Fluffy Burger Buns

Burgers that are made with homemade burger buns ARE ALWAYS SO MUCH BETTER. I didn’t realise how much impact the bread had on burgers until I tried a burger that had freshly baked bread.

It was amazing, so I wanted to learn how to make my own burger buns at home.

These buns are so soft, so fluffy and so buttery. I love them so much!

The burger buns after being baked, on a baking paper lined tray.

Video Tutorial

What kind of bread is this?

So I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know exactly what kind of bread this is.

It started off with a milk bread dough, I just used the same milk bread dough that I use for all my doughnuts.

But then I added a few extra ingredients such as an extra egg yolk and extra butter.

So now I feel like it might be leaning more towards brioche territory.

I have no idea.

I’m still going to call it milk bread because that’s what it was at first. But it’s more like milk bread with hints of brioche.

Japanese milk bread

Like I said, this recipe started with a milk bread dough.

If you’ve never had milk bread, it is essentially a form of white bread BUT IT IS SO SOFT AND FLUFFY.

Typically, it is made with a ‘tangzhong’ which is what makes it so soft and fluffy.

I love milk bread. I actually make a milk bread dough for anything that requires a dough: my doughnut recipes, my cinnamon rolls, sticky buns…literally anything that has bread, I use a milk bread dough for it. 

I just feel like it gives you the best results!

The top of one of the burger buns.

The tangzhong

In case you have no idea what a tangzhong is, let me give a quick explanation.

Tangzhong is just a mixture of flour and a liquid, this can be water or milk, that has been heated together until it turns into a thick paste. This is then added into the dough.

This just gives you much softer fluffier bread.

Honestly I don’t know the exact science behind it. All I know is that heating the flour and liquid together allows the starches in the flour to gelatinise. Which then allows your dough to absorb more liquid.

What does this mean exactly….who knows.

All I know is that it makes a huge difference in bread, it truly does make it so much fluffier.

Yes you can make fluffy bread buns without a tangzhong, but for this recipe you need to use it. Please don’t try leaving it out.

It is an extra step but it doesn’t take long at all and it is definitely worth it!

The inside of one the bread buns.

Ingredients for the bread buns

Most of the ingredients we are going to be using are your basic regular degular bread ingredients.

But there are a few I wanted to talk about:

The bread flour

For so long whenever I would make bread, it would turn out good, but not as light and fluffy as I wanted it to be.

Until I started using bread flour.

Bread flour has more protein in it than plain/all purpose flour. Because of this, bread flour will give your bread more structure, which allows it to hold it’s shape better in the oven.

So for these buns, I really recommend using it.

However, if you didn’t want to, plain/all purpose flour definitely will still work, the buns will still taste great!

The milk powder

I added a little bit of milk powder into the dough.

Milk powder is great in bread because one, it adds flavour.

But two, the milk powder acts as a tenderiser, it gives you softer bread. This is the main reason why I added it to this.

Yes it can be left out if you can’t find it, but if you can, use it. It will make the buns way better. 

Instant yeast

I like to use instant yeast instead active yeast. I just find it easier to use because I can add it straight into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

But if you are using active yeast, you will need to activate it.

To do this, just mix the yeast with the warm milk and leave this aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes it should look foamy, now you can add it into your bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

The egg yolk

I added a whole egg into my dough, as well as an extra egg yolk.

Just like the milk powder, the fat from the egg yolks will tenderise the bread, which again, will give you softer buns.

I know I keep using the words soft and fluffy, it’s because softness and fluffiness was my main goal with this recipe.

But anyway, the extra egg yolk just makes the buns softer and also adds some richness. Don’t try leaving it out!

1 unbaked bun before sesame seeds was added to it.

A few tips

Don’t let the yeast directly touch the salt

When using instant yeast, you just throw it into your bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

The only thing you need to remember is that you don’t want your yeast and salt to directly touch. 

The salt can kill the yeast, which we don’t want.

