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Sourdough Hamburger Buns

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Sourdough Hamburger Buns is an easy recipe for a scrumptiously soft and fluffy sesame seed bun. These homemade buns are perfect for sandwiches and sliders, too!

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Freshly baked homemade sesame seed buns in a bowl.

Burger buns made from scratch are always going to taste better than store-bought ones. And this sourdough buns recipe takes it to the next level with a delicious flavor and perfectly soft and fluffy texture.

We recommend starting this recipe the night before you want to bake the buns. This way, the dough can rise overnight. In the morning, just shape and then bake. Deliciousness awaits!

Reasons To Make Sourdough Hamburger Buns

We prefer a soft and fluffy sesame seed bun, but add any toppings you like. Poppy seeds, garlic salt, everything bagel seasoning, etc. Or, leave the tops plain; It’s your preference!

No waste!
This recipe uses sourdough discard, so there’s no waste! And if you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can easily make our sourdough starter recipe.

Adjustable serving size.
This sourdough hamburger buns recipe is also perfect for making sliders. Just cut the dough into 16-20 smaller buns and use them for leftover beef, turkey, pork roast, and ham from the holidays.

Do you love sourdough?
Check out our other sourdough recipes, including our most popular, overnight sourdough bread. Other unforgettable treats are the sourdough French toast and banana bread. Both are easy to make and SO good!

digital kitchen scale, mixing bowl and other tools for baking bread.

Kitchen Supplies You Will Need

  • Bread flour – All purpose flour doesn’t contain enough protein to create the structure you need for sourdough hamburger buns.
  • Kitchen scale – We highly recommend that you use a digital scale to weigh the dough. This will keep the size consistent, so the entire batch bakes evenly.
  • Parchment paper – Using this is optional, but it helps prevent the burger buns from sticking to the baking pan.
sesame seed buns on a cooling rack.

Tips for Making Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Whether you want to make a sesame seed bun or plain sourdough bun, the prep is nearly identical. Follow the recipe tips below and you will have the best sourdough buns ever!

Making the Dough

  1. Use an active sourdough starter.
    You want to be sure that the starter is bubbly and fully active. To ensure this, feed the sourdough starter 12 to 24 hours before using it.
  1. Be sure the water is warm, but not hot.
    For this sourdough buns recipe, the water should be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Stir until the sugar dissolves completely into the water.
Looking down into a glass bowl filled with shaggy bread dough.
  1. Use a dough whisk or wooden spoon.
    This will prevent you from over working the bread dough mixture. Also, use enough flour to create a thick, shaggy dough.
whisking bread flour with warm water and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  1. Flour your hands to prevent sticking.
  2. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel to help it rise.
    Be sure to let it rest for 30 to 45 minutes for the first rise. Then, you will stretch it out to release the gas before the second rise of 8 to 10 hours.

    During the second rise, the hamburger buns dough should double in size.
Dough rising in a glass bowl for a sourdough buns recipe.

Technically, you can make sourdough hamburger buns in one day. But, to save time, we like to make the dough a day ahead, then let it rise overnight.

STretching The Bread dough

  1. Lightly flour your work surface.
    Don’t use too much flour, or the bread will become very dense and heavy.
  2. Stretch the dough as thinly as possible.
    Remove the dough from the bowl and gently stretch it into a rectangle. Then keep stretching – you want it to be as thin as possible before rolling it into a log shape.
  1. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
    This allows the proteins in flour to relax, so it’s easier to shape the buns.

Shaping Sourdough buns

  • Weigh portions of dough on a kitchen scale for best results.
    You will need 8-10 equal portions, depending on how big you want each sesame seed bun to be.

    This sourdough buns recipe will yield about 12-14 slider-sized portions if you want to make sliders. Roll each portion into a smooth ball.
weighing bread dough on a digital kitchen scale.

