How to make Soft Burger Buns

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Homemade burger buns are way better than store-bought ones! They’re soft and fluffy inside, with a crispy outside. They’re perfect for any burger you want to make.

Freshly baked golden brown burger buns cooling in a pan

Burger buns with Tangzhong are a variation of the classic burger bun recipe incorporating a Japanese bread-making technique called Tangzhong.

Tangzhong involves cooking a small portion of the dough to create a roux-like mixture, which is then added to the rest. This technique results in incredibly soft, fluffy burger buns that have a longer shelf life.

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These burger buns are a game-changer for your burgers. They’ll take your summer BBQs to a whole new level and make them unforgettable. You’ll love how tasty your burgers become with these buns!

What is Tangzhong?

Tangzhong is a mixture of flour and water or milk that is cooked together to form a paste. This paste is then added to bread dough to improve its texture and moisture retention. When added to bread dough, Tangzhong helps to create softer, fluffier, and more tender bread.

It is commonly used in Asian bread-making recipes but has gained popularity worldwide for its ability to produce soft and moist bread.


Here are my tips for making my homemade hamburger bun recipe. Your guests at the next summer BBQ will be seriously impressed!

Expert Tips

Tangzhong Technique: Follow the Tangzhong method carefully to achieve soft and moist burger buns. Cook the flour and water mixture until it forms a thick paste, then incorporate it into the dough for optimal texture.

Resting Time: Allow the dough to rest and rise adequately before shaping and baking the buns. This resting period allows the gluten to relax and develop, resulting in lighter and fluffier buns.

Baking Temperature: Bake the buns at the recommended temperature to ensure even cooking and a golden crust. Be mindful not to overbake them, as this can result in dry buns.

Freshly baked golden brown burger buns cooling in a pan

Ingredients to make burger buns

Water: Keeps the dough moist and helps it hold together.

Milk: Adds moisture and softness to the dough. Any type of milk, skimmed or whole, works well.

Bread Flour: The key ingredient for a strong dough structure, ideal for bread-making. It creates a chewy and elastic texture.

Yeast: Essential for dough rising, choose any type: 5g Instant Yeast, 7g Active Dry Yeast, or 17g Fresh Yeast.

Sugar: Provides sweetness; any type of sugar works fine.

Salt: Enhances flavour and strengthens the dough. Use finely ground Himalayan salt or any type.

Butter: Adds richness and softness. If using salted butter, reduce salt by half.

Tangzhong Mixture: A blend of flour and milk for softer buns.

Egg: Adds colour and binds the dough. One large egg is required.

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Substitutions

Milk: Any dairy-free milk alternative like almond, soy, or oat milk can replace regular milk.

Bread Flour: All-purpose flour can be used instead of bread flour, but the texture may be slightly different.

Sugar: Honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup can be used instead of sugar for a different taste.

Salt: Any type of salt can be used, but be mindful of the intensity of sea salt or kosher salt compared to table salt.

Butter: Vegetable oil, coconut oil, or margarine can be used instead of butter for a dairy-free option.

Egg: You can make a flaxseed or chia seed egg as a vegan substitute, or simply omit the egg if you have an allergy or dietary restriction.

Storage and leftovers

After baking, allow the burger buns to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. If you plan to keep them longer, you can freeze the buns in a freezer-safe bag for up to 2-3 months.

When ready to eat, thaw the buns at room temperature or reheat them in the oven for a few minutes until warmed through.

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Freshly baked golden brown burger buns cooling in a pan

Burger Buns

Claudia
Making these buns is a breeze! They turn out light, fluffy, and visually stunning. I always receive compliments whenever I bake them. They're also perfect for sandwich rolls—simply delicious!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine Asian
Servings 9
Calories 152 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the Tangzhong mixture

  • 45 ml water 3 tablespoons
  • 45 ml milk 3 tablespoons
  • 18 gr flour 1.25 tablespoons

For the dough

  • 350 g Bread Flour 2.5 cups
  • 5 g Instant Yeast 1.25 teaspoons, 7g Active Dry Yeast (2.25 teaspoons), or 17g Fresh Yeast (0.6 ounces)
  • 18 g Sugar 1.5 tablespoons
  • 7 g Salt 1.25 teaspoons
  • 35 g Soft or melted Unsalted Butter 2.5 tablespoons
  • Tangzhong Mixture
  • 140 g Lukewarm Milk 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 Large Egg

Instructions
 

  • Start by preparing the Tangzhong. In a small saucepan, combine water, milk, and flour. This mixture pre-gelatinizes the starch in the flour, helping the dough absorb moisture better. Stir continuously over medium heat until a smooth paste forms. Set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, mix lukewarm milk, sugar, yeast, egg, and melted butter. Add bread flour and salt, stirring until a shaggy dough forms.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Grease a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel and let it proof for 60 minutes until doubled in size.
  • Once risen, punch down the dough and divide it into 100g pieces, shaping each into a round ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray, leaving space between them. Cover and let proof for another 30 minutes until doubled.
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) or Gas mark 5. Whisk an egg with a splash of milk for an egg wash. Brush the risen dough balls with the wash, sprinkle with any seeds if desired, and bake for approximately 25 minutes until golden.
  • Brush the warm buns with melted butter for shine and flavor. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy as is or use for burgers, pulled pork, or breakfast sandwiches.

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Notes

  1. Ensure the Tangzhong mixture is smooth and lump-free before setting it aside to cool. This step is crucial for achieving the desired texture of the buns.
  2. When kneading the dough, aim for a smooth and elastic consistency. This will result in softer and more tender buns.
  3. During proofing, place the dough in a warm, draft-free area to help it rise properly. Covering the bowl with cling film or a kitchen towel will prevent the dough from drying out.
  4. When shaping the dough into balls, try to maintain uniform sizes to ensure even baking.
  5. Be mindful not to overbake the buns. They should be golden brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  6. Brushing the warm buns with melted butter after baking adds a lovely shine and enhances their flavor.
  7. Allow the buns to cool slightly before serving to avoid burning yourself and to allow the flavors to settle.
Keyword buns, burger, sandwich buns

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