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My favorite hamburger buns - airy, soft, thick, fluffy, and simply perfect. Plus, they can be made dairy-free.

Hamburger Buns (with dairy-free option)

These are my favorite hamburger buns. They’re airy, soft, thick, fluffy, and simply perfect. Plus, they can be made dairy-free.
YIELD 8 buns


  • 3 ¼ cups (450 g/16 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g/1.5 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 g/0.25 oz) instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup (120 ml) lukewarm water*
  • ½ cup (120 ml) lukewarm milk*
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup (55 g/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened or melted
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt

For topping:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds , optional


  1. Place flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix until combined. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and add water, milk, egg, and butter. Mix on low speed until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. If the dough feels too sticky, add more flour, but keep in mind that this dough should be quite sticky and will be easier to handle after resting. Add salt and continue mixing for another 8 minutes on low-medium speed. Dough should be soft and slightly sticky, and should stick to the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Place dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, and toss to coat (the fat will keep the dough from drying out). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place or on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  3. When the dough has risen, gently punch it to remove air. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions (each weighing 100 grams) and shape each one into a smooth ball. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, keeping as much space between them as possible. Cover and let rest for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 400F/200C.
  5. Create an egg wash by mixing 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water and ½ teaspoon sugar. Gently brush the tops of the rolls with this mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tops have a deep brown color (if you didn’t use an egg wash the tops won’t get as dark). Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer rolls to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  7. Rolls are best the same day they are made, but can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Recipe Notes

*Lukewarm water/milk should be around 110F-115F. If you don’t have a thermometer, it should feel lukewarm to the touch. You can heat them up together in the microwave or on the stove. Make sure the mixture isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast.

*For dairy-free buns, replace the milk with ½ cup lukewarm water for a total of 1 cup, and the butter with ¼ cup canola/vegetable oil. It will be just as good!