Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns Recipe

I’ve really been working on eating fewer processed foods lately, and one of the projects I’ve started to tackle is baking my own bread products. I’m certainly no expert yet, but I was pretty proud of my hamburger bun baking efforts last week.

I’ve made whole wheat hamburger buns once before, and though they tasted good, they were really heavy. So I went in search of a better recipe to suit my needs, and after a little tweaking, I came up with a hit.

I started with the Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. Then I combined it with a homemade dough enhancer recipe from Chickens in the Road and the overnight grain soaking method used in Nourishing Traditions. And this is the masterpiece I came up with.

Homemade Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns Recipe
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 3 hours
Total time: 27 hours
Ingredients
  • 5+ cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (I used hard red wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. dough enhancer
Instructions
  1. Ground 3 1/2 cups of hard red wheat berries. The general rule is that 1 cup of wheat berries will yield 1 1/2 cups of flour, so I ended up with a little more than 5 cups of flour.
  2. Soak 3 cups of flour in 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar overnight
  3. Combine the yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup of warm water, then let it sit 10 minutes, so the yeast could start to work.
  4. Melted the butter, milk, and salt on the stove. It’s important not to let the milk mixture get too hot.
  5. Place the dough from the night before, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and 3 tablespoons of dough enhancer into the mixer bowl and knead with the dough hook.
  6. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour into the mixer until everything is combined.
  7. If the dough is too gooey, add a little more flour as needed.
  8. Continue to knead for 10 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 100 degrees and then turned it off. When the kneading is done, cover the mixing bowl with a towel and place the bowl in the oven for an hour.
  10. Roll out the dough on floured counter until it was about 1/2 inch thick.
  11. Cut the dough into circles.
  12. Place the dough circles on greased cookie sheets and let them rise for about 45 minutes.
  13. Bake them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

My Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns Adventure

Ok, so this is what actually went happened with my first attempt…

First I ground 3 1/2 cups of hard red wheat berries in my handy dandy Wonder Mill (I love that machine)! The general rule is that 1 cup of wheat berries will yield 1 1/2 cups of flour, so I ended up with a little more than 5 cups of flour.

flour

Then, in keeping with traditional food preparation techniques, I wanted to soak the flour overnight. I’m not very experienced in adapting recipes, so I decided to wing it. I knew I couldn’t add extra water to the flour, as that would ruin the recipe. And I didn’t want to mess with the original recipe too much, either. So I soaked 5 cups of flour in 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar.

In retrospect, I’m not sure the soaking did a lot of good, since there was so much flour, compared to the water. Next time I think I’ll soak three cups of flour and add the final two cups of flour to the recipe un-soaked.

The next morning, I combined the yeast, honey, and 1/4 cup of warm water. I let it sit 10 minutes, so the yeast could start to work. Meanwhile, I melted the butter, milk, and salt on the stove. It’s important not to let the milk mixture get too hot.

10 minutes later, my yeast looked like this.

yeast

Perfect!

I placed the dough from the night before, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and 3 tablespoons of dough enhancer into my KitchenAid Mixer bowl. I love that machine, too! I began to knead with the dough hook, until everything was combined.

The dough was still a little gooey, so I added in the leftover flour from my wheat grinding session the night before. It was the perfect amount, probably about a half a cup. I didn’t measure. I continued to knead for 10 minutes.

It was a cool day, so while the dough was kneading in the mixer, I preheated the oven to 100 degrees and then turned it off. When the kneading was finished, I covered the mixing bowl with a towel and stuck the bowl in the oven for an hour.

I rolled out the dough on my floured counter until it was about 1/2 inch thick. Then I cut it with a wide-mouthed canning jar. In retrospect, that was a bit small, so I’ll be looking for something bigger to cut the dough with next time.

I placed the dough circles on greased cookie sheets and let them rise for about 45 minutes. Then I baked them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes and came out with hamburger bun perfection!

The Final Product

The buns were a bit small for our burgers, but they tasted great! They were wheaty tasting, no doubt due to the hard red wheat I used. But unlike my last hamburger bun experiment, these were light and fluffy. I will definitely be making this recipe again, though I’ll make the burger buns bigger next time.

For a less wheaty taste, you could try hard white wheat instead of the red wheat. I just happened to have red wheat on hand, so that’s what I used.

Too bad grilling season is just about over. I think I could eat these every week and not get tired of them!

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.



Author

By , on Aug 30, 2010
Lynnae McCoy I'm Lynnae, wife of one and stay-at-home mom of two. I'm committed to getting out of debt by being frugal with my choices in life.

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{8 Comments}

  1. Lorie:

    Thanks for the recipe. I made these for dinner tonight and they turned out great. Mine were huge! I think next time I’ll try the wide mouth mason jar.

  2. Joni:

    Good to know. I love whole wheat breads and hate paying 3.00 a loaf at the store and sometimes they are not fresh. I have used whole wheat flour before but my bread seamed packy and heavy. Is that what the enhancer is for? Is the soaking only for digestion? I thought maybe it helped with the heaviness. I would certainly be interested in more recipes like this.

  3. These look awesome Lynnae. I may try to make the dough in my bread maker, cut the dough into the proper size and shape, then freeze the dough between pieces of wax paper and bake whenever I need a fresh bun. Yummy.

  4. The wheat hamburger buns seems awesome. It’s really just a matter of time before I can make time to actually make these. Blogs are so great to find recipes.

  5. paula:

    Wondering about soaking the flour overnight, what is that all about???

    • Lynnae:

      It’s supposed to make the wheat easier to digest.

  6. Lynnae:

    I sure hope I can freeze the buns, because I put a bunch of them in the freezer!

    I bought the dough enhancer ingredients at Fred Meyer, which has a pretty good health food section. I’m sure you could find them at any store with a health food section.

  7. AngelSong:

    This is a recipe I’m going to have to try! I need to get a WonderMill first…and where do you buy the ingredients for the dough enhancer? I bet you could also freeze these buns for a short time if necessary.

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