The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bun Baking

volvik's picture

Bun Baking

Probably a stupid newbie baker question but....

If I want to make some hamburger buns can I pretty much take any recipe, sourdough or otherwise, for bread and just form the balls for buns instead of a loaf?  Cooking time less..?



jaywillie's picture

I've done exactly what you propose many times. But be careful -- once you make your own buns, you'll have to grind your own meat, right? At least that's what happened to me. :^)

In my experience a 4-oz. bun is big, requiring a big burger. I usually go with 3 oz., and I use a 6-oz. burger (pre-cooked weight). Still, some breads, even at 3 oz., have overpowered the burger -- meaning there's too much bun for the burger. For me that's a function of whether it's a soft or very firm bread. So be aware of that.

After the bulk rise, I roll the portioned dough into balls, then squash it carefully but firmly into flat rounds about 1/2" to maybe 3/4" high. I do that on the parchment-lined pan they are going to bake on, and that's where they do their second rise. That works for me to make a bun shaped more or less like the store-bought variety, rather than a ball-shaped bun. If you really get into it, there are bun pans available, with indentations like a very shallow muffin pan. I don't recall that I've ever baked them on my baking stone, but you could.

Check out for the bun recipe from The Spotted Pig. It's a brioche bun (lots of eggs and butter), so it requires your best burger mix:

volvik's picture
volvik just summed up my first attempt.  Buns were 4 oz and too big, I neglected to flatten them so I ended up with tennis balls with somewhat of a flat bottom,  I tried to flatten a couple after seeing how the first batch was going but after the second proof it was far too late and it didn't work out at all.

I baked 3 at a time on a baking stone and changed the temp and times a bit and kept a record so as to minimize my mistakes next time.  I figure 375-400 for 20 minutes is good.

Look forward to trying them next time at 3 oz AND to flatten after the first proof!  Thanks for the link, I'll give it a try too.