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How to Make Sourdough Burger Buns | Sourdough Burger Buns Recipe.

Last updated on November 18th, 2023 at 01:45 am

There’s something undeniably satisfying about sinking your teeth into a juicy, mouthwatering burger, layered with all your favourite toppings on a freshly made sourdough burger bun. Say goodbye to store-bought buns and welcome the aroma of freshly baked sourdough burger buns wafting through your kitchen. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, a casual weeknight dinner, or simply indulging in a self-made burger craving, these sourdough burger buns will be a game-changer.

the best sourdough burger buns

Introduction to Sourdough Burger Buns

Homemade sourdough burger buns are the secret ingredient that will elevate your burger game to new heights. Picture this: a soft, slightly tangy bun with a beautifully crisp exterior, providing the perfect support for your sumptuous patties and condiments. These buns are not just another accessory; they become the star of your burger masterpiece.

But don’t be intimidated by the term “sourdough.” While it might conjure images of complex baking processes and lengthy fermentation times, I’m here to guide you through a straightforward and rewarding recipe that will have you hooked on making your own buns from scratch. I’ve also got a guide on how you can create your own sourdough starter if you have not got one already.

As a passionate baker and burger enthusiast, I’ve spent hours experimenting with different recipes (we tried 6 different formula variations to find this one) to craft the ideal sourdough burger bun that combines taste, texture, and ease of preparation. In this blog post, I’ll share with you my tried-and-true method, along with some essential tips and tricks, to ensure your sourdough burger buns turn out perfect every time.

The best sourdough burger buns

Recipe Specs

Yield 12 x 110g Burger Buns
Total dough weight 1.320grams
Pre-Fermented Flour – 123.4%
Levain % in Final Dough – 492%
Total Hydration – 50.4%
The best sourdough burger buns

Flour Specs

  • 100% organic strong bakers flour
    • 12.4% protein, 0.54% ash

The flour in this recipe is adjustable. I often add 10-30% whole grains to this recipe to give it a really nice depth of flavour. While the recipe calls for bread flour you can also use 30-50% all-purpose flour. You can also use whole grains or other alternative grains like buckwheat, teff, or einkorn to create the yudane.

Total Formula

WeightIngredientBakers %
596gramsBread Flour100%
43gramsMilk Powder7.27%
270gramsWater45.25%
3gramsSalt0.5%
89gramsSugar14.99%
90gramsEgg15.04%
105gramsButter17.55%
124grams Levain20.78%
As desiredSesame Seeds
Sourdough burger buns recipe

Dough Schedule

To help you bake this at home I have created a suggested timeline for each step of the process. This schedule is meant to be a guideline but by no means do you have to stick to it. Feel free to adapt the recipe or timing to best fit your baking schedule.

The best sourdough burger buns

Mix the Levain 10:00 pm

WeightIngredientBakers %
372gramsBread Flour100%
165grams Water44%
74grams Sugar20%
124gramsLevain33%
735 gramsTotal198%

In this recipe, we will be using a sweet stiff levain. I find it easiest to mix this in a stand mixer but you can also mix it by hand. If you’d like to adjust the ratios for this levain or any part of the recipe, the easiest way to do so is to download my FREE sourdough burger buns excel recipe dough calculator. Simply update the numbers in yellow to change the quantities, dough size or bakers percentage. If you need some help understanding bakers percentage you can check out my guide here.

If you are new to sourdough and want to learn more about feeding and maintaining your starter, you can check out my guide on how I’ve kept the same starter around for almost 20 years here.

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients until well combined. This build should take about 10 hours at 20°C/68°F to reach full maturity.
  2. While all mixers vary, this process will take approximately 2 minutes on first speed, followed by 3 minutes on 2nd speed.

Teachable Moment – Using a sweet stiff levain for sourdough burger buns can offer several benefits, including:

  • Enhanced flavor: A sweet levain can add a subtle sweetness to the buns, which complements the savory flavors of a burger patty.
  • Improved texture: A stiff levain can help give the buns a light, airy texture while still maintaining their structure.
  • Longer shelf life: Using a levain can help extend the shelf life of the buns, as the natural fermentation process can help preserve them for longer.
  • Healthier option: Sourdough bread made with a levain can be easier to digest and have a lower glycemic index compared to bread made with commercial yeast. Please note that I am not a doctor OR nutritional expert but you can find many credible sources online that show the benefits of pre-fermenting flour.

