as all the fats and sugar in the dough are going to prevent the dough from rising as quick as a simple sourdough bread. I made my sourdough around lunchtime, using 30g old sourdough, 100g warm water and 100g flour, then let it ferment overnight at room temperature. The next morning I used this sourdough to make the brioche dough, letting it rise during the day, shaping the buns just after lunchtime and baking in the evening in time for dinner.


Recipe for 11 buns of 100g each

- Pastry Flour T45 350g

- Whole wheat flour 150g

- Milk 160g

- Eggs 160g

- Sourdough flour 150g

- Salt 10g

- Sugar 50g

- Butter 150g



1. Combine all the ingredients apart from the butter together in a mixing bowl, and mix for 1-2 minutes until roughly combined.

2. Wait 15 minutes!

3. Next add the butter to the dough, initially by squeezing together through your fingers, then by using the stretch and fold technique (add link) to give some shape and tension. Pull the dough up from the sides and fold back in on itself until almost all the butter is incorporated. Around 8-10 times should suffice. Don’t worry if the dough is still a little scruffy, it will develop over the next few hours.

4. Wait another 30 mins! 

5. Repeat the same process of stretching and folding the dough, but don’t squeeze the dough like in step 3. We are now looking to develop the strength of the dough. Depending on your flour and the room temperature, it should take 3 sets of stretches and folds, with a 30 min pause between each set, to develop the strength. Try to keep the dough around 27 degrees How can people do this.

6. In total, the dough should take around 4 hours to rise. You will know it has risen properly when you can see it has grown in size at least by half, and it feels bouncy and puffy to touch.

7. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface (you do not need sprinkle any flour on this type of dough), and divide the dough into equal parts. I divided at 100g, but make them smaller or larger as you prefer. Next, roll them tightly into balls and place evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Make sure to leave 4-5 cm between each bun, as they will double in size once cooked.

8. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours, until they have grown and become puffy.

9. Heat the oven to 165 degrees, with one empty tray at the bottom of the oven. Leave space in the middle of the oven for your tray with the buns.

10. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg, sprinkle with some seeds or herbs (which kind?), place the tray in the middle of the oven and pour half a cup of water (around 80ml) onto the hot tray at the bottom to create some steam. Close the door quickly to trap the steam in the oven.

11. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking. The buns should remain soft once cooked, but make sure they are golden brown all the way round, as well as underneath.

12. Remove from the tray and let them cool on a grill.

13. The buns will keep well for 2-3 days in an airtight container or for up to 3 months wrapped in the freezer.

Hope you liked this recipe. If you tried it at home, please let us know how it went, we can't wait to see pictures of your burger buns. Otherwise, you can find this recipe in Romanian here: Chifle de burgeri.

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