You don’t need to worry about this too much, just when you add the ingredients into the bowl add the yeast on one side, and the salt on the other side of the bowl. Don’t add them on top of each other!

Be gentle when forming the shapes

When you are forming the dough into small balls, you want to be gentle.

I don’t know if this is a thing, I don’t really see recipes talking about it. But I’ve found then when you are forming the shapes, if you squeeze or press the dough too much, it gets rid of the air which gives you less fluffy buns.

So when forming them into balls, be a little gentle. 

Let the buns cool after baking

I know the idea of fresh hot bread sounds nice, but let them cool down for a bit.

When it comes to baking bread, letting it cool before cutting into it is important.

Letting it cool allows the steam to escape from the bread, which we want. If you cut into it whiles it is still filled with steam, the bread can end up doughy/gummy.

The same thing will happen to these buns.

These buns are smaller than a loaf of bread though, so you don’t need to wait long. 10 minutes is good!

1 unbaked bun after it was brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

The egg wash

Before baking these buns, I brushed the tops of them with a beaten egg. Then I also sprinkled some sesame seeds on top, but you don’t need to add the sesame seeds if you don’t want too. 

I just wanted to mention, I used a whole egg for the egg wash. And by ‘whole’ I mean it was an egg white and an egg yolk, I don’t mean that I used the full egg.

You will have leftover egg, because you’re only brushing the tops of the buns with the egg lightly.

If you didn’t want to crack open a whole egg and then only use a tiny bit of it, you could instead just use the egg white that you already have leftover, because of the egg yolk in the recipe.

I don’t love using egg whites as an egg wash, your buns won’t brown as much. But if that doesn’t bother you, you can use the egg white.

If you are using the egg white though, I recommend adding a splash of milk into it, this will help the buns brown a little bit a more.

Here are a few other recipes I’ve posted recently:

Fluffy Burger Buns

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Makes: 6-7

  • For the tangzhong:
  • 20g bread flour

  • 100ml whole milk

  • For the dough:
  • 330g bread flour

  • 30g granulated sugar

  • 30g milk powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 8g instant yeast

  • 1 egg

  • 1 egg yolk

  • The tangzhong

  • 120ml whole milk, slightly warm (just heat it for 30 seconds in your microwave)

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened

  • Extras:
  • 1 egg, for an egg wash

  • Some sesame seeds (optional)

  • Some extra butter, melted (also optional)


  • Making the tangzhong:
  • In a pot add the flour and the milk. Mix these together then place this onto medium heat.
  • Heat this mixture, whiles stirring, until the mixture turns into a thick paste. This doesn't take long so don't walk away.
  • Leave this to cool down in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Making the dough:
  • Add all the ingredients into a large bowl, except the butter. Make sure to remember to add the tangzhong you just made.
  • Mix all this together until a dough forms, then add in the butter and knead for 15 minutes.
  • After the dough has been kneaded, place it into a slightly greased bowl, cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  • Forming the buns:
  • Once the dough has risen, you can form the buns.
  • Get a 100g piece of the dough and form this into a ball. Be gentle when forming it into a ball, you don't want to squeeze the dough too much. Place this onto a baking paper lined tray.
  • Repeat this until you've used all of the dough.
  • Gently cover the buns then leave them to rest in a warm place for about an hour. You don't need them to double in size, after an hour they should just look slightly puffier and feel softer.
  • Baking the buns:
  • About 10 minutes before you're ready to bake the buns, pre-heat your oven to 180c/350f.
  • Once your buns have rested, get an egg and whisk it. Lightly brush this onto the surface of the buns. If you want to add sesame seeds, sprinkle them on top at this point.
  • Bake these for around 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. After being baked I brushed the tops of them with some melted butter, it just makes them shiny and adds a little bit of extra flavour but you don't need to do this.
  • After that, let them cool for at least 10 minutes, then use them for whatever you want!