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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.

Sheila

Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Hi, can I double this recipe?

Butter For All

Saturday 14th of May 2022

Hi Sheila!

Absolutely! You should have to do any major adjustments. Just double everything and proceed :)

Rylee

Saturday 16th of April 2022

I wish I had read the comments before moving forward with this recipe. I followed it to the T and it looked like pancake batter! I ended up having to add probably another half cup of flour or more in order to even get it looking similar to the video. It was so sticky and unworkable until I added more flour to it. I used 100% hydration starter that I fed that morning and it was perfect for the recipe. I’m hoping they come out okay, doing the final proof now.

Butter For All

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Hi Rylee,

I'm sure you know that there are a lot of variables with sourdough and part of being a great baker is being able to make adjustments as you go. I'm sorry the recipe didn't work out exactly for you on the first go, it could have been the type of flour, relative humidity, strength of starter, or any number of other factors. I hope with the little bit of tweaking you did the recipe ended up a success!

Hope you'll try again with this recipe or others,

Courtney

Keith

Sunday 6th of February 2022

I tried the recipe but it was so very wet it was impossible to build structure. After first proofing I added some flour before shaping so I could get some structure but it was still too wet. I calculated the recipe hydration and it’s 75% hydration. I used fresh fed and active started and measured by weight. I’m going to try reducing the water so I’ll have 65% hydration and try again unless there are any other suggestions.

Butter For All

Tuesday 15th of February 2022

Hi Keith,

Sorry to hear you had difficulty with this recipe. It definitely shouldn't be that wet. Do you keep your starter at 100% hydration? Equal weight flour to water? Hope I can help you troubleshoot!

let me know,

Courtney

Breanna

Friday 21st of January 2022

After shaping the buns can I put them in the fridge and then pull them out and let them rise when I'm ready for them or do I need to leave them out to rise I started them in the morning instead of the evening so the 3 to 6 hour rise will be at night so I didn't want it to overrise. Or would it be fine to leave them out overnight to rise thanks a bunch.

Butter For All

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

Hi Breanna!

They can definitely do a final proof in the fridge! That would be the best way to do it. They may not even need very much time at room temp before baking. I don't think I caught your comment in time to help you with this batch, so I hope they came out ok!

Best,

Courtney

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

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