Sourdough hamburger buns are easy to make using sourdough discard. Make a batch of the fluffy, tender buns for burgers, sliders, and sandwiches – no need for a grocery store run!
Homemade hamburger buns are always going to taste better than store-bought. And this sourdough bun recipe takes it to the next level with a delicious flavor and perfectly soft and fluffy texture.
Start this recipe the night prior for an overnight rise. In the morning, just shape and bake. Or, start your dough early in the morning and let it rise during the day, then bake them up for dinner.
Either way, deliciousness awaits!
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Why we Love Sourdough Hamburger Buns
1. Customize them!
We prefer a soft and fluffy sesame seed bun, but add any toppings you like poppy seeds, garlic salt, or everything bagel seasoning. Or, leave the tops plain – it’s your preference!
2. Uses your discard!
With sourdough discard recipes like this, there’s no waste when it is time to feed your starter! No starter? No problem, we have an amazing quick and easy hamburger bun recipe that uses yeast instead!
3. They are versatile!
Use them for rolls, sliders, or sandwiches. Just cut the dough into 14-16 pieces and use them for leftover chicken, turkey, pork roast, or ham from the holidays. See recipe notes for baking times.
Do you love sourdough?
Check out our other sourdough discard recipes like our popular overnight sourdough bread. You will also enjoy unforgettable sourdough breakfast recipes like French toast and banana bread and muffins. They are easy to make and SO good!
Tips for Making Sourdough Burger Buns
- An active sourdough starter is essential.
Use an established starter that is active and bubbly, and doubles in size within 6 hours of feeding. Use discard that was fed at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours ago.
- Use warm water to activate fermentation.
For this sourdough hamburger buns dough, the water should be between 110 and 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use plastic wrap to cover your dough for the fermentation (bulk) rise if you live in a dry climate. This keeps the top from hardening and drying out which slows down fermentation. If this happens to your dough, just stretch and fold the dough again in the morning and let rise for 2-3 hours.
- Flour your hands to prevent the dough sticking when rolling your dough balls. Then press down lightly to flatten them.
- Use egg wash to increase browning and to help any seeds or herbs 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).
Technically, you can make sourdough hamburger buns in one day if you start the process early. Still, we think it’s much easier to make the dough and let it rise overnight.
Tips for Shaping Sourdough Hamburger Buns
- Weigh portions of dough on a kitchen scale. This is the best way to ensure that you have equal sized buns.
- After dividing the dough, roll each piece into a ball in your hand. Then, pinch the bottom to smooth the top.
- Before baking, gently press your palm over the sourdough hamburger buns to flatten them slightly to give them an oval shape.
Of course, you can use our burger bun recipe for all kinds of burgers, but we love them with our grilled turkey burgers! They make fantastic sandwiches, too! Pile on some shredded beef or chicken tenders.
Storage and Reheating
Fresh bread its best consumed within the first few days, but these buns will keep for up to a week. For storage options, check out our post on How to Store Sourdough Bread.
If you want to extend their shelf life, you can freeze them for up to two months. Just thaw completely and reheat before serving.
To reheat, wrap them 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 warmed through.
Troubleshooting and FAQ
Let them cool before cutting and serving. Store buns in an air tight container at room temperature.
If your sourdough burger buns are dense it would be because your starter was not active enough, or too much flour was added. For the best results, use an established, active starter that doubles in size within 6 hours of feeding. Also, weigh ingredients with a kitchen scale, or use the spoon and level method of measuring.
- Kitchen scale – We recommend using a scale to weigh your ingredients prior to mixing and use it for weighing the dough for equal sized dough balls.
Sourdough Hamburger Buns
- Baking Sheet
- parchment paper - (optional)
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) sourdough starter, bubbly and active (fed within 12-24 hours)
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) warm water, filtered (95º to 100º F)
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 4 cups (480 grams) bread flour (I prefer King Arthur flour)
- 1½ tablespoons (20 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons (9 grams) sea salt
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- sesame seeds
- Add the 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.
- Add a light dusting of flour on your counter, then place the dough on top Use the stretch and fold method (instead of kneading) by stretching it one end of the dough straight up about 4 inches, then press it down the middle and rotate it 1/4 turn. Repeat this process until you make a complete circle and the dough had tightened.
- Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature overnight (or at least 8-10 hours) until double in size.
- Cut dough in 10-12 equal pieces (depending on the size of bun you prefer). Roll the dough into a smooth ball in your hand, then pinch the dough underneath until it is a smooth round ball. Place it on an oiled baking sheet, then flatten it slightly with your palm (into a bun shape). Cover and let rise for 2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF. In a small bowl, crack and stir egg with 1 tablespoon of water until mixed completely. Use a pastry brush to 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.