The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Heavy hamburger buns

Hamburger Bun Helper's picture
Hamburger Bun Helper

Heavy hamburger buns

My goal is to make my own hamburger buns.

I took 1 cup of 106* water and stirred in 1 packet of Fleischmann's dry active yeast.  Let it sit for 10 min. or so.

Put 1/4 cup of sugar in my mini food processor and ground up the sugar and added 2 tbs of butter and chopped until all was mixed.

Put 3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour in my mixer bown, 1 tsp of sea salt and one egg.

Added the yeast water to the flour, egg, salt mix and added the butter and butter.

Ran the Kitchen Aid )white) dough hook until all was incorporated, then let go for 10 minutes.

The dough was sticky, I cleaned out the bowl and returned the dough to the bowl after coaging with oil.

Let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Put the dough out, still very sticky but quite high. (at least 2X in heighth)

Cut into 8 balls, put them on a greased cookie sheet and let rest for 40 min.

Baked for 15 min at 350*


The buns are quite heavy.  They don't have many air pockets except for around the edges.

What did I do wrong?


mrfrost's picture

That recipe is very similar to the KAF Beautiful Buns recipe. It's actually rather popular, and somewhat "foolproof". Maybe not though, huh?

Even though the recipe, when followed correctly, makes big fluffy buns, it is with a more smooth and even crumb. Not really looking for big holes here.

Your crumb actually looks about right. If it was heavy as opposed to light and fluffy, I think the most likely issue may be that of dough consistency and gluten developement. What brand of ap flour do you use? Unless it is a stronger(higher protein) type like King Arthur, you will probably get better results using bread flour.

For whatever reason, the gluten may not be developed enough to give you a good rise. Also, depending on your flour, your dough may be a little too wet. You want to knead it to the point you have a smooth, somewhat springy dough. Adding a little more flour(and/or a little less water) may be necessary to get the desired consistency.

I also find that I can get by using half the amount of yeast called for, and the dough still doubles in about an hour. Maybe with so much yeast, it is possible that the dough is over proofing, but as long as you are keeping an eye out, that is a less likely cause.

In the link posted above, they have quite a few tips for troubleshooting problems.

Hamburger Bun Helper's picture
Hamburger Bun Helper

Its Rosa Yummy Yum.  I used Pillsbury AP flour.  KA says theirs is available at my Kroger, but I don't recall seeing it.  Ill try the KA, just a little more salt. 



clazar123's picture

I have found that using about up to 1/3 pastry flour and regular AP flour gives me a much softer texture. For AP flour, I use a brand name, like Gold Medal.

The increased gluten in bread flour makes the buns too heavy/chewy.

Using milk instead of water may help soften the texture,also.

Sounds like  you're almost there.

pmccool's picture

Another thought: you mention letting the shaped buns rest for 40 minutes before baking.  Had they doubled, or nearly doubled, in that time?  If your kitchen is cool, they may not have risen enough for the airier texture you were looking for.

The bulk fermentation in the bowl might also have been somewhat long, as mrfrost points out, since you note that it was at least doubled in height.  Bowls make it tricky to judge expansion, since most have curving, rather than straight, sides.  That means a doubling in height is more than a doubling in volume.  It's easier to gauge expansion if the container has straight sides.

Your Pillsbury AP flour should work just fine for hamburger buns or other rolls that where tenderness is a desired quality.  I'll second clazar's note that bread flour would lead to a chewier bun.


flournwater's picture

If you ran the dough in the food processor for 10 minutes you overworked it by a huge margin.  Kneading in a food processor should take about one tenth the time it would require in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

mrfrost's picture

Again, the posted recipe is virtually the same as the KAF recipe linked in the 2nd post. It is probably one the the most popular recipes at the KA site. Out of  70 reviews, there are maybe 2 or 3 that did not rate it 5 stars.

The recipe has an almost cult like following a KA's with hundreds of threads, thousands of posts, giving it rave reviews.

I have nade it several times using White Lily bread flour, which has the same 11.7% protein level as the KAAP. While it is not a melt in your mouth dinner roll formula, it is just sturdy enough to hold up for most types of sandwiches, without being thought of as being chewy in any way. I guess all the sugar and butter, along with the egg, more than tenderizes it enough.

I agree, the 10.5% Pillsbury ap should make an adequate and even good bun, but all things being equal, it will not get the rise that the KAAP, or other flours in the 11.5% range acheive.

It was one of the first, and still about the easiest recipes I have made. Not dense, heavy, or chewy, in any way. In fact, I don't think they could be much fluffier.

First try, half recipe. 3 buns in 8x8 pan, 2 smaller rolls:

Next try. 8 buns in 9.5 x 13.5" pan. Last shot: 10 burger buns, 33% whole wheat.




flourchild in lutz's picture
flourchild in lutz

I was attending a Super Bowl party and bringing pulled pork and wanted to make my own hamburger buns for the sandwiches.  I had never made them before so did a little research on this site as well as KA site which is different than the one listed here, it is called Seeded Hamburger Buns.  I ultimately used the recipe from BBA Variation I.  The one ingredient that this recipe calls for than none of the others do is powdered milk. I am sorry I didn't take pictures of the crumb but it was very open and they were delicious.

KenK's picture

I have made a batch of "hamburger" buns every week for the past three or four months.  I use them to make a ham or turkey sandwich for my lunch every day.

I've used several recipes but the one I have decided suits me best is the variation number one white bread in the BBA.  The only change I make to the recipe is reducing the sugar from three tablespoons to two.  It makes two loafs, twelve buns or two dozen dinner rolls.  Or, as in this photo you can use part for one thing and part for another. They keep perfectly in the freezer. I take one out when I get up in the morning and it is just right at lunch time. 

r.e. your recipe, I agree with the above about over working the dough.  I don't knead mine any more than five or six minutes by hand.

maurdel's picture

15 mins. doesn't sound like enough time to me. Esp. at 350 degs. I usually do 375 for about 20 minutes. 

Hamburger Bun Helper's picture
Hamburger Bun Helper

I'm getting there thanks to you all.

I went to the store looking for the protien content.  Guess what?  They don't list it on the bag.

I bought some WL  and KA and went to town.

I made a batch of each, took notes and will work some more to get "my" buns. I guess it is like anything else, practice, practice.

I spent an entire afternoon making cornbread.  I made a batch, threw it out for the birds, made another, etc until I had "my" cornbread.

I'm encouraged, but not there yet.

Thanks again

karol59's picture

I made the sandwich rolls for the first time and they actually turned out so well, I found sifting the flour helps, so now I sift everytime, light and fluffy,also I spoon the flour into the measuring cup.



Hamburger Bun Helper's picture
Hamburger Bun Helper



Karol, thanks.

Not only did it make my buns lighter, it brought back memories.

50+ years ago, I would "help" my mother bake.  I remember how fascinated I was with her sifter.  I also remember her asking me to watch how many times the big red hand went around the dial.

Next, I'll try wetter dough.


Hamburger Bun Helper's picture
Hamburger Bun Helper

And scalded milk.

Now I'm getting somewhere.