Perfect Burger Buns

perfect burger buns

If you follow many food blogs you may have seen this recipe before. And, for good reason. I first saw it on Smitten Kitchen and was very intrigued, but it sounded like too much work at the time. Then I saw it on Annie’s Eats and her take sounded much more do-able with the same end result.

Both of these ladies were right. These are the perfect burger buns and my search is over. I’ve been making them for probably a year now (I’ve even photographed them before – here and here) and absolutely cannot get myself to buy them from the store anymore. I’d rather go burger-less then have a burger with a bad bun.

These light brioche-style buns are easy to make and have just the right amount of fluff and firmness that you look for in a burger bun. The bun actually accents the burger instead of distracting from it. So many times when I’ve eaten burgers I just notice that the bun is too doughy, too thick or too heavy. That has never happened with these buns. Really, they are perfect.

I make mine a little smaller than the original recipe because, although it’s the perfect size for a 1/4 pounder, I just can’t eat that big of a burger so I make them a little smaller and serve them with my 1/6 pounders. :) I also find this a much more appropriate size for my three year old. Feel free to make how ever many, and whatever size, you want.

I know that summer is almost over but we’re going to be grilling until the snow flies. Besides, I thought these would be perfect for the Labour Day weekend coming up.

Will you be cooking up anything for Labour Day?

perfect burger buns

New to making dough? Read my tips here.

Serves: 8-12
You will need a stand mixer for the instructions below. If you don’t have one, see the original for mixing instructions.
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3-4 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2.5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of your mixer. Add milk, sugar and egg. Beat with paddle attachment to combine. Add 3 cups bread flour, all of the all-purpose flour and salt. Beat with mixer until well blended. Beat in butter.
  2. Switch to dough hook; add enough remaining bread flour until the dough comes together but is still a quite tacky. Knead for 6-8 minutes, until smooth. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (approximately 1 hour).
  3. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8-12 buns (8 for large, restaurant-style buns, 12 for medium-sized buns). Place the buns 3 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Spray lightly with cooking spray and cover lightly with plastic wrap (the spray is so the plastic wrap won’t stick to the buns). Let rise until nearly double (about 1 hour).
  4. Pour water into a large pan and place on the lowest rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  5. For the topping: Whisk together egg and water. Brush lightly onto risen buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time, until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly and then remove to paper towels or wire racks to cool.
  1. You cannot substitute all-purpose flour for the bread flour, you will simply not get the same stunning results.

Adapted from Annie’s Eats and The New York Times (original).