The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hamburger Bun didn't rise

hross's picture

Hamburger Bun didn't rise

The recipe I used was very simple; but the dough didn't rise, and the buns are tiny. What did I do wrong? Did I kill the yeast?



1 cup milk 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup butter 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 (.25 ounce) package instant yeast 2 tablespoons white sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 egg

1. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter until very warm, 120 degrees F (50 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 3/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix milk mixture into flour mixture, and then mix in egg. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into smooth balls, and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly. Cover, and let rise for 30 to 35 minutes.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
SylviaH's picture

proof, have a first rising, then shape rolls and let them rise?

alabubba's picture

I think this might be another case of watching the clock, not the dough. There is no bulk fermentation. Just mix, shape, proof and bake. In this type of recipe it is very important to let the dough be your guide. I will assume that it didn't give you any rise on the counter. Usually you will want the dough to just about double. With hamburger buns, I usually let them double, them gently press them flat just before I put them into the oven.


BettyR's picture

but if this happens to you in the future you can save the dough by dissolving some yeast in a little water with a pinch of sugar. Wait until the yeast is good a foamy then mix in just enough flour to make a paste. Then knead that paste into your bread dough. The easiest way to do that is to make a hole in the middle of the dough and put the paste in the hole then close the dough up around that hole so the paste is now in the middle of the dough. Then knead the dough to work the yeast in. As long as the rest of the recipe is correct this should solve your problem.

breadmantalking's picture

What a great method for saving 'dead' dough. I will surely use this!!

David at:

Graid's picture

As others noted- the problem could be that there is only one rising in this recipe- most of the time there are two rises for bread. One before and one after the dough has been shaped, usually with a total rising time of at least an hour (usually more, I give around 40 minutes for each, though it might vary for burger buns).

I note the recipe mentioned heating the mixture to 50c but didn't say anything about letting it cool down a bit before adding it to the yeast. Yeast dies at 50C, and I seem to recall that it is significantly impaired at 40C. If you put that mixture in warm, it couldn've conceivably killed the yeast enough to stop the dough rising.

Especially at the start of a recipe, it's a bad idea to add anything warmer than lukewarm to the yeast.

breadmantalking's picture

sounds like one of two things. Either you killed the yeast by heating the milk/water too much. I don't usually heat liquid to more than about 100 degrees or so. Or maybe the yeast was 'old' and no longer active. I really like the comment by BettyR on how to save dough that doesn't rise! I will use it for sure.


David at: