I found this recipe for quick and tender breadsticks on a website many years ago (now defunct) and adapted it to make hamburger and hot dog buns. They became a family favorite because they really are quick and soft with a great texture, especially surprising because they are not kneaded.
The original recipe produced a very wet dough, which I found tough to work with and a bit frustrating. My changes included using less water and yeast, more whole grains, and honey instead of sugar. With the changes, this recipe makes the best hamburger buns I’ve tried yet (and I’ve tried a lot). They are easily shaped into longer buns for hot dogs and sausages, as well as fun homemade pigs in a blanket.
Steps to make Quick & Tender Hamburger Buns
1. Mix the dough according to the recipe. This shows what a wet dough this still is. I did mix it about 1-2 minutes in the stand mixer (for a quick knead), adding about 1/2 cup more flour to make shaping a bit easier. Then let it rest for 10 minutes.
2. After kneading by (floured) hand a couple of times, flatten the dough out on a floured surface (I always use a tea towel with a bit of flour) and pat into a squarish shape. Use a knife to cut 12 pieces- the corners usually end up smaller, so cut a bit off of the bigger center pieces and add them to the corner pieces before shaping.
3. To shape into buns, stretch the top towards the bottom on all sides.
3. Then turn it over and pull the ends together creating a nice smooth ball (this is how I shape dinner rolls, too). Notice the well-floured hands and doughy fingers. It will still be sticky even with floured surfaces.
4. Flatten the dough balls a bit and place them on a greased or lined cookie sheet (I use a silpat-type baking mat here, which doesn’t need greasing). Let rise/rest for 10-15 minutes before proceeding with the recipe and cooking in a 400 degree oven, rotating them halfway through cooking for even browning.
There you have it – easy, soft, beautiful hamburger buns.
And just to keep it real: no matter how hard I try, the buns are never all the same size. It’s just fine, though, because I always like them smaller…and a bit imperfect.
- 2 c. warm water
- 1-1/2 Tb. yeast
- 2 Tb. honey
- 1 Tb. salt
- 2 Tb. olive oil
- 4-1/2 - 5 c. flour (use half whole wheat)
- Mix water, yeast, and honey until yeast and honey are dissolved. Add the salt, oil, and 4-1/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough.
- Beat with a stand mixer for a minute or two (or stir by hand about a minute), adding the other ½ cup flour as needed to help dough be less sticky (you may not need all of it - it should still be somewhat sticky). Let it rest 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove to a floured surface and knead by hand a few times. Press dough flat on floured surface then cut for breadsticks or buns:
- Breadsticks: cut into 18-24 pieces, lengthwise (depending on the size you want), and lay them out with ½-inch between them on a greased baking sheet.
- Hamburger (or hot dog) buns: cut into 12 even pieces and using floured hands, shape each into a ball. Slightly flatten the balls (elongate for hot dogs) and place on a greased cookie sheet.
- Let rise 10 to 15 minutes (they will rise a bit, but not double).
- Bake breadsticks for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Brush with melted butter and garlic.
- Bake buns for 15 to 17 minutes until golden.
Like more easy bread recipes like this? Check these out from our bread category: