Yes, you can make soft, tender homemade hamburger buns in just an hour!
Years ago I was on a search for homemade hamburger buns. The only criteria that I had was that they needed to be soft like store buns (though not as squishy). You’d think I’d asked for the moon. Most recipes produced hard buns and simply making our sandwich bread into buns didn’t create the buns our family liked and my soft whole wheat rolls were too soft for us.
When I found a recipe for “quick and tender breadsticks” on a (now defunct) website and made them, I couldn’t believe how soft and easy they were – and I thought it might also make the buns we were searching for. So I adapted it, making both hamburger and hot dog buns, and we loved them! They’ve become a family favorite because they really are quick and soft with a great texture, which is 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, adding more whole grains, and using honey instead of sugar. With these changes, the buns produced are the best hamburger buns I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot)- I hope you think so, too!
How to Make Quick & Tender Hamburger Buns
The top left picture of the dough shows that the dough is still a bit wet- it should still stick a bit to the bottom of the bowl. I mix it about 1-2 minutes in the stand mixer (for a quick knead), adding about 1/4-1/2 cup more flour to make shaping a bit easier before letting it rest in the bowl.
To get semi-even buns, flatten the dough out on a floured surface (tip: use a tea towel with a bit of flour for easy clean-up) and pat into a squarish shape. Use a knife to cut 12 pieces, cutting a bit off of the bigger center pieces as needed and adding them to the smaller corner pieces before shaping.
To shape the buns, stretch the top towards the bottom on all sides and then turn it over and pull the ends together creating a nice smooth ball, similar to how I shape our soft dinner rolls. Notice the well-floured hands and doughy fingers? The dough will still be sticky even with floured surfaces, so you’ll want to keep your fingers floured.
Place the balls on a greased or silicone-lined (affiliate link) cookie sheet, flattening the dough balls around the edges- it’s okay if the edges touch. You’ll want to use a full half sheet baking pan to fit these, though – similar to this OXO brand half sheet on Amazon.
They’ll rest a second time and will rise some, though most of the rising will occur in the oven.
So after mixing, two 10-minute rises, about 15 minutes of shaping and 15 minutes baking you have easy, soft, beautiful hamburger buns – in an hour. Amazing, right?
And notice all the slightly different sizes? No matter how hard I try, the buns are never all the same size. It’s just fine, though, because Brian eats the bigger buns and I like them smaller…and a bit imperfect, of course.
Oh, and this recipe still makes great breadsticks, plus they are easily shaped into longer buns for hot dogs and sausages, and make terrific homemade pigs in a blanket. See? It’s a keeper for sure.
Click the arrow for the printable recipe!