Beautiful buns

I did something I don’t often do last night. I sat down to a juicy burger for supper.

Let me amend that. I often have a hamburger for supper. A nicely browned or grilled patty, lying beside a healthy stir-fry of gingered green beans, maybe a salad, perhaps some grilled zucchini. No bun; just protein. I’m trying to keep my carb count low. And working all day here in the King Arthur Flour test kitchen, forcing myself to sample fudge brownies, and buttercream-iced cupcakes, to say nothing of cheese-stuffed focaccia… well, you can just imagine. Kermit says it’s not easy being green; for us test bakers, it’s not easy being lean.

But my son, recently returned from 5 months in Africa and a steady diet of rice and fufu (pounded yams), asked for a special supper: hamburger, smoked provolone and cheddar, Italian seasoning, lettuce, and tomato on a bun. But not just any bun; one of those soft, squishy, supermarket packaged air-buns. The Prodigal Son effect pushed aside my better judgment, and I went to the store and bought a bag of buns.

And they were just as I’d remembered. Hey, I’m not dissing squishy white rolls; I actually like them. But I really do prefer homemade. Supermarket buns are just too flimsy. Unlike my homemade buns, they’re unable to stand up to a full load of thick burger and layers of cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, AND condiments. Especially the condiments. One good dollop of green relish, and these insipid buns are history, soggy and ready to shred at your first bite.

But not homemade buns. They not only have body, the ability to stand up to everything you can throw at/on them—they have soul. Because what’s better than a burger bun that you’ve shaped by hand, flavored to taste, and pulled fresh out of your own oven—at maybe 1/3 the cost of a purchased bun? Add a hungry family (or one son newly home from Africa), and you’ve experienced, once again, the reason so many of us bake: to make people happy, one bite—one bun—at a time.

These Onion Buns are perfect for burgers—just in time for grilling season.

OK—everyone into the pool! Er, everything into the bowl.

The dough should come together nicely—not too dry, not overly sticky.

After kneading (about 7 minutes at second speed in a stand mixer), the dough will be smooth and soft, and just a bit tacky. For purposes of these photos, I always knead in a stand mixer; but if I’m not photographing, I knead in a bread machine. It’s easier (I can walk away and forget about it), and does a super job.

Place the dough in a container large enough to let it at least double in bulk…

…and about an hour later, it should indeed have just about doubled in bulk.

Stretch the dough onto a lightly greased work surface.

Once it’s rolled into a 12” x 17” rectangle, sprinkle the dough with minced dried onion, and use a rolling pin to press the onion into the dough. Can you use fresh or sautéed onion rather than dried? Yes; but the buns will probably unravel, due to the moisture in the onion.

Roll the dough, starting with a short end.

Seal the side seam and the ends. There—a nice (albeit not very smooth) log.

Next we’re going to cut the log into 1 1/2” slices. I find a pair of scissors the easiest tool for this task. Use a knife, dental floss, monofilament fishing line, or whatever cutting implement you prefer.

You can already see the nice spiral of onion in the buns.

Place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let them rise for about an hour.

As you can see, they’ll become nice and puffy.

Brush the buns with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with seeds. Or don’t; seeded buns are a tasty option, but certainly not required!

Bake till golden brown.

Grill burgers, split buns, add lettuce and tomato—enjoy!

Read our complete recipe for Onion Buns.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Supermarket onion rolls, 23¢/ounce.

Bake at home: Onion Buns, 7¢/ounce.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...


  1. Beth

    PJ, these look great, but I was just wondering why you added the onions after the first rise instead of kneading them into the dough. Is it so that the onions are dispersed more uniformly? I am definitely going to try this recipe. I wonder if they will taste something like a bialy.

    Hi Beth- I actually don’t knead the onions in at all – I sprinkle them on like cinnamon filing in a cinnamon bun. That way they make a spiral effect, which is actually pretty if you choose not to top the buns with seeds. And I think you can taste them better when they’re more concentrated, rather than being dispersed. You could certainly knead them right in – no problem. I just like this method of making burger buns, since by rolling the dough in a log and slicing, it’s already pretty much the right shape for a bun, and you don’t have to do a lot of tugging and flattening to make them into wide buns. Also – they don’t have that “squishy onion” topping thing going on, like bialys do, but they do have a nice onion flavor, particularly if you choose to add the onion powder. (Are the Ginger Golds getting there yet? How’s my cow?!) – PJH

  2. Sarah

    Wow! Gorgeous! I like your ingenious rolling and slicing method. Would it work to substitute part whole wheat flour? How much would you start with?

