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The Best Soft and Chewy Sourdough Burger Buns

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A sourdough burger bun so satisfying you won’t ever go back to store-bought!

I’m really excited to share this recipe with you! I’ve been working on burger buns for years now and I think I’ve finally nailed it.

A collage of a burger and a stack of sliced buns with text overlay.

This bun is soft and chewy, making it perfect for holding lots of toppings. It won’t break or crack under the weight of a hefty, loaded burger like the dry store-bought buns do.

A burger made with sourdough buns.

Sourdough is classically stretchy and this bun recipe is no exception. And like all my sourdough, it is traditionally leavened during two long, slow ferments. Two long ferments means better digestibility, more unlocked nutrition, and great “real sourdough” flavor.

A close-up of sliced burger buns.

A close-up of a burger made with sourdough buns.

If You’re Like Me You’re Always Looking for a Place To Get a Really Good Burger.

But the truth is a really good burger starts at home with grass-fed meat from a sustainable farm, organic produce, and a real sourdough bun. So ditch the restaurant and make yourself the burger of your dreams!

Watch Me Shape and Bake This Recipe on YouTube

A close-up of stacked burger buns.

A stack of sliced buns with text overlay.

Soft and Chewy Sourdough Burger Buns

Soft and Chewy Sourdough Burger Buns

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Proofing: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 50 minutes

Recipe yields 6 big buns (perfect for 1/3-pound burgers) or 8 medium-size buns (perfect for 1/4-pound burgers).

Instructions

Start the dough the night before

  1. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, coconut sugar, starter, and water into a thick sticky dough. In a stand mixer, use a dough hook and knead the dough gently for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Do this for four to six rounds, just until the dough is well developed. If mixing by hand, stir the ingredients together with a dough whisk until incorporated. Let the dough rest for several minutes. With lightly wet hands, stretch and fold the dough four to five turns every 5 minutes for four to six rounds until it's smooth and stretchy. It should be fairly sticky. Cover the dough and let the dough proof overnight at room temperature (65 to 70℉).

The next morning

  1. Deflate the dough by doing a round of stretch and fold in the bowl. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  3. Gently roll and pat the dough into a log. Cut the dough into six or eight equal portions. Working with one piece at a time, form nice tight balls of dough. Start by folding the top down to the center. Working clockwise with your right hand fold all the sides into the center and push them down firmly while turning the dough counterclockwise with your left hand.
  4. After eight or so turns, the dough should feel tight and rounded. Pinch the bottom of the bun and roll it gently in your hands to further shape it. Place the buns on a sheet of parchment paper atop a baking sheet to help you transfer the buns to a preheated baking stone once proofed.
  5. If baking on a baking sheet, proof the buns on parchment on the baking sheet — no need to preheat the baking sheet, in fact it might be wise to double the baking sheet to protect the bottoms from getting too dark.
  6. Once all the buns have been shaped, cover them and let them proof again for 3 to 6 hours (the proofing time will totally depend on the climate, activity of the starter, and so many other factors). You want the dough to rise to at least double if not triple its original size.
  7. Preheat your oven to 375°F. If using a baking stone preheat the oven with the baking stone inside.
  8. Mix the egg yolk and milk together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each bun with egg wash. Sprinkle the buns with sesame seeds.
  9. Slide the parchment with buns on top onto the preheated baking stone. Bake the buns for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and from the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool. Let them cool completely before pulling them apart if they are touching.
  10. Slice and top the soft and chewy buns with all your favorites! Enjoy your well-deserved burger!
A close-up of stacked burger buns.

Anne Hannah

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

Hi Courtney. I love this recipe and make it all the time for small family/guest dinners. It’s the best!!! However I have a larger family celebration coming up and might need up to 15 buns for 2 dinners in a weekend. Can I freeze the dough after the first stretch and turns (before the overnight rise) and then thaw and let it rise again the day before I bake them? Thx for your help and advice! Anne

Butter For All

Friday 20th of August 2021

Hi Anne!

So happy to hear of your success with this recipe! Freezing unbaked sourdough is tricky. I wouldn't attempt it unless you know for sure how your particular starter will behave. Some yeast can be frozen and still rise, but it's not guaranteed. I would be more inclined to have you par bake the buns, removing them before they brown completely — maybe less 10 min. Then let them cool and freeze them. Take them out of the freezer and pop them into a hot oven to bake off as needed!

If you are still interested in freezing the dough I would advise you try a small batch ahead of time to make sure they turn out well.

Have a wonderful celebration and thank you so much for using my recipes!

Courtney

Deana Williamson

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

I would like to understand how you cover the dough when set to rise for the long rise on the counter but/ and also when put in the refrigerator. Do you just cover with a cloth or Saran Wrap or coat with olive oil. I am specifically asking about the sour dough burger bun recipe. As the top got dry after pulling it from the refrigerator and then having it rise again then took quite a while since it was chilled. I ended up discarding it. Wah

Butter For All

Friday 2nd of July 2021

Hi Deana,

I've tried multiple methods. I think my favorite is Plastic Wrap (that I use as many times as possible to prevent waste), or a fully dampened flour sack towel. If the dough forms a dry skin it will definitely inhibit proper rise. I don't recommend refrigerating this dough in the recipe. It gets mixed at the end of the day and then proofed overnight at room temp. The next morning it gets shaped and proofed again before baking. But sometimes, due to scheduling, the dough does need to be slowed down or held for future baking. If that is the case I would probably refrigerate the dough prior to final shaping if possible. Then you can bring the dough from the refrigerator, shape the individual buns and let them rise at room temp (covered) until doubled.

I hope this helps!

Courtney

Christa Curren

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Would a cold proof be recommended for the 2nd one? Or would overnight @ 65-70 degrees be the better option? Thanks!

Butter For All

Saturday 19th of June 2021

Hi Christa!

It really just depends on how fast your starter works and what your timing is. If it would overproof at room temp (mine would on the second rise if I let it go more than a few hours) and you need to postpone baking then do your final proofing in the fridge to slow it down. Does that make sense? Cold certainly won't hurt the dough or ruin the final product. But overporoofing will.

Best of luck! And Happy Baking!

Courtney

Jkhn

Saturday 15th of May 2021

I came across your recipe. I followed but made a couple of changes. I added 20% organic sprouted ancient grain mix. I also submitted half of the water with buttermilk. They turned out great.

Butter For All

Saturday 15th of May 2021

Hi!

Those sound like awesome substitutions! I'm so happy they tasted great and I appreciate you leaving feedback!

Thank you!

Harriet

Saturday 8th of May 2021

I’ve been looking for a sourdough burger bun recipe for ages and so pleased to have found one! Super straightforward recipe and the results were brilliant. Will definitely be bookmarking this one! Thank you :)

Butter For All

Monday 10th of May 2021

Hi Harriet!

I'm so pleased you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a review!

Happy Baking, Courtney

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