Making homemade hamburger buns (basic yeast dough recipe)

by Emily from Frugal Living NW on May 20, 2014

How to Make Hamburger Buns

In our house, hamburgers are welcome anytime of year (learn how to make the perfect hamburger here). And homemade hamburger buns even more so. Hamburger buns are great for holding more than just hamburgers, too. You could easily use these buns for any sandwich fillings. Or not. The other day, we ate these hot out of the oven, simply smeared with butter and honey. I’d highly recommend it.

homemade hamburger buns

This recipe is actually just a basic yeast dough. It works great for buns, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, or loaves of bread. Adjust the sugar to suit your taste and feel free to add a cup of whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour. I often add some flaxseed and flaxmeal as well.

If you are new to baking with yeast, start out with Artisan Bread in Five Minutes or No-Knead Bread. Once you have the hang of those recipes, you are ready for more hands-on time with the dough. I know many of you are intimidated at the thought of baking with yeast, but it really is a much friendlier ingredient than it gets credit for.

I will walk you through the steps to prove that it requires no fancy footwork or trick photography. You can do this! The results are well worth the effort. Ok, here we go. I’ll give you the step by-step-directions, followed by a more concise, printer-friendly recipe.

kitchen aid mixer

This dough has seven basic ingredients: warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, melted butter, an egg, and flour.

You can combine the ingredients by hand, electric mixer, or bread machine. For hand or mixer, place the warm water in the bowl. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the yeast and let it sit for about five minutes. Turn the mixer on and add the salt, melted butter, and egg.

Slowly stir in the flour, one cup at a time, until a soft, smooth dough forms. Knead it for a few minutes (by hand or with the dough hook). The dough will be very wet and sticky, but resist the urge to dump in more flour. This will give you lighter, fluffier bread.

yeast dough for homemade buns and rolls

Using well floured hands, quickly form the dough into a ball. Coat your bowl with cooking spray and place the dough ball back in it. Cover the bowl with a towel and place it in a warm place to rise (about 40 minutes).

homemade hamburger buns

Allow the dough to rise to about double its size. Gently deflate the dough and you’re ready to go!

Now you’re ready to shape the dough into whatever form you want. If you want to keep it simple for starters, roll it up into a loaf shape and stick it in a greased loaf pan. Done! You can get more creative as your confidence grows.

homemade hamburger buns

I’m going to demonstrate rolls and buns here. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions (each will be slightly smaller than a tennis ball).

For shaping rolls, here’s a quick tip I learned in a camp kitchen. Place the dough ball in the palm of your hand. Cup it against a clean, dry (not floured) surface. Keeping your fingers cupped in a cage around the dough, move your hand in a small circular motion. Using your palm, keep constant pressure on the dough against the surface. Several quick circles, and you will end up with perfectly shaped rolls.

If you want to make dinner rolls, just place them evenly spaced on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let them rise until doubled before sliding them into a preheated 375-degree oven. You can place hot, homemade rolls on the dinner table in just over 2 hours, start to finish. Your family will adore you for it, I promise.

homemade buns and rolls

If you want to make (hamburger) buns, you simply need to flatten the rolls. I just smack each roll several times like I’m playing the bongo drums. Whack, whack, whack. Vent your frustrations! Take it out on the dough; it can handle it! This is cheap therapy at its best. The buns don’t have to look perfect, and they will still taste delicious.

Cover with a towel and let them rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375. If you want to get super fancy, brush melted butter on the tops and sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds or onion flakes. Bake until lightly browned; don’t overbake or they will be dry.

homemade yeast hamburger buns

That’s all there is to it. Master this basic recipe, and you will be able to crank out delicious baked goods from your own oven, changing up the ingredients and shapes to suit your family. The results will be far superior to anything you can pick up in the grocery store.

You will be using real ingredients, saving money, and gaining confidence in the kitchen. Now that’s a winning combination in my book.

homemade hamburger buns

Beautiful Burger Buns

Adapted from a King Arthur flour recipe
(follow this link and read the comments for more tips & variations)
Yield: 8 buns


1 c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 T. active, dry yeast
1 t. salt
1 egg
2 T. butter, melted
3 1/4 c. flour

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle the sugar & yeast over the warm water; let sit for 5 minutes. Add the salt, egg, and melted butter.
  2. With the mixer running on low, slowly stir in the flour, a cup at a time until a soft dough is formed. Knead the dough in the mixer for several minutes.
  3. With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a rough ball. Coat the inside of the mixing bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough ball back into the bowl, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled. Divide into 8 pieces and form into rolls or buns.
  4. Let rise on a greased baking sheet for 30-40 minutes. If desired, brush with melted butter or egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or dried onion flakes.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until light brown on the tops. Cool on a rack.