    When you try a new recipe and want to try some whole wheat in it, a good rule of thumb is to start with a 50/50 ratio, white to whole wheat. If you like the results, increase the amount of whole wheat in your next batch. For those who are sensitive to whole wheat and it’s slightly bitter flavor, white whole wheat is a good option.

    Happy Baking!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  3. Glenn

    I noticed that you did NOT use a special bun pan. Any particular reason? (Other than to show that these could be done at home by anyone with basic baking gear?)

    That is exactly the reason! You can make fine buns without a special pan. We carry the pan for those who like the uniformity it offers, but it is not a necessity.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  4. elianna

    Wow! I can’t WAIT to try these! The last “hamburger bun” recipe I found was AWFUL…these look incredible! Thanks! :)

  5. Mare

    Perfect timing! I’ve just returned from the supermarket where I refused to pay $2.89 for an eight-pack of hamburger buns full of fluff. These look sooo good.

  6. Tom

    PJ, Once again a winner! Thanks! I really like the method of rolling in the onion and cutting them like cinnamon rolls. That’s inspired. Now where is that recipe for the cheese-stuffed focaccia??

    PS – I really enjoy the ‘blog’ and your use of buy vs. bake cost. Does that include an amount for the oven (gas or electric)?

    Thanks, Tom – I was JUST putting that cheese-stuffed focaccia together. Right now, it’s scheduled for July 3… As for the buy vs. bake – there’s so much variation in fuel costs and oven types (gas, electric, convection, etc.); plus whether or not you’re baking anything else at the same time, that the cost per ounce is JUST the ingredients. I figure maybe you save gas money by not driving to the store to buy store-bought baked stuff! Thanks for connecting (as always), Tom – PJH

  7. Glenn

    I, too, appreciate the “buy vs. bake” comparison. Most ovens nowadays are of the self-cleaning type, so they are better insulated and therefore not really all THAT expensive to operate (even at today’s rates).

    Plus, the more often you are in a store, the more likely you are to impulse buy, too. Not good. That can ruin a budget.

    Besides, even the poorest of freshly made baked goods usually exceeds the best of the supermarket items.

    Right on, Glenn – well said, and thank you (as always). -PJH

  8. deb devo

    I LOVE THIS BLOG! Sorry for the caps, but I just had to make it empatic enough. I ‘found’ this blog last week and my printer has been smokin’, printing out new recipes. I have been making my own hamburger buns for awhile (not sure where I got the recipe), but these onion ones sound awesome and I will definitely try them. You guys/gals are just terrific for all of the work you do, and in my little SC community, I continue to turn folks on to KAF…they know I bake a LOT, and I always tell them I don’t use anything else.

    Thanks for your kind comments, Deb – and thanks for spreading the word in SC. Speaking on behalf of my fellow 167 employee-owners here at King Arthur Flour, we appreciate it! – PJH

  9. Shirley Meskenas

    I too, recently found this wonderful blog and love it since I’m not a great baker. I have atried several of the recipes and they have turned out just like the pictures. Love the step-by-step pictures!
    A question; where can I post a question about an unrelated topic. I ‘m guesing I can call but wondering if you are going to expand the blog for questions we have, unrelated to the topic. Thanks for your wonderful flours and website!

    Hi Shirley – Thanks for your kind comments; glad you’re enjoying the blog. You can always try posting a question to the community at large on our message board, – believe me, you’ll get tons of answers! Also, we’re about to launch a “live chat” feature on our Web site,, where you can chat/ask questions via email with one of our bakers. And finally, you can call our bakers’ hotline: 802-649-3717.

  10. Tom

    I made these this morning. Super easy (I used the bread machine). It makes a wonderful, slightly tacky dough. I would add a step between #6 and #7 – press the slices down to spread them out. The cut slices baked out too narrow and too high for use as buns (in my opinion). Perhaps my dough wasn’t slack enough. However, I’m just waiting for them to cool a bit – there’s ham, cheese, home made cranberry mustard, lettuce and tomato waiting on the counter . . .

