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Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Full of flavor, these Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns are hearty and delicious. They are so easy to make, you’ll never buy store-bought again!

whole wheat hamburger buns on a baking rack against a black background

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Burger buns are one of the simplest homemade bread recipes you can make. They’re easy to customize, taste amazing, and the options for how to use them are endless. What’s not to love?

What If I Don’t Have A Stand Mixer?

No stand mixer? Add the flour cup by cup if mixing by hand. And congrats, because your arms are about to be cut and totally on point. Invest in tank tops.

What Kind of Yeast Should I Use?

I prefer active dry yeast (Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite) in all of my bread recipes. If you use instant yeast, you don’t need to wait for the yeast to “proof” (double in size) in step one below.

What Kind of Whole Wheat Flour Is Best?

I have a grain mill and am lucky enough to be able to grind my own. I know, I know, I’m exceptionally obnoxious. If you use store-bought flour, find a whole wheat flour that is marked as “pastry”. The grind will be finer which means your burger buns are going to be fluffy AF!

We also use the pastry flour for our Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies and Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.

Can I Freeze These Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns?

You betcha! And there are two different routes you can take with freezing them.

First option: freeze the dough before the second rise (step 3). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment, freeze completely and then transfer to a freezer bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight (or on the counter for a few hours) and allow to rise until doubled in size. Bake according to the directions.

Second option: Bake the hamburger buns as directed and allow to cool completely before transferring to a freezer bag. Thaw overnight or microwave for 30 seconds.

Here’s How to Make them

Add the yeast, water, and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together by hand. Let sit until doubled in size and foamy.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until the sides of the bowl are mostly free of dough. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time. Cover with a damp rag and place in a warm part in your kitchen until it has doubled in size.

Pro tip: if your house is cold, place the bowl over a heat register (yep, I put bread dough in a bowl on my floor). You can even turn your oven on to the lowest setting and then turn it off once it had has preheated. Add a bowl of water onto the bottom rack of the oven. Place your bowl of dough in the oven and it should rise just fine. 

Pro tip #2: you can also proof your dough in an Instant Pot using the yogurt setting and a glass lid. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the instant pot insert and add the dough. Cover with the glass lid and press “yogurt” and set the timer for 30 minutes. Check after 15. It took mine about 35 minutes to double in size.

four photos of dough rising in steps for whole wheat hamburger buns

Gently punch down the dough and knead it by hand a few times.

Pinch off pieces of dough and cup your hand around the dough in a “C” shape. Keep the base of your hand on the counter and gently roll the dough until it is round. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. See the video below for how I roll…

Place another piece of parchment over the top of the dough. Lay another baking sheet on top of the parchment and gently press down until all the burger buns are about the same height. Skipping this step will result in big fluffy dinner rolls instead of a classic burger bun shape. Let the homemade burger buns rise until they are doubled in size. Pro tip: this parchment lasts forever so I use it over and over.

eight photos in the mixing and rising process for making whole wheat hamburger buns

Bake in a 375-degree oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Optional: brush hot burger buns with melted butter after you remove them from the oven.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • I can’t tell you why, but bread rises and is more pleasant to bake on a rainy day. It’s the perfect activity when you’re stuck inside and want your house to smell like angel farts.
  • If you don’t want to use whole wheat flour, sub in bread flour and don’t add the vital wheat gluten.
  • Want to make these whole wheat hamburger buns vegan? Sub out the honey for an equal amount of white sugar.
  • I have not experimented with gluten-free flour for this recipe. Results cannot be guaranteed.
  • Want to make smaller buns for sliders? Reduce baking time to 12 minutes.
  • For a shiny finish on top of the hamburger buns, mix 1 egg with 1 tsp of water and brush over the top prior to baking.

A sliced homemade whole wheat hamburger bun on a cooling rack with a dish of melted butter

More Recipes Like This

WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS

One serving has 6 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

whole wheat hamburger buns on a baking rack against a black background
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Rise Time3 hrs
Total Time25 mins
These Homemade Hamburger Buns are hearty and delicious.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add the yeast, water, and honey to the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together by hand. Let sit until doubled in size and foamy.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low until the sides of the bowl are mostly free of dough. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tbsp at a time. Cover with a damp rag and place in a warm part in your kitchen until it has doubled in size. See Notes in post above about how to rise bread in a cold kitchen. 
  • Gently punch down the dough and knead it by hand a few times.
  • Pinch off pieces of dough and cup your hand around the dough in a "C" shape. Keep the base of your hand on the counter and gently roll the dough until it is round. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Place another piece of parchment over the top of the dough. Lay another baking sheet on top of the parchment and gently press down until all the burger buns are about the same height. Skipping this step will result in big fluffy dinner rolls instead of a classic burger bun shape. Let the homemade burger buns rise until they are doubled in size.
  • Bake in a 375-degree oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Optional: brush hot burger buns with melted butter after you remove them from the oven.

Notes

If you don't want to use whole wheat flour, sub in bread flour and don't add the vital wheat gluten. 
 
Want to make these whole wheat hamburger buns vegan? Sub out the honey for an equal amount of white sugar.
 
Want to make smaller buns for sliders? Reduce the baking time to 12 minutes.
 
For a shiny finish on top of the hamburger buns, mix 1 egg with 1 tsp of water and brush over the top prior to baking.
Nutrition Facts
Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 bun)
Calories 184 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 119mg5%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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22 comments on “Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns”

  1. Not sure what happened, I’ve been cooking 50 years and am usually very successful. I followed this recipe (for 10 servings), yeast proofed up nice and big, first rising was nice and double or more. I punched down the dough and kneaded it a bit, shaped the buns (I added an egg wash and sesame seeds) but they never did rise much the 2nd time and the buns were dense and hard. Looks like an easy recipe so I would appreciate any suggestions.

    • Hi Carol, so sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. A few questions to help me troubleshoot where it might have gone wrong:
      1) were you using whole wheat or all-purpose flour?
      2) if using whole wheat did you include the vital wheat gluten?
      3) you say you kneaded it a bit after the first rise. Sometimes I have overworked the dough causing the glutens to produce a flatter bread. Is there a chance you kneaded it too much?

      If it is easier for you to email, please feel free to reply to sarah@sustainablecooks.com. I’d love to help solve this!