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Sourdough Burger Buns

Posted in : Recipes on by : Teresa Tags: , , , ,

This recipe is when I really and truly realized I was stuck on this sourdough business for good. Because I have always had a little bit of a love/hate thing with burgers. You know a good burger has to be juicy & messy, but that almost always means the bun is going to disintegrate at some point during the eating. No matter what buns I’ve tried, if a good juicy burger is bigger than a large slider (ie. it takes more than 4 bites to eat it), the bottom bun is a total loss by the time I’m finished eating.

Enter these amazing buns. They’re soft enough to chew easily, but sturdy enough not to disintegrate. They’re the perfect burger buns. I’ve never met their equal.

sourdough onion burger bun
I swear, this is the platonic ideal of a burger bun.

Sourdough Onion Burger Buns

Onion buns sturdy enough to stand up to the juiciest burger, but soft enough for anyone to enjoy.
Servings: 8 small buns


  • stand mixer


For Dough

  • 200 g Sourdough Starter 100% hydration + at peak activity
  • 3 cups AP Flour level cups/135g per cup
  • 2 Tbsp Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt

For Topping

  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 tsp Milk
  • ½ small Yellow Onion minced


Start Dough:

  • In your mixer bowl, mix the starter, water, and melted butter together.
  • In a large measuring cup, mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar) and then add slowly pour into the wet ingredients with the mixer on low speed.
  • Let the dough knead for 2–3 minutes, until it comes together into a ball, and becomes smooth and stretchy looking. It should still be fairly sticky.
  • Cover the mixing bowl, and set aside to proof overnight (or until evening, if you're starting early in the day).

Shape the buns:

  • Turn the proofed dough out onto a generously floured work surface, and gently roll & pat it into a log. Cut the log down to 6 or 8 equal portions (6 for 1/2lb burgers, 8 for 1/4lb burgers), and cover the pieces with plastic wrap or a tightly woven towel.
  • With one portion at a time, lift & fold the edges of the dough over the center, and press down into the middle. Fold in north, south, east, west, then halfway in between the first folds, for a total of 8 folds. After that, the dough ball should feel noticeably tighter than when you started.
  • Pinch the folds on the bottom of the ball firmly together, and then gently roll it between your hands to get it as round as possible. Set it aside on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
  • Cover the baking sheet with a clean dish towel, and let the buns rise a second time until they are double or triple their original size. This can take anywhere from 3–6 hours, depending on how warm your kitchen is and how active your starter is.

Topping & baking the buns:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF (~190ºC). While the oven is heating, mince your half onion. (I like to slice the onion with a microplane slicer, and then cut across the slices in both directions with a chefs knife.) Whisk the egg yolk and milk together.
  • Brush the tops of all the buns with the yolk-milk mix, so they're thoroughly coated, and sprinkle the onion bits evenly over the tops.
  • Bake the buns for 30 minutes, until evenly golden brown on top. Then remove the baking sheet from the oven, and slide the parchment with the buns over to a wire rack to cool. When they're room temperature, gently separate them.
  • TIP: If you're going to freeze the buns to keep for later, pre-slice them first!