Hi, we're Rob & Marissa! Marissa enjoys planning enrichment activities for kiddos, cooking new recipes, and doing artsy projects.
Homemade Buns: Trial and Error No More!
When you think about it, a hamburger bun is really just a soft roll sliced horizontally. If you have made rolls before, you can make buns too! If you have never tried, this is the perfect recipe for you! I have tried several hamburger buns recipes, but they either turned out too dry, too small, or too dark. This recipe turns out perfectly every time I have made it. I've tweaked it a little and am confident you will be successful too.
Homemade Vs. Pre-Made Buns
The main advantage of making your own hamburger buns is that you control the ingredients. If you want to substitute some wheat flour for white, you can! If you want to substitute vegetable oil for butter, you can! If you want to sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on top, you can! A secondary advantage is that homemade tastes so good!
In contrast, the main advantage of buying pre-made hamburger buns is convenience. Simply drive to the store, place buns in the cart, check out, and drive home. A secondary advantage is that they are a little less expensive than homemade.
Using generic ingredients, it costs about $1.37 for six buns or about $0.23 per bun!
At about $1.00 for a generic bag of eight buns, pre-made costs about $0.13 per bun.
Is It Cheaper To Make Your Own Buns?
When I first started making my own buns, I was curious about this as well. So, I decided to do the math. Here's what I found:
- Flour: I buy generic at about $2.00 for a 5-pound bag (20 cups) or $0.10 per cup. For this recipe, you'll need 3 1/4 cups = $0.33.
- Sugar: I buy generic at $2.50 for a 4-pound bag (8 cups) or $0.31 per cup. For this recipe, you'll need 1/4 cup = $0.08.
- Eggs: I buy eggs at $1 for a dozen (12 eggs) or $0.08 per egg. For this recipe, you'll need one egg = $0.08.
- Butter: I buy butter at $3.50 for 1 pound (32 tablespoons) or $0.11 per Tablespoon. For this recipe, you'll need 2 tablespoons = $0.22.
- Yeast: I buy a jar at $4.50 for 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) or $0.56 per Tablespoon. You'll need 1 tablespoon = $0.56.
- Salt: Too small of an amount to calculate = less than $0.01.
- Water: Free!
Note: There is the additional cost of electricity for running the breadmaker as well as the oven. I did not calculate this.
Hamburger Buns Comparison
|Generic Store Bought||Our Homemade Recipe|
13 cents per bun
23 cents per bun (* see explanation above)
Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Vegetable Oil, Salt, Dough Conditioners, Soy Flour, Calcium Sulfate, Calcium Proprionate, Monocalcium Phosphate, and Yeast Food.
All Purpose White Flour, Water, Granulated Sugar, Egg, Unsalted Butter, Salt, and Yeast.
Drive time to and from the store plus checkout time (for me that would be about 1 hour).
2 hours 30 minutes (Hands on time: 15 mins)
Ready to Begin? Let's Grab Our Ingredients
Prep time: 2 hours 15 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 2 hours 30 min
Yields: 6 hamburger buns
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 3 1/4 cup all purpose flour, (can substitute 1 1/4 cups with wheat)
- 1/4 cup sugar, (can substitute with other sweeteners)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (for tops, can substitute olive oil)
This recipe isn't complicated! You probably have all the ingredients you need on hand. Of course, feel free to substitute some wheat flour for white flour or honey for sugar.
In addition to these, you'll also need another tablespoon of butter or olive oil to spread on top of the buns later. If desired, you might also like to have sesame seeds or poppy seeds for sprinkling on top.
- Place ingredients in the order listed in the breadmaker (wet, dry, and yeast in a well on top). Select dough setting! This will take 1 hour 30 minutes.
- When done, punch the dough down. Spray a large cookie tray or sheet pan with nonstick spray. Divide the dough into 6 pieces (cut in half, then each half into thirds). Gently form the buns by stretching each piece a little and wrapping the edges underneath to create a ball. Pinch and twist the base. Gently plop onto the prepared tray three times to flatten the base a little. Repeat for all 6 rolls. Brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the tops with a pastry brush.
- Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
If you are pressed for time, you can skip this step. However, I do not recommend it. This gives the buns a little extra rise while baking. If you use whole wheat or wheat germ for some of the white flour, you will notice your buns will not rise quite so much. I set a timer for 20 minutes instead of 30. Then, when the timer goes off, I preheat my oven to 375. When the oven is preheated 10 minutes later, the buns have had their 30 minutes to rise, and the oven is already set to go.
- Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
It really does take just 15 minutes. You do not need to worry about checking on the buns unless you know your oven bakes quickly, in which case you might want to check on them at about 13 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and firm to the touch. As they cool, the tops will become soft again.
- Let cool, slice, and serve!
How to Form Buns
An hour and a half later, when the dough is done, punch the dough down. Spray a large cookie tray or sheet pan with nonstick spray. Divide the dough into 6 pieces (I do this by cutting the dough in half, then each half into thirds). Then begin the dough-shaping process.
- Stretch one piece of the dough into a flattened round disc by gently pinching and pulling.
- Wrap the edges underneath to create a smooth-topped ball.
- Pinch and twist the base.
- Gently plop onto the prepared tray three times to flatten the base a little.
Repeat these steps for all 6 rolls. When finished, brush 1 tablespoon of melted butter over the tops with a pastry brush. If desired, you could substitute olive oil or cooking spray.
Essential Tool: Breadmaker
Using a breadmaker makes these buns easy! No kneading is required as the machine does it for you. It is so nice to just pour in the ingredients and leave it be for an hour and a half. If you do not have a breadmaker, you can still make the recipe but will need to activate the yeast with the sugar and warm water first.
Then, mix the remaining dry ingredients and remaining wet ingredients separately. Pour the wet into dry along with the yeast mixture. Mix. Knead on the counter. Let rise for 45 minutes to an hour in a warm place. Then continue on with the recipe as follows.
Not Too Difficult After All!
While it has taken two and a half hours from start to finish, the hands-on time is really just around fifteen minutes. Not too difficult after all! This is a basic recipe and can be modified to your liking. You could add sesame seeds or poppy seeds to the tops before baking the buns, for example.
If the buns are too big for you, you could try forming eight instead of six. I have done this before, and the buns were a bit too small for us. To help reduce some of the bread a bit, I like to use my fingers to gently hollow out the top and bottom. I then save the "guts" of the bun to dry for bread crumbs.
Serve These Buns With Pride!
You can serve these buns with pride. Please do let your family know you made these YOURSELF! And now I am clapping for you. You did it!
While it does take more effort than picking them up at the store, homemade buns are a delicious—dare I say—treat for your hamburger or sloppy joe dinner.
What Did You Think?
Like This Recipe?
Check out our other bread recipe:
- Breadmaker Pizza Dough: Perfectly fluffy every time! With pictures and directions on how to transform it into a traditional pizza pie, calzones, and stromboli!
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