Baking Tips

  1. Test the dough before baking.
    Using the tip of your finger, gently press down on one edge of a bun. If you see an indentation, it’s time to get them into the oven!
Eight balls of dough on a rimmed sheet pan lined with a silicone baking mat.
  1. Use egg wash for better browning and to help the sesame seeds stick.
    Use a pastry brush to cover the top and sides of each sourdough hamburger bun with egg wash, then sprinkle on the sesame seeds (if using).
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes to avoid over-browning the tops.

Recipe Variations

  • For sweeter sourdough buns, add an extra tablespoon of sugar.
  • For a savory bun, include freshly chopped herbs or garlic.
  • Add some grated cheddar or gouda for a cheesy bread.
  • For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour.

Golden brown sesame seed bun on parchment lined baking sheet.

What to Serve On Homemade Hamburger Buns

Of course, you can use your sourdough buns for any type of burger, from beef to chicken and even grilled turkey burgers!

They make fantastic sandwiches, too! Pile on some pulled pork, shredded rotisserie chicken, Shake and Bake chicken tenders, or even good old-fashioned egg salad or cheese sandwiches!

Storage and Reheating

Fresh bread is always best eaten in the first day or two, but the buns will keep for up to a week. For storage options, check out our post, How to Store Sourdough Bread.

If you want to extend their shelf life, you can freeze homemade hamburger buns for up to two months. Just be sure to thaw them completely before enjoying them.

To warm a sesame seed bun, wrap it in a paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds. Or, place a few in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350º for a few minutes until they warm through.

Perfectly baked batch of sourdough hamburger buns in a glass serving dish.

Hamburger bun Recipe FAQ

How do you keep homemade hamburger buns soft? 

You can do a few things to keep your breads fresh and soft.
First, be sure you’re using fresh flour. Old flour can lead to sourdough buns that are tough and dry. Secondly, don’t over work the dough.

Why are my homemade sourdough buns dense?

One possible reason sourdough doesn’t get light and fluffy is that the dough didn’t rise long enough. Be sure to let it rise until it doubles in size. Look for bubble activity above and below the dough after the first rise.

Another reason might be that you used too much flour. For the best results, weigh it on a kitchen scale, or use the spoon and level method of measuring.

Other Simple Sourdough Discard Recipes

Use your next batch of discard to make some delicious sourdough muffins or a delicious sourdough stuffing!

Perfectly baked batch of sourdough hamburger buns in a glass serving dish.
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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Making sourdough hamburger buns is easy! We recommend making the dough in the evening and letting it rise overnight.
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword soft hamburger buns, Sourdough, homemade bread, homemade hamburger buns
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Combined rises are approx. 12 hours 12 hours
Total Time 13 hours 45 minutes
Servings 12 buns
Calories 317kcal


  • Baking Sheet
  • parchment (optional)


  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) sourdough starter, bubbly and active (fed within 12-24 hours)
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) warm water, filtered (95º to 100º F)
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (480 grams) bread flour (I prefer King Arthur flour)
  • tablespoons (20 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (9 grams) sea salt
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)


  • sesame seeds


  • Add sourdough starter to a large bowl. Mix in warm water and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add bread flour, oil, and salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a thick, shaggy dough forms.
  • Flour your hands, and finish mixing dough by hand until all the flour has been absorbed. Cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Pull the dough from the bowl, and stretch and fold the dough. Stretch the dough by pulling it up 4 inches then pushing it down the middle. Turn the dough 1/4 until you make a complete circle. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rise at room temperature overnight (or at least 8-10 hours) until double in size.
  • Lightly flour your counter top. Remove the dough from the bowl, gently stretching it into a rectangle, then stretch the dough out as thinly as it will allow. Roll up dough into a log shape. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Cut dough in 10-12 equal pieces (depending on the size of bun you prefer). Roll dough into a smooth ball. Place it on an oiled baking sheet, then flatten it slightly with your palm (a bun shape). Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 425º. In a small bowl, mix egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush on egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using).
  • Bake hamburger buns in the center of the oven for 8-10 minutes. The top of the burger buns should be golden in color. Let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting in half.


Store sourdough buns at room temperature in a bag for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 317kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 79mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

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