Foolproof Sourdough Burger Buns

The challenge this month for Sourdough Surprises was to bake a bun, any kind of bun. I have had a personal challenge baking buns. The last couple of times I tried sourdough buns the shape was all wrong. I figured I had too much liquid and tried to fix that but it did not help. I was a little skeptical about my chances of doing this right.

Then I had a brainwave. I found a sourdough bun recipe and used it to mix the dough. After that I did not follow the recipe. You see, in the last few months I have tried a few bread recipes from Flour water salt yeast written by Ken Forkish. He recommends folding instead of kneading, 5 hour bulk fermentation followed by overnight proofing in the refrigerator. I decided to follow the same steps for the buns as I had done for the bread. I have to say I really like the results. I have to thank sourdough surprises for motivating me to try baking buns again. I have baked these buns twice now with identical results.

The dough was sticky and wet when it was mixed. After the third fold it had a lot of structure and held its shape well. After the bulk fermentation it was fairly easy to handle and shape.

Dividing the dough into identical portions was easy. First I flattened the dough a little into a shape of a circle. I then cut pie shapes out of it to get identical shaped portions. It is much easier to cut a circle than a square or rectangle.

The shaping of the dough used to be a challenge for me until I found two helpful sources. The first is a video on shaping bread and the second is a visual picture guide for shaping dinner rolls. I followed the visual guide to shape the buns and then I followed the video to create surface tension in them by sliding the buns on the work surface.

The shaped buns were covered and refrigerated overnight. Next morning they went from the refrigerator to the oven with a few minutes on the kitchen counter while the oven preheated.

You will need (For 10 buns)
200 gm 80% sourdough starter
365 gm water
80 gm sugar
1 egg yolk
80 gm olive oil
660 gm bread flour
16 gm salt

sesame seeds
egg white from 1 egg

In a bowl combine the starter and water. Mix the sugar, egg yolk and olive oil. Sift the flour and salt. Add it to the wet ingredients. Mix until all the ingredients are blended in, cover and keep aside. In the next hour fold the dough 2-3 times. Bulk ferment for 4 more hours. Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the risen dough on to it. Divide into 10 equal portions. Shape each portion into a bun and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Cover the baking sheet and put it in the refrigerator to proof overnight. Take the baking sheet out of the refrigerator the next morning. Preheat the oven to 375 F while the buns rest on the kitchen counter. Wash the buns with the egg white and sprinkle a few sesame seeds on each one.

Bake for 30-33 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Cool on a rack and use as needed.


  1. They look great! I'm becoming fan of the folding method too, although I'm only half way there, still doing some kneading before folding during the rise.

  2. Beautiful job! Your buns look perfect, and I bet they were very delicious, too! Thanks for baking with us again this month!

  3. Great job! I do some stretching and folding too when I have a particularly sticky dough. Great method.

  4. Hey, we used the same recipe! Your buns look wonderful - isn't it amazing what some folds and a long, cool rest can do for bread dough?

  5. Wonderful job! And cold fermentation--fancy!

  6. They look absolutely perfect! I am in awe!


Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

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