Mix Yudane

WeightIngredientBakers %
75gramsBread Flour100%
75grams Water100%
149gramsTotal200%

Yudane Method for Bread Making

Yudane Method (yoo-DAH-nay): A Japanese bread-making technique that involves cooking flour and water together to create a paste, which is then mixed with the remaining bread ingredients. This process gelatinizes the starches in the flour, resulting in a softer crumb and a longer shelf life for the bread.

Research has shown that the yudane method can increase the water-holding capacity of bread, which in turn leads to a moister and more flavorful final product. Additionally, the gelatinization process can improve the nutritional value of the bread by making the starches more easily digestible.

  1. Add the flour to a large bowl. Pour boiling water over top and mix until fully combined.
  2. If necessary you may need to use your hands to work the paste into a dough ensuring there are no dry bits.
  3. Store the yudane in an air-tight container or with plastic directly on top to prevent skin from forming.

Teachable Moment – Did you know that making the Yudane paste in advance can save you time in the kitchen? By cooking the flour and water ahead of time, you can have the base of your bread ready and waiting for you when you are ready to bake. This can help streamline the bread-making process and allow you to focus on other tasks in the kitchen.

Mix the Dough

WeightIngredientBakers %
149gramsBread Flour100%
43gramsMilk Powder29%
30gramsWater20%
3gramsSalt2%
15gramsSugar10%
90gramsEgg60%
105gramsButter70%
735grams Levain492%
149grams Yudane100%

This dough can be mixed in a planetary or spiral mixer. Keep in mind a planetary mixer will really heat up your dough (spiral can do depending on the model) and you might need to chill some of the ingredients before mixing. For more detail on the mixing process check out the YouTube video showing the full process.

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the dough on 1st speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should be strong and have evident gluten development. If you tug on the dough it should pull back a bit and be starting to look smooth.
  2. Add the butter in chunks and mix on 1st speed for 2-3 minutes until combined. Increase the speed to 2nd speed and mix for an additional 3-4 minutes. The dough should be smooth and have a good window when stretched.

Teachable Moment: To test the dough strength, wet your hand and grab pinch off a piece of dough about the size of an apricot. Using wet hands gently stretch the dough out. You should be able to stretch it until it is slightly translucent. It should also have a clean line when it breaks.

Sourdough Burger Buns gluten window

Bulk Fermentation

Bulk ferment the dough for 2.5-3 hours. If you are in a cold environment, keep the dough in a warm place during the bulk fermentation.

  1. Bulk ferment the dough for 2.5-3 hours at 28°C/82.4°F.

Note: I am using the Brod & Taylor proofer but if you do not have a proofer you can use your oven with the light on and some boiling water in a pot on the bottom of the oven. You can also use a microwave with some warm water beside it. Essentially you want a closed space with some warm water to give the humidity and warm temperature. If you cannot create a mock proofer, you can let the dough proof a little longer.

Divide and Shape

Shaping sourdough burger buns is a great place to start for any beginner baker. The process is similar to shaping any bun except we will roll/flatten the buns at the end to create the burger bun shape.

  1. Remove the dough from the container, and place it on an un-floured surface.
  2. Divide the dough into 110g pieces.
  3. Using a bench scraper and your hand gently round the dough into a tight round ball.
  4. Flour the entire dough ball and then using a rolling pin or your hand, flatten the dough into a round disc. This should resemble the shape of a burger bun. Both methods are shown in the photo gallery below.
  5. Place the dough onto a sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and cover with a bag.

Note: I like to reuse a transparent blue recycling bag. To create a moist environment, spray some water into the bag. This will help the final proofing and keep the buns moist.

Final Fermentation

While it can be helpful to use a proofer for the final fermentation on the sourdough burger buns, my proofer isn’t big enough for a baking tray and at home I leave them on the counter at room temperature.

  1. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 3 hours. Keep in mind your ambient temperature may affect the final proofing times.

The buns should have risen and be light to the touch. With a floured finger you can press into the dough and it should spring back and leave a slight indent.

sourdough burger buns final fermentation

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 204°C/400°F.
  2. Eggwash the buns and sprinkle with seeds if desired. I like to use a combination of white and black sesame.
  3. Bake the sourdough burger buns for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove the buns from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before using.
sourdough discard burger buns

Storing

While you might not eat all 12 at once (maybe you will, no judgment here!), I like to freeze any leftover buns. Simply place them into a freezer-safe bag and freeze them for 2-3 weeks. When you thaw them you can let them thaw at room temperature OR quickly in the microwave (about 1 minute), then toast them on the grill or toaster.

