Sourdough Burger Buns

sourdough burger buns

If there is anything that you should learn to make, apart from bread of course, that would be the bread rolls. Be it simple dinner rolls, fancy hot cross buns or versatile burger buns, it is a skill any baking enthusiast would love to have.

sourdough burger buns
20% whole meal and bacon fat in this one

I have tried many recipes and tutorials, prior to my culinary education and bakery experience. To be honest, I struggled to get it right mainly because I didn’t know what I was looking for. I wasn’t even trying sourdough versions.

sourdough burger buns
only 60 g milk in this one

That was 7 years ago and a lot have changed since then. You can actually find good, quality resources on the internet. But, I may have slightly different approach/method, so here is my journal. I will try to mentions every little detail along the way, but feel free to reach me for questions/clarifications either through comment here or IG.

sourdough burger buns
200 g milk and 60 g bacon fat 2 tbsp honey in this one

Ingredients and alternatives:

You can of course use any glutenous flour or a combination. All purpose, strong bread flour should be the base. You can mix other flour verities to change texture, flavor at 5 – 20% ;
whole meal
Teff etc.


Fat is what makes rolls softer and help keep soft for longer.
Fat is usually introduced as fat itself, but eggs and milk has fat too. Keep that in mind when you mix and match. You can use any of the fats below;
Oil (Vegetable, canola, olive oil, grape seed, avocado)
Bacon fat ( Inna @flourfloozy should get credit for this idea)

Adding eggs is optional. You can totally skip this process or opt to add just egg yolk for a richer texture. You can also use tofu instead of eggs and get all the effects of adding eggs. 1/4 cup tofu is equal to an egg, but make sure to drain well to remove excess water out.

Optional again. Milk, just like eggs adds extra richness. Increases softness, and sweetness. Keep in mind different milks have different sweetness and flavors. So use a in less % if you are not sure. Use following alternatives;
Cows milk (any fat %)
Nut milk (check if it is sweetened)
Coconut milk (beware of flavor and fat content)
Soy milk
Oats milk

Need only very little. Interchange with any of the following;
White sugar
Brown sugar
Coconut sugar
Maple syrup
Rice malt syrup etc.

Water is the most basic and easy solution here. Feel free to use alternatives as replacement or mixed with water to get extra flavor;
Beer varieties
Coconut water etc.

Use either eggs or milk to brush the top. This gives a nice color and shine. Use any of the following to decorate or keep it plain;
Poppy seeds
Line seeds etc.


Mix everything except the water and start to mix. Add water gradually, until a soft dough is formed. Use a stand mixer with dough hook or use a spatula. Once everything comes together kneed a further minute until dough is smooth. Take the dough out on to a floured surface. Finish kneading by hands. Its okay if the dough is bit sticky. Fold the dough to create a smooth dough ball. check next picture.


Use flour to stop the dough from sticking to your hands. Once it looks smooth like in the picture, place it in a lightly greased bowl.


Cover the bowl loosely with a lid or a tea towel and place in a warm place for the bulk fermentation. (3-4 hours)

I use my oven for this, with a cup of boiling water placed on the bottom rack. Replace with new boiling water once every 1.5 hours.


This is how the dough would look after the bulk. We are looking for a softer puffed up dough which has almost doubled the original volume.


Punch down the dough and fold it back to a tight ball and place back in the same bowl. Cover tightly and place in the fridge until next day.

You can continue to make rolls without retarding. In that case let it ferment a little further and continue the rest of the steps.


Next day, take the dough out and let it thaw for about an hour. When the dough is soft enough to handle, you can move to the next step.

divide the dough

Divide the dough in to 8 equal pieces. The total dough weight might be different each time so weight the whole dough and divide that by 8 to get how much a piece should weigh.

Let the dough pieces rest for about 10 minutes once divided

shaped sough

Shape them into tight rolls. Check this video to get an idea on how to shape rolls. Make sure to get most of the air out from the dough as you roll.

shaped dough

Place the rolls on a tray and once everything is shaped, press each roll to squash it to flatten a bit. (press down on the roll with your palm or fist) check the picture. Notice they are a bit flatter than the roll in the picture above.

Now loosely cover these and place in a warm place until doubled. ( 3 – 4 hours again or might be longer)


Once proofed, place a pizza stone/cast iron tray and preheat the oven to 425 F 0R 220 C. It’s okay if you don’t have a pizza stone, you can still get good results.


Once the oven is ready, egg wash the rolls and decorate the top with sesame. And place the rolls in the oven.

Spay a little water using a spay bottle to create a bit of steam. This is optional.

bake for about 10 minutes, rotate the tray, reduce temperature to 400 F and bake for a further 5 minutes.

baked burger buns

Once fully baked, remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool.

Sourdough Burger Buns


Servings: 8 rolls


  • 400 g bread flour
  • 6 g salt (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 80 g fed starter
  • 40 g butter (softened)
  • 130 ml milk
  • +/-100 ml water
  • egg yolk and 1 tbsp water to egg wash
  • some sesame seeds to decorate


  1. Weigh everything except for the water in to a bowl ( or bowl of a stand mixer)
  2. Start mixing and add water gradually
  3. When the everything start to come together, continue to mix until a dough is developed
  4. This dough might be a little sticky
  5. If too sticky add some flour or let it rest for 10 minutes
  6. Then mix/knead for another minute or two
  7. Dump the dough in to a floured surface and finish off kneading by hand
  8. Use slap and fold motion
  9. Use a little flour to help if necessary
  10. make into a smooth dough ball and place in a bowl
  11. Cover and place in a warm place for bulk fermentation
  12. This may take about 4 hours or longer in a cooler place
  13. Once dough is almost double in size, punch it down
  14. Round up the dough to a tight ball place in the same bowl, cover tightly and place in the fridge until next day
  15. Next morning, take the bowl out and let it thaw for about an hour until the dough is soft
  16. Then divide in to 8 equal pieces
  17. Let these rest for 10 minutes and shape in to rolls
  18. Once shaped, place on a tray and press rolls lightly to flatten a bit
  19. Cover and leave in a warm place again until they are doubled in size
  20. This may take about 4 – 5 hours
  21. Then preheat the oven to 425 F or 220 C
  22. Place a baking stone if you have one, this is optional, but would give better oven spring
  23. Once oven is ready, egg wash the rolls and sprinkle with sesame and place in the oven
  24. Pray a little water using a spay bottle (use whatever method you usually do to get steam)It’s okay to note have steam
  25. Bake for 10 minutes and check
  26. Reduce temp. to 400 F and bake for a further 5 minutes if they are not done extend for a further 5 minutes
  27. Once baked, let the buns cool down on a rack

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