Sourdough Hamburger Buns

4.72 from 7 votes

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Sourdough hamburger buns add an extra oomph of flavor to any burger with their signature sourdough taste and light nuttiness from sesame seeds on top. They are the perfect vessel for any burger or sandwich you love!

Sourdough burger buns on a blue and white enamel sheet after baking.
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Most people think the most important part of a burger is the meat. While that’s certainly a big factor, the bun plays just as significant of a role. A soft, fluffy, puffy bun that can hold up to the fillings is what you need for a perfect hamburger or favorite sandwich.

Sourdough hamburger buns are perfect for pulled pork sandwiches, chicken salad sammies, or a super flavorful turkey burger.

Sourdough burger buns on parchment paper on a blue and white enamelware pan after baking.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe 

  • Easy. These buns only require one dough rise that is super flexible depending on how much time you have.
  • Flexible. You can let the dough for these buns rise anywhere between 2 and 6 hours
  • Fast. They bake to perfection in 15 minutes

Recipe Ingredients

  • Sourdough starter: This gives the buns their sour flavor, and the yeast in the starter helps them get nice and fluffy.
  • Light oil: Oil helps to keep the buns moist.
  • Milk: Milk adds nice rich flavor and keeps the buns moist.
  • Egg: You just need one egg to act as a binder and to help the buns rise.
  • Salt: Salt brings balance to the flavors.
  • Sugar: Sugar adds a light touch of sweetness that’s subtle and just enough to make these irresistible.
  • All-purpose flour: Flour is used in all bread recipes!
  • Egg white: The egg wash on top of the buns before baking helps the buns get extra-glossy and golden.
  • Sesame seeds: If you don’t have sesame seeds, don’t worry about it, but they do add a nice pretty finish, slight texture variation, and bit of nutty flavor.

See the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Image of the dough in a mixing bowl being mixed with a dough hook.

Step #1. Beat the sourdough starter, oil, milk, and egg. Add the salt, sugar, and 2 cups of flour. Mix with the dough hook on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes.

Ball of sourdough for hamburger buns in a bowl ready for the resting period.

Step #3. Lightly spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray; return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest at room temperature 2 to 6 hours.

Eight sourdough hamburger buns on brown parchment paper on a blue and white speckled enamelware pan ready to go into the oven.

Step #5. Cover the dough lightly; let it rest for 30 minutes or so while the oven preheats. Before putting the buns in the oven, brush the tops with egg white wash and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Sourdough hamburger bun dough on a lightly floured white counter.

Step #2. Dust a work surface with flour; move the dough to the work surface. Knead the dough lightly. Form the dough into a smooth ball.

Sourdough hamburger bun dough cut into eight equal portions on a lightly floured white counter.

Step #4. Remove dough from the bowl and divide it into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a round ball; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly.

Eight freshly baked golden brown sourdough hamburger buns with sesame seeds on parchment paper on a blue and white enamelware pan.

Step #6. Bake until the buns are golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Let the buns cool 10 to 15 minutes minimum before slicing in half and serving.

Sourdough buns with BBQ chicken and shredded cabbage on them sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Recipe FAQs

What is the best way to shape the dough for hamburger buns to ensure they come out the right size and shape?

Use a food scale to divide the dough evenly into portions and shape them into round balls. Then, gently flatten them with your hands so they are uniform in size.

Can I freeze the homemade sourdough hamburger buns for later use?

Yes. To freeze, make sure the buns are thoroughly cool before wrapping them in plastic wrap individually and placing them in an airtight container.

What is the best way to thaw frozen sourdough hamburger buns?

Let the frozen buns thaw at room temperature.

Can I use this recipe to make slider buns?

Yes. Follow the recipe as written and then divide the dough into 12 smaller balls instead of 8. They may need a minute or two less of baking time. Watch for the buns to have a very golden color.

How can I make these hamburger buns ahead of time?

You can make these buns a day or two ahead of when you need them. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. 

Sourdough burger buns on parchment paper on a blue and white enamelware pan after baking.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t forget the cooling time. These buns need 10 to 15 minutes to cool off before you slice them. 
  • You can make these buns bigger by dividing the dough into 6 larger balls. You may need to bake them an extra minute or two.
  • If you want to turn them into slider buns, divide the dough into 12 small balls. Reduce the baking time by a minute or two. Watch for them to have that nice golden color.
A pile of sourdough burger buns on parchment paper on a blue and white enamelware pan after baking.

How to Store Sourdough Buns

Store cooled, leftover sourdough burger buns in an airtight bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

More Sourdough Recipes to Consider

sourdough burger buns on a sheet after baking
4.72 from 7 votes

Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Sourdough hamburger buns add an extra oomph of flavor. They are the perfect vessel for any burger or sandwich you love!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours
Servings: 8 buns

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup active bubbly sourdough starter
  • 3 tablespoons light oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white + 1 tablespoon water
  • Sesame seeds
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Instructions 

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sourdough starter, oil, milk, and egg. Beat to combine.
  • Add the salt, sugar, and 2 cups of flour.
  • Mix with the dough hook on low speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough comes together well but still sticks to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Dust a work surface well with flour, and remove the dough from the bowl onto the work surface.
  • Knead the dough lightly until it’s soft but not overly sticky.
  • Form the dough into a smooth ball.
  • Lightly spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray, and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.
  • Let the dough rest at room temperature 2 to 6 hours, depending on your timing.
  • After the dough has rested, remove it from the bowl and divide it into 8 pieces.
  • Form each piece into a round ball, and place on a baking mat or parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Gently use the palm of your hand to press the dough so that it’s 1 to 1.5 inches thick. This will help it be more bun-shaped when it cooks.
  • Cover the dough lightly, and let it rest for 30 minutes or so while the oven preheats.
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. When the oven is hot, brush the top of the bun with 1 egg white beat well with 1 tablespoon of water, and then sprinkle the wet tops with sesame seeds.
  • Bake until the buns are golden-brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, and let the buns cool 10 to 15 minutes minimum before slicing in half and serving with your favorite burger, pulled pork, or just about any other sandwich toppings.

Notes

  • This makes 8 medium-sized buns. If you’d like large buns, divide the dough into 6 and make 6 large buns, or divide it into 12 to make slider-sized buns. 
  • If you change the size of the buns, you will need to adjust the baking time slightly. A couple more minutes for larger buns and a couple fewer minutes for smaller buns. 
  • To get consistent hamburger buns, you can use a food scale to ensure the dough is divided evenly before shaping them into buns. 
  • Store buns in an airtight container for up to three days on the counter or five days in the fridge.
  • If you have any sourdough questions, check out these sourdough troubleshooting tips

Nutrition

Serving: 1 of 8 buns, Calories: 289kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 347mg, Potassium: 118mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 189IU, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 3mg
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15 Comments

  1. Sonya says:

    4 stars
    I like the ease of these buns. Mine turned out a little more dense then I thought but that could be because of my altitude or something I did.
    I am not a baker and very rarely have successful attempts when trying recipes to use my Amish starter but I keep trying. My altitude is 4751 if anyone can suggest where my error went? I plant on trying them again and froze what I did make. They will handle a sauce slider no problem.

    1. Melissa says:

      It probably was more your timing than your altitude because I’m at a high altitude than you. When the buns rise a second time, don’t go off of time but looks next time. They should look risen and a bit puffy before they go in the oven, that could take a few hours longer than written depending on your kitchen conditions and starter.

  2. Megan says:

    4 stars
    Easy recipe and tastes great! I didn’t read the note about the size of the buns, so I was a little underwhelmed as my 8 “medium” sized buns turned out more like sliders. BUT this might have also had something to do with only letting it rise for 2 hours. Will try again later with only 6 buns and longer prove

  3. Lucy says:

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! If I were to make the dough in advance, could I cold ferment in the fridge overnight?

    1. Melissa says:

      Yep, should work great, just give it enough time the next day to perk back up.

  4. Rachael M says:

    5 stars
    Mine look and smell really good! Thanks for the recipe:) One question for you. I’d say mine turned out a little more dense than fluffy. Any ideas what I may have done wrong?

    1. Melissa says:

      How warm is your house right now?? I bet it just the winter cold, feel free to proof them longer next time.

  5. Patricia Swanson says:

    5 stars
    What a great recipe.I had fed my started the evening before after a two week say in the fridge. I was going to feed again in the morning, but had to rush out to an appointment. Got home at 12:30, not enough time to feed and have buns for dinner. So, I elected to just get mixing. Quick and easy mix in the big mixer. I let the dough raise until it was nice and puffy. Divided the dough into six equal portion by weight. Parchment paper lined the baking sheet. Did the last rest and into the oven they went. Turkey burgers on the grill, Colorado sweet corn, and home baked buns! Perfect. They sliced nicely and had a delightfully soft interior with just a touch of crusty to the outside. Thanks.

    1. Melissa says:

      Sounds like an AMAZING meal!! Thank you for the review!

  6. Michele says:

    Does my starter have to be fed before I make these? Or can I just remove it from the fridge and make these same day?

    1. Melissa says:

      I normally feed it before but I bet it wouldn’t matter much.

  7. Carroll Scott-McIntyre says:

    Have you ever tried making these vegan?

    1. Melissa says:

      I haven’t but you could sure play with them!

  8. Shirley says:

    5 stars
    These buns are great! And it is a very simple recipe! (I bake them for 20 minutes) Thank you! Have you ever doubled the recipe? Would you double everything, or just use the 1 cup of starter, and then double the rest? Thanks again!

    1. Melissa says:

      You can do either, you can double everything BUT the starter or double everything AND the starter, I’ve had luck with both. It does rise a bit fast with more starter.