Sourdough burger buns

Sourdough Burger Buns Final Thoughts

While this recipe took a lot of testing, I am really happy with the way it turned out and it has become a staple in our house. Be warned though, once you try these buns you will have a really hard time going back to any store-bought bun. The tang from the sourdough, softness from the Yudane, and a hint of sweetness from levain are a perfect compliment to a fatty burger. Of course, you can use these for other purposes if you’d like!

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out some of my other recipes like my sourdough doughnuts and sourdough s’more cookies (a perfect after-burger delight).

Sourdough Burger Buns Recipe Card

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the best sourdough burger buns

How to Make Sourdough Burger Buns | Sourdough Burger Buns Recipe.


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Description

There’s something undeniably satisfying about sinking your teeth into a juicy, mouthwatering burger, layered with all your favourite toppings on a freshly made sourdough burger bun. Say goodbye to store-bought buns and welcome the aroma of freshly baked sourdough burger buns wafting through your kitchen. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, a casual weeknight dinner, or simply indulging in a self-made burger craving, these sourdough burger buns will be a game-changer. 


Ingredients

Weight IngredientBakers %
596grams Bread Flour100%
43grams Milk Powder7.27%
270grams Water45.25%
3grams Salt0.5%
89grams Sugar14.99%
90grams Egg15.04%
105grams Butter17.55%
124grams  Levain20.78%
    
As desired Sesame Seeds

Instructions

For the Levain

WeightIngredientBakers %
372gramsBread Flour100%
165grams Water44%
74grams Sugar20%
124gramsLevain33%
735 gramsTotal

198%

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix all the ingredients until well combined. This build should take about 10 hours at 20°C/68°F to reach full maturity.  
  2. While all mixers vary, this process will take approximately 2 minutes on first speed, followed by 3 minutes on 2nd speed. 

Mix Yudane

WeightIngredientBakers %
75gramsBread Flour100%
75grams Water100%
149gramsTotal200%
  1. Add the flour to a large bowl. Pour boiling water over top and mix until fully combined.
  2. If necessary you may need to use your hands to work the paste into a dough ensuring there are no dry bits.
  3. Store the Yudane in an air-tight container or with plastic directly on top to prevent skin from forming.

Mix the Dough 

WeightIngredientBakers %
149gramsBread Flour100%
43gramsMilk Powder29%
30gramsWater20%
3gramsSalt2%
15gramsSugar10%
90gramsEgg60%
105gramsButter70%
735grams Levain492%
149grams Yudane100%
  1. Add all of the ingredients except the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix the dough on 1st speed for about 5 minutes. The dough should be strong and have evident gluten development. If you tug on the dough it should pull back a bit and be starting to look smooth.
  2.  Add the butter in chunks and mix on 1st speed for 2-3 minutes until combined. Increase the speed to 2nd speed and mix for an additional 3-4 minutes. The dough should be smooth and have a good window when stretched.

Bulk Fermentation   

  1.  Bulk ferment the dough for 2.5-3 hours at 28°C/82.4°F. 

Divide and Shape

  1. Remove the dough from the container, and place it on an un-floured surface.
  2. Divide the dough into 110g pieces.
  3. Using a bench scraper and your hand gently round the dough into a tight round ball.
  4. Flour the entire dough ball and then using a rolling pin or your hand, flatten the dough into a round disc. This should resemble the shape of a burger bun. Both methods are shown in the photo gallery below. 
  5. Place the dough onto a sheet pan lined with a Silpat or parchment paper and cover with a bag.  

Final Fermentation   

  1. Let the dough rise at room temperature for about 3 hours. Keep in mind your ambient temperature may affect the final proofing times. 

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 204°C/400°F
  2. Eggwash the buns and sprinkle with seeds if desired. I like to use a combination of white and black sesame.
  3. Bake the sourdough burger buns for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Remove the buns from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely before using.

Notes

Did you know that making the Yudane paste in advance can save you time in the kitchen? By cooking the flour and water ahead of time, you can have the base of your bread ready and waiting for you when you are ready to bake. This can help streamline the bread-making process and allow you to focus on other tasks in the kitchen.

  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Sourdough
  • Cuisine: American


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