If you are looking for more great baking recipes (over 400!), check out The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook. It is available at Amazon and has a 4.8-star rating with over 140 reviews. This is a great cookbook for everyone from beginners to expert bakers.

Find more frugal homemaking posts here and a list of amazing recipes here.

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

David May 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm

There are different kinds of yeast at the store. Didn’t know which kind to buy.


I don't shop at Walmart May 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Just get any active east. They all work just fine. Just don’t buy dry brewers yeast, like at health stores. That yeast been already processed (used).


Emily from Frugal Living NW May 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Sorry the recipe wasn’t more clear! I’ll add this detail: active, dry yeast.


ALICE March 24, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I would like to make a loaf, how long should I bake it??


Miz Helen July 8, 2013 at 7:41 am

Great recipe, I will just love these buns! Have a fantastic week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen


Susan July 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I’ve never made my own hamburger buns, but I get tired of the dried out stale ones from the store. Would love to make my own fresh hamburger buns. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday.


Michele July 2, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Homemade hamburger buns are on my Foodie Bucket List. Thanks for the step by step – I’m sure it will come in handy. (Also, I found your post on I Should be Mopping the Floor: Mop It Up Monday) thanks for sharing.



Dave June 9, 2012 at 6:56 pm

once u add an egg to a bread dough–alittle sugar- little milk- always have it on hand- instead of water–even add powdered milk to bread to inrich [vitimize] [d] your bread- after all u grow your children – brains-energy– anyway u will have a softer product. add cinamin- butter- brn sugar raisons-u have cinamin bun pinwheeles– better then any store [supermkt]


Dave June 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

with computers,u dont need cookbooks–for starters–try THE FRESH LOAF- or make a yeasted apple bunt cake , takes 1 hr to bake off- cant even buy it–16 slices u get– ? just look it up — just needs a ball of icecream & some strawberrys -or just powdered sugar — the nice hamburger buns as listed–good for dinner rolls too – today u cant aford to buy a good desert in the store– & with alot of kids— this program site is a great learning tool & saves a buck


Teri April 29, 2012 at 11:50 am

Think these can hold up for a round of sloppy Joes tonight?


Evonne February 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

English muffin recipe? Where would I find that?


I don't shop at Walmart May 20, 2014 at 4:16 pm

Just Google it :-0


gloria December 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I’ve been wanting to make homemade buns. Our favorite hamburger places make their own buns. I made Thanksgiving rolls, 96 of them. Seemed a bit heavy. I think I added too much flour, in order to handle the dough.


Linda September 29, 2011 at 10:21 pm

They are fun to make, aren’t they ? You can also make hot dog buns with the recipe. You want the hot dog buns to touch in the pan, though.
There is also a recipe for making your own English muffins. They are heavenly ! More work than the hamburger or hot dog buns, though. I got my recipe for them from King Arthur flour, too.
Nothing like the smell of bread baking in the kitchen. It is so wonderful. Especially on a cold fall or winter day.
They also freeze beautifully for later. Well, that is if you have any left !


Melody February 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Oh my goodness, why have I never thought of this? My party guests would be so impressed if I served hamburgers on these. We rarely have hamburgers just because I rarely buy buns. Seriously, why does my mind never go the homemade route? You are inspiring me in the kitchen with every post, thanks Emily!


Amy February 24, 2011 at 11:57 am

I attempted to make hamburger buns from scratch last summer and it was a nightmare. I’ll try this recipe. Looks so much better than what i did!!


Darlene February 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

I can’t wait to try this. I buy my yeast and flour in bulk so I don’t think this will cost more than a dollar or so to make.


peta February 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

wow! this is something i would never even think to make… do you think they are cheaper to buy though?


Christy February 24, 2011 at 10:13 am

I love this! I am going to have to give these a try. Thanks for sharing.


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