How to Make Whole Grain Sourdough Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns

These sourdough hamburger and hot dog buns will take your sandwiches, BBQs, and cookouts to the next level. They offer much more flavor and a heartier texture than anything you can buy in the store!

I can think of two horrible ways to ruin a perfectly good burger: fake cheese and a wimpy, soggy white sandwich bun. It’s like putting plastic and paste on what should be a glorious handheld vehicle of nourishment.

The same is true for quality, nitrate-free hot dogs and sausages. They aren’t cheap, and cheap white buns are simply an insult to their appeal.

Solving the fake cheese dilemma is easy. Just use real cheese.

But the buns? Well, unless you live near an artisan bakery, you’re left with a couple of options: use leaf buns (like lettuce, but we prefer cabbage) or make your own. 

And while it might sound intimidating to make your own hot dog and hamburger buns, I can assure you that no special skills are required. Especially when you make them with your sourdough starter!

In fact, once you have the basics down of making a great sourdough sandwich bread, moving on to these whole grain sourdough hamburger and hot dog buns is a great next step.

Their hearty flavor complements your sandwiches, their texture holds up well to burger and hot dog toppings, and they’ll leave you so much more satisfied than any white pasty bun has ever done before. Give them a try at your next cookout, BBQ, or burgers and dogs night. I think you’ll be hooked!

Homemade Sourdough Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns

This recipe makes enough for 16 sandwich buns, but it can certainly be halved to make a smaller batch.

If you’re cooking for a group or big family, one great idea is to make half the dough sourdough hamburger buns and the other half sourdough hot dog buns.

You can find a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, so don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom.

hamburger bun close up

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups whole grain flour (I use about 2 cups whole oat with 6 cups whole wheat, ground in my WonderMill, but you can simply use all whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups active sourdough starter
  • 1 ¾ cups milk, buttermilk, or thinned yogurt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup water
  • Butter or oil to grease pans and for shaping the sandwich buns

Instructions

  1. In a large stand mixer, combine 6 cups flour, salt, and wet ingredients and allow to mix and knead for a few minutes. Gradually add more flour until a moist dough forms and holds together (remember that moister is always better with sourdough!).
  2. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl to rise for about 8 hours, or overnight.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into two even sections. For hot dog buns, butter 9×13 pan(s). For hamburger buns, butter large cookie sheets. Or, if you’re making both buns, butter one of each pan.
  4. Shape the dough as follows:
To Shape Hot Dog Buns

hot dog buns after rising

Hot dog buns after the second rise, right before baking

Divide the halved dough into 8 even sections. With lightly buttered or oils hands, roll the section gently between your palms until it is about 6-7 inches long. Place in the buttered pan, and repeat until all the dough sections are shaped and evenly placed in the pan.

To Shape Hamburger Buns

hamburger buns after rising

Shaped hamburger buns before the second rise

Divide the halved dough into 8 even sections. With lightly buttered hands, gently roll the dough into a ball, then begin to gently and evenly flatten with your fingertips until the dough is about 4-5 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick. Place on a buttered baking sheet, and repeat until all the dough sections are shaped and evenly placed on the pan, just lightly touching.

  1. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel away from drafts and allow to rise until doubled, usually around 4 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400, then bake the buns for 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from the oven and gently brush with butter, then remove from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. For softer buns, cover the buns as they cool with a kitchen towel.
  4. Slice, fill with meat and sandwich fixings, and enjoy an incredible sandwich at home!

With these sourdough sandwich buns, you’ll so be completely spoiled by incredible sandwiches at home that going out for burgers may never be the same again. 

You’ll look at those pasty, soggy pieces of processed white bread, smile, and remember that you can make something so much better yourself.

Some might say that’s a downside. But I don’t think you’ll regret it. 

If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out these other sourdough recipes:

Yield: 16

Whole Grain Sourdough Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns

hamburger bun close up

Say goodbye to soggy, pasty buns and treat yourself to these amazing sourdough hamburger and hot dog buns. You can beat their taste and texture!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6-8 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 2 teaspoons quality sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups active sourdough starter
  • 1 3/4 cups milk, buttermilk, or thinned yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Butter, coconut oil, or other fat for greasing pans and shaping buns

Instructions

  1. In a heavy duty stand mixer, combine 6 cups flour and all other ingredients (except butter/oil for greasing) and mix according to mixer directions.
  2. Add additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a moist dough forms and holds together.
  3. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, covered with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 8-10 hours, or overnight.
  4. Punch down the dough and divide into two sections. Shape as described in the notes below.
  5. Allow the buns to rise while covered until doubled, or about 4 hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F, then bake buns for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Remove from oven and brush with butter (optional), then remove from pans and cool on wire racks. For softer buns, cover the buns with a lightweight kitchen towel while they cool.
  8. Split, fill, and enjoy a delicious sandwich!

Notes

For sourdough hot dog buns:

  1. Divide the halved dough into 8 sections.
  2. With lightly buttered hands, gently roll each piece until it is around 6-7 inches long.
  3. Place each piece in a buttered 9x13" baking dish to rise.


For sourdough hamburger buns:

  1. Divide the halved dough into 8 sections.
  2. With lightly buttered hands, gently shape each piece into a round ball, then flatten the balls until they are around 4-5 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.
  3. Place each piece on a buttered cookie sheet to rise.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1329Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 343mgCarbohydrates: 276gFiber: 39gSugar: 8gProtein: 51g

This information was automatically calculated based on ingredients and does not take sourdough fermentation into account.

Have you ever made your own sourdough sandwich buns?

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9 Comments

  1. I had high hopes for this recipe, but mine turned out as hockey pucks. Back to searching for another recipe. What a waste of fresh milled flour.

    1. Hi Becky. I’m sorry these didn’t turn out for you! I’ve made my share of hockey pucks, too, so I understand the disappointment. There can be a few reasons why sourdough breads and buns turn out hard. The dough might have too much flour in it, which is very easy to do if you don’t have a lot of sourdough experience. It’s possible your oven bakes faster than mine. And sometimes the air humidity and flour texture come into play, too. If you care to try again, my best suggestion is to leave your dough on the wetter side when you first mix it up. The whole grain flour absorbs quite a bit of the extra moisture as the dough ferments, so by the time you punch down and shape it, it’ll be easier to handle. Best wishes.

  2. Do you bake both items at the same time in the oven? Or is this temperature and timing meant for each batch to be baked individually?

  3. Do you know what the weight equivalent is for the measurements? I’ve just started my sourdough journey and have only been using weight to measure things successfully, I don’t want to mess it up 🙂

    1. Hi April. I don’t use weight for measurements, mostly because I’m making sourdough for my family, not for a professional bakery. There are advantages to weighing flour and water when you need the most consistent, reliable results. But as a home baker, sourdough is so forgiving and flexible that I personally don’t find it necessary. I just go for feel, which I realize takes practice.

  4. I have this going right now?. I wanted to know if your recipes have a print button I am missing(which I have been known to do) or do I need to copy myself to print. If not would you consider putting that option on them? Thanks for the great info!

    1. I don’t right now, Shonna. It’s one of those things on my blogging to do list, but I just haven’t done it yet. I will try to get something up soon for easy printing!