    YUM, Tom… homemade cranberry mustard sounds wonderful! Actually, I do say in step #7 to press them to about 3″ wide… maybe I need to make that more visible by making it a separate step, huh? Thanks for the good input. And enjoy those buns! – PJH

  11. Tom

    Note to self: Read carefully, then open mouth. Read carefully, then open mouth. Read carefully, then open mouth . . . .

    Sorry PJ, I totally missed that part of the instruction!

    The buns were really good as part of a ham sandwich, and they were good as part of a Gardenburger this evening.

    Tom, it’s just nice to know I’m not the only one with that pesky “it was right in front of my eyes but I didn’t see it” syndrome. I can have my glasses perched on top of my head and be looking for them… And anyway, you’re like the canary in the mine – I’m still going to make another step in between #6 and #7! Glad the buns were tasty (albeit tall) – PJH

  12. Erin

    Just wondering, where do you buy minced dried onion? Is it in the spice section? I have onion powder…

    Erin, yes, it’s in the spice section. Should be right there next to the onion powder. – PJH

  13. Audrey

    These look wonderful…is there a way to make them using fresh onions rather than minced dried onions? (Your blog is great – thank you!)

    Audrey, I’d chop the onions fine, and then cook them or roast in the oven till golden. It might not work with fresh onions, as they’ll exude their juice,and I think it’ll make the spiral unroll… but give it a try. – PJH

  14. Jana

    Another hit. Thanks I am still looking good to my family. My husband thought they were a bit bready for his burger. Hah! He sugested to use them for a lovely wet beef sandwich. I can hardly wait to make up the meat! Thanks again for the fool proof recipes and I love that there are weights in addition to the measurements.
    I am having so much fun with these recipes!

  15. HMB

    What a surprise to see these featured on the blog when I checked in this evening — I had made them this afternoon so we could pack some yummy sandwiches for work tomorrow. I didn’t have onion powder (thought I had some in the pantry, but I was wrong!), so I just substituted minced dried onion that I ground up with a mortar and pestle. Of course, I couldn’t wait until tomorrow and had to sample a roll. Dee-lish! I tell you, my house smelled great this afternoon — while the onion rolls were in the oven I also had a mustard bread going in my bread machine. It was nice to get the smell of the burning wildfires out of the house. I’m dreading Fourth of July weekend — the vegetation is like tinder this year in Northern California, but people will still insist on shooting off fireworks, no matter how high the fire danger.

    Mustard and onion – definitely a good aroma combination. Best of luck with the Fourth – I heard you’ve already got fires going out there… We’re supposed to get heavy rain and wild thunderstorms, hail, and possibly a tornado today – wish I could send you some of the moisture, at least! – PJH

  16. Jen

    Oh, now I really want a ham sandwich with a fresh onion roll! Can you tell me… how well would these freezer (either raw dough or already baked)? I really don’t have the time I would like to whip out a batch of fresh sandwich buns when I need them. Just wondering how far in advance I could prepare these.

    Jen, these would freeze just like any bread. But the best thing to do is probably par-bake them – that is, bake till they’re set but not brown. Cool, freeze, then bake in a 350°F oven (either frozen or thawed) till brown. – PJH

  17. Phil

    I made them using 1/2 cup of Semolina and 1 cup of Organic 12 grain blend, the rest all-purpose, and no topping. I goofed and only put in 1 tsp of yeast instead of 1 tablespoon. They took a long time to rise, but came out fine. Taste was fantastic.

  18. Beth

    PJ, Expect Ginger Golds around mid-August, and I see there is another variety called Virginia Gold – I’ll check into that. Your “Mary Margaret” (or was it Margaret Mary?) is doing great. White peaches will be ready to pick in about 3 weeks. And that’s the fruit forecast for central VA.

    Note to Tom: any chance of your sharing your recipe for “cranberry mustard”?

    Hey, cool – let me know how those Virginia Golds are- And it’s Margaret Mary. Glad she’s still “hoofing it” – PJ

  19. Marc

    I made these buns over the weekend, they turned out just as pictured above (I used sesame and poppy seeds). I lightly buttered them and grilled them along with the burgers, absolutely delicious. Thank you very much!

  20. AmyEmilia

    These look totally wonderful, PJ. I especially like the step-by-step photos, it really helps when there is no experienced baker in my present. (My Grandma was fabulous at making both pies and bread but I was only able to watch her a few times…) Thanks so much.

  21. Michelle

    I was wondering when using the bread machine to knead the dough. Do you let to go through the whole dough cycle (on my machine 1 hour 30 min) and then do the 60 mintue rise in another bowl?

    Hi Michelle,

    When using the dough cycle, it takes care of the rises before shaping, so you would not need to rise an additional 60 minutes. You would shape the buns, rise and bake as usual.
    If you want to use the machine just to knead, check the manual under the dough setting. It should tell you how long the kneading part of the cycle is, then you can just set your own timer, and remove the dough and rise elsewhere.

    Happy Baking!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  22. maureen

    I made the rolls on Saturday as I was going to have a hamburger as well.
    They were the easiest and best rolls I have ever made. They are truely
    the BEST!!!

  23. Gayle

    I absolutely love the regular KAF hamburger buns, but I haven’t tried making them with onions yet. Looks yummy. By the way, to make my buns more uniform, I put the dough rounds inside greased english muffin rings to rise and bake. Works great. (Much like a hamburger bun pan would, I imagine.)

  24. genev reed

    I just made these. They were much easier than using the tin foil pans I normally use for hamburger buns( they are a little lopsided from use. ) These were the so beautiful I changed my supper menu to hamburgers. I thought they would taste very strong of onion but was pleased with the wonderful taste, texture and looks. Thanks again. You folks all sound so friendly and down to earth. Love your instructions.

  25. Tom

    Beth, I’ve posted the cranberry mustard recipe on the Baking Circle. Search on Member’s Recipes using (without quotes) “Wingboy”


  26. Maggie

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe! I made these buns yesterday, and had them for supper; my husband said that they were the best burger buns he’d had in years. :)
    I do, however, have one question…my buns seemed to be a bit ‘dry’, and I had the same problem with the Garlic Knots recipe (posted previously on your blog.) I try to be *very* accurate in my measurements, but can’t figure out where I’m going wrong; am I over-kneading, are my liquid measurements off, should I compensate for the regional climate (I live in Maryland)…? I just don’t know! Is there a way I can tell before baking (by the consistency of the dough, etc.) whether or not the bread will ‘taste’ dry once it’s out of the oven?
    Thanks again…I’m a huge fan of all you baking geniuses at KAF!

    Hi Maggie,

    You exactly right in thinking that the consistency of the dough is going to be your best guide to knowing if the dough is too wet or too dry. Flour is like a sponge, and will vary in moisture content with the surrounding atmosphere, so different days you may need less flour, and more on other days.
    A dough with the right moisture should feel ‘tacky like tape, not sticky like glue’ and not have a dry skin to the outside. If you can touch the dough and feel a slight pull on your finger when you pull away, it is fine. If you touch the dough and gobs of dough stick to your finger, it is too wet. Add flour just a very little at a time during the kneading process so that you don’t dry the dough.
    Overkneading by hand is nearly impossible. If you knead by machine, you can overknead so try machine kneading for 4-5 minutes and finish by hand.

    I hope this helps!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  27. Maggie

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely be making these buns again! One last question regarding the consistency of the dough…is there any way to re-introduce moisture to the dough if it’s too dry?

    Hi again,

    It is very hard to try to ‘re-knead’ liquid into the dough. The dough slips and slides around, and gets gummy on the outside. It is best to use a light hand with the flour and avoid the ‘drys’ in the beginning.

    Happy Baking!

    Hi Maggie – I actually had to do this yesterday. I put the dough in the KitchenAid with the beater attachment, added the extra water (only 2 tablespoons), covered the whole thing with a dish towel to catch the splashes, turned it on high, and stood back! It took a minute or so, but it did actually absorb the water. – PJH

  28. Nancy

    I have been making burger buns since I ran across the recipe for Moomie’s buns on your website. We moved here to Colorado last year, and I had no idea how much I would miss those big Pennsylvania bakeries. Burger buns here are not very good. I like the description on how you shape hamburger buns. Mine are not nearly so regular, so I will have to try yours. Have you ever done anything on how to shape long buns (like for brats or hotdogs)? Mine look really sad. Taste good, but I’d like to get the shape looking better. Thanks.

    Hi Nancy,

    Gosh, it’s hard to describe shaping in words. I much prefer pictures, but here goes. First, you want to be sure each piece of dough is about the same size. You can weigh out the whole dough, and divide the weight by the number of buns you want to get, and scale out that size ball for each bun, or you can pat the dough into a rectangle and cut in half and half again etc until you have an even number of same size balls.
    I find it helpful to shape hamburger buns the same way I shape dinner rolls. Begin by tucking any ‘corners’ into the center, always tucking the loose tails up into the bottom of the ball. Once you have a mostly smooth round ball, place it on the counter top, NO flour. You want the friction there to help grab the dough. Place your hand over the ball of dough, so that your palm is over the ball, and your fingertips and heel rest on the counter. You are essentially making a ‘cage’ around the ball. Roll in a circle, from the elbow (if you use just your wrist, you will be tired and sore!). Roll in the same direction, like you are rubbing a puppy’s tummy, or cleaning windows. The ball of dough should become tighter as you roll, and if you turn it over, it should have a ‘belly button’ on the bottom. (stop here if you are making dinner rolls)
    Place the ball on your pan, and press down on top until you have a ‘bun’ shape. Rise and bake as usual.

    For hot dog buns or sub rolls, again divide the dough into even pieces. Make the ‘cage’ over the dough ball, but roll back and forth, almost like making a Playdough snake, but don’t press down, press gently outward. Two hands usually works best. When you have an even ‘roll’ at the length you want, place on the pan, press down slightly and rise and bake as usual. You will have to cut to split the buns after baking.

    Hope this helps!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  29. Kari

    All I have to say is YUM! I didn’t have any dried onion, so I fried some fresh up while the dough was mixing, now it’s on a parchment lined sheet on a low oven to dry out (I hope!) while the dough rises. I will post back with success/failure ratio. Thanks for the wonderful recipes and all your hard work!

  30. Kari

    *Rolls her eyes in BLISS!* Onions didn’t dry out as expected, but I patted them between coffee filters (out of papertowels, and actually filters probably worked better, didn’t leave any papery bits behind) and forged on. Next time will use 2 or more big onions instead of 1. Topped with caraway and sesame, and had to eat one right out of the oven and boy am I glad I did!!!

    So Kari, good to know you can use fresh onions – kudos to you for doing that “experiment” for all of us. Did they make the spiral come apart, or did it stick together? That’s what I was concerned about, that they’d un-spiral. Love the assertive caraway on top, too. You go, girl! -PJH

  31. Marty Flashner

    I have dietary restrictions. Anything I could use in place of the butter?

    Sure, Marty – Use 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil. If you can’t have fat, use 2 1/2 tablespoons water. the buns won’t be as soft, but still OK. – PJH

  32. Kassey

    I divided the dough into 2 batches. Roll one & spread shredded Cheddar cheese with bitter sweet chocolates. The second one I just rolled up plain.
    It was fantastic and I ate the chocolate one straight from the oven. It was so delicious that I couldn,t stop at one. The plain one was also fantastic for mopping up gravy.

    Whoa, wait a minute – cheddar cheese and chocolate? Really?? Holy mackerel, how can I NOT try that?! Thanks, Kassey- PJH

  33. BatSheva

    These came out amazing and most of my family loves them. However, I’d like to substitute whole spelt flour for the reg flour in these. Can I? And if yes, how would i change the proportions?…help, i’ve kids w/wheat allergies

    Sure, give spelt a try. But be warned: spelt IS wheat, just a different variety. People used to think you could eat spelt if you had wheat allergies… but it seems that long-term, it can act the same as wheat in your digestive system. So I’d guess you need to assess just how allergic your kids are. Be aware that if you make these with spelt, they’ll be denser, a bit dryer, a bit heavier… you may need to increase the liquid a bit, too. But it’s totally worth a try. – PJH

  34. Abigail

    These rolls are terrific and very quick and easy. They are in my ‘keeper’ file. I was out of dried minced onion today so I sprinkled the 12X17 dough with dried dill weed. It is great! Next time I will use more dill weed. The flavor reminds me of an old recipe for onion dill cottage bread from the sixties. Thank you for another reliabe recipe.

  35. Sandra Jo

    Just wanted to express my gratitude for the step-by-step pictures. As I sit alone in my kitchen, surrounded by my beloved cookbooks, I am always wondering what exactly a “soft, tacky dough” means or “roll thin” or “need till rough texture” Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ve been trying to find a hamburger roll recipe.

    Sandra, I think you’re really going to like these buns. I just really love that hint of onion… Have fun! – PJH

  36. Mary Jo

    These buns are absolutely superb. They have a wonderful texture and are light and fluffy. I made the dough in the bread machine and finished them in the oven. Great for burgers or club sandwiches. This recipe is a “keeper”.

  37. lyn

    Looks so yummy. But I am allergic to wheat, corn, soy, legumes(ex. a small amount of chickpea),tapioca, yeast.(fun, eh?)
    Is there any way to formulate a substitute “flour” with either or some of the following: coconut flour, quinoa flour, brown rice flour, potato flour.
    I would like to know if there is a set of proportions of some of the above acceptable flours combined with the use of other leaveners, ie. eggs, guar gum or xanthan gum.
    This was not meant to be a challenge, but so many of us would like to be able to have a “bun” instead of rice or rye crackers for their burger without getting ill. The alternative stuff they sell online is gagging. Thank you.

    Lyn, you’re in luck – here at King Arthur Flour we expect to be coming out with a new line of gluten-free mixes at the beginning of 2009. Hopefully, these mixes will also include a gluten-free flour substitute. We’ve been working on this project like crazy for months, and the results are going to be nothing less than spectacular (in my humble opinion…) So stay tuned. In the meantime, go to the library and check out Bette Hagman’s “Gluten-Free Gourmet” series of books. She’s the “queen of gluten-free cuisine.” Good luck -PJH

  38. Bernie Bohl

    I am new to baking and am not having much luck. I am a widower, living alone, and over the years have become accustomed to cutting recipes in half. Most of the time this works just fine. The quantities required for Onion Buns are easily divisible by 2, except of course, for the egg. I used 1 tablespoon egg white and 1 teaspoon egg yolk. Everything seems to go well, to the point that my buns appear to be even a bit “fluffier” than those shown in your photograph. But when I bake them, they either stay the same size or shrink, so I end up with something more like an English muffin, rather than a fluffy onion bun. Tastes good, but it’s not what I was looking for. I measured quantities as carefully as I could, but got the same result both times that I tried this recipe. By the second day, they are rock-hard hockey pucks. How can simply halving a recipe be so disastrous? I would dearly love to be able to bake my own buns, but 8 are just too many. I have a bread machine that makes a nice mini-loaf of bread, great for sandwiches. Maybe I should just stick with that.

    Hi Bernie, This sounds like a classic case of the buns being over risen before baking. Try cutting back on the final rise so they just look puffy not quite “fluffier”. Happy Baking! Jessica @ the bakers hotline.

  39. SallyBR

    Just found this blog and I know I’ll be printing out a ton of recipes (sigh)

    I have a question – I’ll be having a big party on July 25th and these buns seem PERFECT for some pulled pork sandwiches, or maybe some brisket (not sure yet which direction I’ll go)

    would it work if I bake them this weekend and freeze them after baking? or do you have a better method?

    Thank you very much!

    Hi Sally,
    Yes, you can certainly freeze these buns after baking, then refresh them in a 350F oven for 5-8 minutes, wrapped in foil, or on the bun warmer of your grill.

    Happy Baking!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  40. Howard B

    I haven’t tried these yet, but like everyone else they do look terrific. I use a bread machine, but never though of rolling the dough out. Before I always formed the balls. Now if I could find a recipe for dark rye buns.

  41. Marian

    I am anxious to try these today. What a great idea to roll up like for cinnamon rolls to shape them…no extra dough to reshape like there would be if you cut them out. For those of you who want to make them completely whole grain, I would encourage you to use the same measurements for everything and add 1 tsp of vital gluten for each cup of flour. I successfully did this with PJ’s english muffin recipe posted a while back. I always use white wheat flour.

  42. Elizabeth

    I just had to try these! One word: Awesome. These were so good and easy that I ended up making two batches in one day! These are not only great for hamburgers, but roast beef, salami, ham, etc. or just plain snacking; this recipe is definitely a ‘keeper’.

    Another suggestion: cut the log into smaller portions for dinner rolls or smaller sandwiches.

    Thanks, Elizabeth, great idea! – PJH

  43. NancyE

    Yes you can! (For anyone who is really wondering whether you can make these.)
    It was easy, fun, and because of it I am going to try the sticky bun type cinnamon nut rolls that you have on here from awhile back!!!
    I par-baked and froze them, and in one instance when I wanted to use them I took them right from the freezer, put them on a small baking sheet, covered them with a piece of loose tin foil and baked them in a small oven for 10 minutes at 350. The next time I baked them in the regular oven with a cake I was making, just thrown into the oven on the rack as the oven was preheating, without foil. I actually liked them better that way. They seemed to be better in the center, fluffier, and I may have actually cooked them for a litlle longer then the previous 10 minutes.
    This is my second blog recipe attempt. The first was Easy Cinnamon Bread and that was awesome…thanks for all the great explanations and pictures!

  44. kate

    Finally, & at last, a burger bun that tastes & feel good, but is not too high when filled.
    My six year old grandson put his seal of approval on these buns when he said, ‘Best ever buns granny.’

  45. Tedson

    These are the best! The forming method was the most successful I’ve ever had so thanks–if only for that hint!
    I started mine the night before, did a slow first rise in the fridge–then in the morning the dough rolled out perfectly. The egg-white wash smoothed the tops and they couldn’t have been better!

  46. Kari

    Here’s an update about using fresh onions. The first batch I made I smooshed the cooked onions between coffee filters and got a lot of moisture out. No problem with un-spiraling. The second batch I forgot to smoosh the liquid out and had mild-moderate un-spiraling. But still a delicious bun!

  47. Joanne

    I was inspired by these beautiful buns, but I wanted something “wheatier”, so I made your stuffing buns using the techiniques posted above. What could be better, fragrant golden buns with home grown tomatoes and veggie burgers with cheese …MMMMMMM! Thanks for the inspiration!

  48. Audrey

    I finally made these today, mixing the dough in my KitchenAid mixer, and they were so easy to make. The pictures and detailed instructions on the blog were very helpful,and my finished product was beautiful. Very professional looking! But the bread was a little heavy and dense. Not “light and fluffy” as one commenter said hers were!

    Since I’m not an experienced bread baker – yet! – I definitely want to try them again. I know that I’m not adept at judging the consistency of bread dough, especially bread dough made in a mixer, or at knowing when it is ready for the next step. I followed the recipe exactly as written – amounts, etc. Where do you think I might have gone wrong?

    Hi Audrey,
    If the buns were heavy, it could be in the way you were measuring your flour. If you scoop your flour, you can get more than 4.25 ounces(KAF standard for ‘1 cup’), and if there is too much flour in the dough, it makes it heavy and dense. We recommend fluffing the flour in the container, sprinkling it into the cup, and leveling it off with a straight edge. This gives you close to the 4.25 ounces.
    Hope this helps!

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

  49. Judith

    I have made these wonderful rolls 5 times in the bread machine. Today I am making a batch using the stand mixer. I was able to refer back to your blog for mixer time. Thank you. By the way these rolls freeze beautifully.

  50. deb devo

    I’m sorry to be so late in posting; I finally got to make these buns last week (with burgers) and my company pronounced them AWESOME! I make a mean chicken salad and can hardly wait to use this same recipe, except to roll it up with rosemary inside. And I’m very grateful to the person who asked about no butter; I’m going to amend my copy of the recipe to say 2-1/2 tbsp oil. I just can’t say THANK YOU enough for this is my favorite food blog.

  51. Deborah

    I am a newly renewed baker a few decades after learning and doing a lot with Grandma. I made an error and wondered if there is a save and a better way. I let the bread machine do the kneading and the buns rose too much overnight. I expect them to fall. Can I save the batch? 2nd question: is there a way to break up the bread machine kneaded batch to include the night and bake in the morning? I’d love to take these to work warm. Thanks!! If they are over risen and you think they will fall, gently punch them down and let them rise a bit more then bake. They will be a bit more dense, but should taste ok. If they have already fallen, you can still bake them. They will be quite a bit denser, but should still taste ok. Do you have a delayed start on your machine? If so, I find it very useful. I can have them all kneaded and through the first rise when I get up in the morning, shape them and let them rise while I’m doing breakfst and lunches, then bake to take to work warm. Just remember not to use the delayed start with doughs the contain eggs or milk. Mary @ King Arthur Flour

  52. Gina

    Hi, When I put my beautifully risen buns into the oven they fell flat . What did I do???

    Gina, you simply let them rise a bit too long. Once they hit the oven heat and the yeast went crazy for a few minutes, it blew them up very quickly, and since they were already fully risen, they collapsed. Better to put your buns in when they’re not totally, beautifully puffy, OK? Understand that they’re going to rise quite a bit in the oven, so it’s OK to put them in when they don’t look as big as you’d like them – because they WILL get bigger as they bake. Hope they were still tasty – you can always make croutons out of them.. :) PJH

  53. Pat

    The comments are making me wish I could go home and get started on these buns. I need to use spelt flour and am just wondering if any other ingredients should be changed to accommodate this difference.
    If it is whole spelt you’ll need to watch the liquid as whole grains absorb more. Actually, it never hurts to watch the dough consistency and adjust as necessary. Molly @ KAF

  54. kristina

    These were really yummy. And my kitchen smelled oh so good. I made these to go with some turkey burgers. What a great combination. Thanks for another great recipe! :)

  55. Ria Koper

    Hi everyone. I made these before and rated them 5 stars for sure ! I need to bake them right now for a party but only have KA bread flour,so the question is can I use that and are there any changes I need to make in the rest of the recipe ? Thanks for all the help. Ria The bread flour will give them more of a chew to the texture. you may need to increase the liquid by 1 or 2 tablespoons. Mary @ KAF

  56. Dianne

    These look wonderful! I will have to try them. A quick question – I don’t have the instant yeast called for in the recipe. Would I be able to substitute active dry yeast for the instant yeast?

    Absolutely, Dianne – just dissolve it in a few tablespoons of the liquid and let it proof, then continue with the recipe. Understand rising times may be a bit longer, but it’ll definitely work. have fun – PJH

  57. You were ripped off

    Here, by someone pretending that those are her photos:

    Thanks for keeping your eye out for us – she actually does credit us at the end and provide a link to While we’d prefer she’d asked first, so long as there’s attribution, we wouldn’t ask her to take it down… We’re all for sharing good recipes! PJH

  58. laryssa75

    I wish I had read your blog first. I made the recipe as stated, then read to mix for 7 minutes with the stand mixer. I mixed the dough just long enough to form a tacky dough.
    It is rising and am sure they will come out fine..I know for next

    Some bakers use the stand mixer to just mix the dough until the dry ingredients gather from the sides of the bowl. This is fine as long as you knead the dough by hand after that, striving for a soft, supple texture. If you use the stand mixer for all the kneading, you’ll still want to check the dough consistency. Flour your finger and press the dough as you would press a doorbell. If the dough springs back quickly, you’re done kneading! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  59. Amy_P

    Hi.. I stumbled on this blog searching for a burger bun recipe. Boy, I couldn’t be luckier. These buns are FANTASTIC. Didn’t use the dried onion because I didn’t have any in the pantry. I did use half whole wheat and made chia gel to substitute the butter.
    The result: buns from heaven!
    I live in Jakarta, Indonesia, where to find good bread is like finding needle in a haystack. Even for the fluffy ones in the good bakery, I can still taste a little chemical in it.. Perhaps too much use of improver?
    Anyway.. I’ll never buy a bun anywhere again!

  60. Gambles

    I have been really wanting to try these buns for hamburgers, but I’m a little concerned because I have a kind of quirk. I always cut hamburgers and sandwiches into 1/4’s. I also do this with cinnamon rolls, and they do tend to come off in layer pieces. The description says these are very sturdy and there is nothing “slushy” in the roll, but I just wanted to ask if you thought the bun would stay together if cut in quarters??

    That also brings me to: If I leave out the minced dried onions altogether (ulcers) what would happen if I just baked them free form as one of the few pans that I haven’t purchased from KAF is the hamburger bun pan?

    This would be a perfect dinner for the National Championship Bowl Game tonight!

    Thanks for your help,

    btw: I usually read the entire Q & A after the blog just in case my answer if already there, but this time I was short on time and figured my 1/4 question was probably bizarre enough to be unique so I skipped that part. In other words, I apologize if someone did already ask either part of this question!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Gentle baker – you CAN shape and bake these as you would rolls, or press out the dough and roll up for the swirl on top. Either way – this recipe should hold it’s shape whether they’re eaten whole, halved or quartered! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  61. Crackerssouth

    While attending high school in the 60’s I used to work part time in a Jewish deli. We used to have pastrami on onion buns, this sandwich was called a “Big Moe”. It was huge. This weekend I’m making my own pastrami and instead of rye bread, I’m going to make these. Have to let you know how they turn out.


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