The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Weeknight Sourdough Hamburger Buns

sourdoughboy's picture

Weeknight Sourdough Hamburger Buns

I wanted to have fresh homemade sourdough hamburger buns for a big cook-out last Friday. Problem: the cook-out was at 7pm on a work night, and I'd only get home around 5:45. Timing and fridge space were issues. I wouldn't have time to shape buns and let them rise after work, and don't have room for sheet pans in my fridge (I live with 4 other people). This is what I came up with...


Petite Sourdough Hamburger Buns (makes approx. 20 3'' buns) (adapted from this recipe)




Night before:

1. Mix together bread flour, starter, water. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Beat together milk, eggs, salt, sugar. Combine with flour. Let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Lift/fold dough. Repeat twice more at 15'' intervals.

4. Cover, let dough rise overnight.

UPDATE: Brewboy makes a good point re: the potential riskiness of letting a dough with egg in it stay at room temp overnight. 

Morning of:

1. Divide dough, shape (20 or so) buns.

2. Place in cake pans lined with parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap.

3. Stack cake pans in fridge with cardboard in between to prevent squishing.


Go to work!


Evening of:

1. Remove from fridge, let rise in 100F oven for 30''.

2. Brush buns with egg wash.

3. Crank up the heat to 350, bake for 35 minutes. (Note: no preheating, thus the extended baking time)


The results:

Soft, chewy, tangy hamburger buns! I was happy, as were the guests. I was worried they'd be too small but they were the perfect size for 1/2lb (before cooking) patties made from fatty (70/30) ground beef. One thing I would change was the topping I made for the burger--it was a sweet/sour onion caramelized with bacon fat. The burgers would have been better with a straight sweet caramelized onion, since the bun provided ample tanginess.


pmccool's picture

Nice work, sourdoughboy.  That's a wonderfully open crumb.  Wish I'd been there to enjoy one.


brewboy's picture

Don't you worry a little about the eggs being in the dough, at room temperature, overnight?

sourdoughboy's picture

Thanks--that's a very good point. I'd forgotten about the egg in there. Don't want to get anyone sick. 

(On the other hand, I'm guessing that there's very little danger of salmonella poisoning here, assuming you bake the rolls properly. But that's just a guess.)

Sourdoughsean's picture

Yes, leaving eggs at room temp sounds risky but it isn't! I bake a sweet milk bun for my family 2 or 3 times a week. The essence of the recipe is very similar. I almost always let the dough sit at room temp for at least 5 and often for 8 to 12 hours. But then when i bake my buns i know that any bacteria that might grow will die as the bread isn't cooked until it reaches 94 or 95 degrees celsius. Bacteria cannot handle that sort of temp , so the only damger to health is that you might handle your buns before baking and then pass on the bacteria to something else by cross contamination. This is unlikely though as the bacteria of your average sourdough creates an acidic environment that most other bacteria don't find hospitable. 

Also, keep in mind that practices vary greatly from region to region. In South Korea, for example, eggs are always stored at room temperature. We would think that this is dangerous here in Canada as i have never seen eggs at room temp. Yet, i lived in SouthKorea for five years and i never purchased refrigerated eggs, nor did i refrigerate them after purchasing! Another example is yogurt. Did you know that yogurt for the most part is rotten milk? But somehow we can safely eat it? Well, try this... Take plain yogurt from the store (make sure it contains a live culture). Bring a litre of milk to 94 degrees celsius and allow it to cool to 30 degrees celsius. Add 1/2 a cup of the store bought yogurt and mix well. Place the mixture in a preheated low temp. oven with the oven off. Leave for 8 to 12 hours. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Eat. I promise that you won't die if you follow my instructions properly.

abunaloaf's picture

Wow, those are beautiful!  Thanks for sharing....I am going to try inspiring. 

kneading's picture

Just out of curiosity, why did you leave out the butter from the original recipe?

Also the  original recipe also talked about refrigerating it for up to 24 hours. 

sourdoughboy's picture

I don't remember my reasoning for the butter; I'm going to have another go at this in a couple of days (with butter and refrigeration) and post a new recipe.

copyu's picture

Perfect for "MacCopyu's" 1950's style hamburger patties...

You want pepper? Yes, please / No, thank you

You want onion? (raw, of course!) Yes, please / No, thank you

You want ketchup? Yes, please / No, thank you

Hamburgers were always, invariably simple, but brilliant, in the USA in the 18 (maybe 22?) US states I visited in the late 1950's to 1960...NYC to LA by car...the long and slow rushing. (I was still a kid—not a 'beatnik'—not driving! Heheheh!)

We had fries and colas back then, too, but they weren't a NECESSARY part of the meal...the burger was it! Those burger buns look just the ticket!

Thanks a lot for posting the photos and for the nostalgia!

PS: I once had a 'flashback' watching the TV series M.A.S.H. about 20 years ago...'Radar' and Fr Mulcahey entered the O.R. shouting, "We got 'Burgers!" I could actually smell them through the TV, just by the way they were wrapped! True American 1950's hamburgers. A rare beast, these days, even in the USA...regrettably!




JoyousMN's picture

I made ground pork "burgers" and seasoned them with a Carolina style BBQ mix of vinegar, honey and coarse mustard. We're going to grill them tonight.

I make sourdough bread pretty much every weekend. Usually just bake it baguette style, but I want burger buns, so I found your recipe.

I'm going to shape my dough into buns and try your baking technique of cool oven start.

I'm sure it will be wonderful. Thanks for sharing.


kentport's picture

Uhhhh....what is going on with that? I was looking for a solution to exactly the problem this post addresses.

Ingredients would be nice!