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Easy To Make Sourdough Discard Hamburger Buns – So Soft & Fluffy!

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These light and soft Sourdough Hamburger Buns are made with simple pantry staples, brushed with olive oil, and baked to perfection. They’re perfect for any occasion – from weeknight dinners to weekend barbecues. Whether for sandwiches, burgers, or alongside dinner, these buns are soft, buttery, and absolutely delicious!

5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
5 star rating
“Made these for pulled pork sandwiches yesterday. Omg, I don’t think I can go back to store bought buns ever again. Everyone ate every single bun. Soft and delicious. I’m making another batch today.”
six hamburger buns on parchment paper with two stacked behind and a knife

These sourdough hamburger buns are a year-round classic and a family favorite (alongside our no knead sourdough bread, of course!). Originally, this recipe started as hoagie rolls for my mom’s catering business and quickly became a hit! Now, even 30+ years later, these soft buns are still in high demand among our friends and family.

They’re simple, delicious, and perfect for any occasion. Plus, they’re super easy to make and only take a few hours from start to finish. Ideal for summer holidays, weeknight dinners, weekend barbecues, and picnics. These buns are just SO GOOD!

* Don’t Have An Active Starter? Start Here:

If you don’t have a sourdough starter on hand, don’t worry! You can easily make your own with our comprehensive guide on How to Make Sourdough Starter in 5 Days. Having an active, healthy starter is essential for successful sourdough baking, and the flavor and texture are incomparable to store-bought alternatives.

Once you have your own homemade starter ready, you’ll be all set to bake these hamburger buns and explore all of our other sourdough recipes like sourdough biscuits, sourdough waffles, even sourdough bagels!

pile of hamburger buns on parchment paper with vase of wheat behind

What’s The Difference Between A Sourdough Hamburger Bun and A Regular Bun?

Well, a hamburger bun (or burger bun) is a type of enriched, yeast-risen bread that is shaped in a small boule the perfect size to hold a hamburger and it’s toppings!

A sourdough hamburger bun is the same premise, but instead of being bland and boring, as most tend to be, using your sourdough discard adds a wonderful flavor to these little bread buns that make them truly irresistible.

What Makes These Sourdough Hamburger Buns So Good?

  • Years of experience and testing. My mom first delved into the world of sourdough over 30 years ago and has developed so many different recipes over the years. From something as simple as sourdough pancakes to our latest creation…pumpkin sourdough bread!
  • Easier to make than you might think. While most sourdough bread recipes can be tricky to make, require a practiced eye (or hand), and take a couple of days to complete, this recipe is the EXACT opposite. Over the years, my mom has refined this recipe to only 12 steps, 8 ingredients, and 3 hours or LESS of your time.
  • Diet friendly options. We have thoroughly tested a vegan/egg-free version of this recipe using aquafaba in place of the eggs, a sugar free version, and one that was both egg-free (with aquafaba) and sugar-free. They all work incredibly well. You still get a wonderful bun. The only difference we found is that when we removed the sugar, they weren’t quite as tender.

What Our Readers Are Saying:

two stacked hamburger buns on parchment paper with more behind

8 Essential Ingredients in These Sourdough Hamburger Buns

Feel free to skip straight to the recipe. But if you’re new to baking bread, sourdough, working with yeast, or just feel like you need a bit of a refresher, the following explanations are things my mom and I have learned over the last 20+ years and can help you understand more about the ingredients and their usage in bread baking! 😊

  1. Bread Flour – has the extra protein needed to strengthen this dough and give it structure.
  2. SAF Gold Instant Yeast – is our go-to yeast for any enriched dough recipe! It gives a little stronger rise to the dough.
  3. Kosher Salt – enhances the flavor, strengthens the gluten helping the bread to hold its shape, and controls the rise by slowing down the yeast growth and reproduction.
  4. Sugar – plays a very important role in this dough. It weakens the gluten structure to create tenderness and a fine texture, retains moisture which keeps the bread interior soft and moist, and helps with browning.
  5. Warm Water – helps to develop the protein in the flour.
  6. Sourdough Starter – doesn’t contribute much to the rise because it is the discard, but it does add a wonderful flavor!
  7. Olive Oil – adds fat, flavor, and helps with browning.
  8. Eggs – are a binder and also add moisture and structure. They are an essential component of enriched dough.
eggs, vegetable oil, water, flour, sourdough starter, yeast, sugar, and salt on marble counter

A Quick Overview On Making These Buns

Sourdough can be one of those intimidating things to conquer. Before you dive into it, here’s a quick overview on just how simple this recipe really is.

  1. Make the dough. Read below to learn when specific ingredients need to be added and how it should look after each addition.
  2. Knead the dough. We are looking for a smooth, silky dough. In an electric mixer, this takes about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Cover and let the dough rise. The dough typically rises in about 1 hour in a relatively warm environment.
  4. Divide & shape into balls.
  5. Brush with oil and let rise for about 1 hour.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

How To Make Sourdough Hamburger Buns Step-by-Step

Step 1: Prepare dough

Combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in bowl of electric mixer fitted with dough hook.

Add the sourdough starter, eggs, oil, and water. Mix on low speed until combined and a rough dough is formed. Increase the speed to medium-high and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, or until smooth.

Step 2: Prove

Place dough in dough rising bucket that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put the lid on. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Step 3: Shape and prove

Turn dough out and use a bench knife and digital scale to divide into 2 1/2 ounce pieces.You should have about 23 pieces of dough. From there, gently pull the dough with both your hands and fold the seam under to form a ball. Pinch together with your hand, and place on the counter. Gently roll the dough, seam side down, with your hand until it becomes smooth.

Place the dough balls in greased pan. Brush the tops with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Step 4: Bake

Bake in 400 degree oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

baked hamburger buns in pan


I don’t have a mixer. Can I make this by hand?
While it’s much easier to make these buns in a mixer, they can be made by hand. Keep in mind that it will take a lot longer to knead, and it’s a lot of work. However, if you’re working on your arm muscles, it’s a great workout!

Can I shape these differently? Such as into hot dog buns, hoagies, etc?
Absolutely! Even though this recipe is for buns, you can easily change the shape for your needs. It works great as a loaf bread, buns, hoagies, hot dog buns, even cinnamon roll dough! Remember that changing the shape will affect cook times.

Can I use a different flour?
Of course! All-Purpose flour works great. Just be sure to check the protein content of the flour. We don’t recommend going any lower than 11% because it will affect the structure of the bread.

Can I make these buns without yeast?
Yes, you can; but rising times will be much longer. Just keep this in mind!

Can I top these buns with sesame seeds?
Absolutely! We like these buns plain, but you can definitely add sesame seeds on top before baking.

How can I tell when my dough is kneaded properly?
A properly kneaded dough should be smooth and shiny. The bowl of the mixer should also be VERY clean and the dough should lift out of the mixer in one piece, rather than ripping into two pieces.

The dough is still soft! Do I need to add more flour?
Have you been kneading the dough long enough? Is it smooth and shiny? If it’s not, keep kneading! You really don’t need to add anymore flour to this recipe. It’s an enriched dough, which it means should softer.

My dough isn’t rising in the times stated in the recipe card!
The recipe card/post states the times it took our dough to rise. We live in Texas. So, it tends to be a bit warmer here and doughs generally take less time to rise. I promise there’s nothing wrong with the dough! Just let it do its thing, but if you really need it done, try placing near a warm oven. The warmth from being near the oven will help it rise faster. Just don’t put the dough in the oven!

hamburger buns on parchment paper

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When you make these Sourdough Hamburger Buns, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

Happy Baking!
x, Caylie

six hamburger buns on parchment paper with two stacked behind and a knife
4.66 from 100 votes

Easy To Make Sourdough Discard Hamburger Buns – So Soft & Fluffy!

Light, fluffy, soft, and easy to make! These delicious Sourdough Hamburger Buns are truly the best part of any sandwich. Ready in just a few hours, requiring only simple ingredients, and definitely a crowd pleaser. There's no way to not love these amazing buns!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 23


  • cups bread flour*
  • Tablespoons SAF Gold instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • cups warm water, 105℉
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs


  • Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in bowl of electric mixer fitted with dough hook.
  • Add sourdough starter, eggs, oil, and water.
  • Mix on low speed until combined. 
  • Increase speed to medium-high.
  • Knead dough for 8-10 minutes, until smooth.
  • Place dough in dough rising bucket that has been sprayed with cooking spray and put the lid on.
  • Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Turn dough out and use a bench knife and digital scale to divide into 2-1/2 oz. pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a ball and place seam side down in bun pan that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. (If you don’t have a bun pan, a rimmed sheet pan will work fine.)
  • Brush tops with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  • Bake in 400 degree oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes + Tips!

*This recipe was written using an average of the dip and sweep method for measuring flour and the spoon and level method. If you are using a scale, you will need to add 3/4 oz or 22 g  to the measurement for each cup of flour.
  • Room temperature is about 70℉.
  • Use an oven thermometer to ensure accurate cooking temperatures.
How To Store:
The wonderful thing about these buns is that they store wonderfully! You can keep them in the fridge in a zip-top bag or go ahead and freeze them in a freezer safe bag!
When you want to reheat them, allow the buns to come to room temperature OR place in the microwave for 15-30 seconds in high power. The amount of time the bun takes to thaw depends on how frozen it is, but they do reheat very well!
  • To make this recipe vegan, you can use aquafaba instead of eggs! You will need about 4 ounces of aquafaba. Follow the instructions in the recipe card as stated, just using aquafaba instead of the eggs.
Our Best Tips For Success:
  • If you don’t have bun pans, you can use a rimmed sheet pan.
  • If you don’t have a dough rising bucket, you can use a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap.
  • A digital scale will really help with getting these buns all the same size. However, you can just “eyeball” it if you’re not super picky.
  • A bench knife is a great piece of kitchen equipment. It will cut through the dough easily and allow you to move it without it sticking. If you don’t have one, you can use a sharp knife to divide the dough; but it won’t be as easy.
  • To force the dough to spread out into the pans and not go straight up, top each plastic wrap covered pan with another sheet pan and set something heavy on top to hold it down. (We use cast iron skillets.)
  • Use a pastry brush to brush the olive oil on top of the hamburger buns!


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 154kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 210mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  1. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out perfectly outstanding! This will be my go to recipe for EVERY occasion!
    😊 Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Made these for pulled pork sandwiches yesterday. Omg, I don’t think I can go back to store bought buns ever again.Everyone ate every single bun. Soft and delicious. I’m making another batch today.

    1. Hi Andy! We’re so happy to hear you loved this recipe 💛 It’s one of our absolute favorites and we make these buns all the time. I hope you find more recipes to love on our blog! We actually have a few other easy sourdough recipes. You can find them by searching, “sourdough” on our blog! Thanks for making our hamburger buns 😊 x, Caylie

  3. I’m curious, is this basically the same as a yeast roll or bun? And if not how can I make it a yeast bun? I just remember the awesome yeast rolls made in school when I was younger and had tried to recreate it for many years unsuccessfully. My first attempt was sourdough so far so good. I was also told that if I dry out some of the starter and grind it up and put it in a bag I can put it in the freezer and have starter ready to be fed indefinitely.

    1. Hi Ellen! These are sandwich buns. I’m not sure exactly what kind of rolls you had when you were younger, but these are my grandmother’s yeast rolls. I think they are probably closer to what you are looking for. If it’s specifically a sourdough roll you are looking for, I don’t have a recipe up for those yet. In terms of drying out your sourdough starter and freezing it, sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn’t. Your best bet is to keep a jar of starter in the refrigerator. Just start feeding it a couple of days before you want to cook with it to refresh it. You can keep a starter indefinitely. I’ve had mine for nearly 20 years. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. I was wondering if you can freeze the dough itself after shaping them and letting them rise? I read that you can freeze them once they are baked, but didn’t see anything about the dough part.

    1. Hi Brandy! I’ve tried it with varying results over the years. At best, I was able to freeze them not proofed for about a week and still have them work. I don’t recommend it. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  5. Can you make this into sandwich bread? If yes does the recipe do one loaf or two? This is my families favorite buns so I thought Ide try it as sandwich bread. Any tips

    1. Hi Nichole! You can absolutely make this into sandwich bread! I do it on a regular basis. It makes 2 9-inch loaves. There is no difference in anything except scaling the dough. Just divide it in half and put it in the pans. I usually use a bench knife to shape mine a bit, but that’s not really necessary. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  6. 5 stars
    I just started with sourdough and these buns are amazing. Just need to make them smaller. They were a huge hit with everyone and I am so happy that they are easy to make with the kitchen mixer. Thank you

    1. Hi! We’re so happy to hear you enjoyed these sourdough buns. We have a few other easy sourdough recipes on our blog, if you’d like to check them out! Just tap our search bar and type in, “Sourdough”! Thank you for making our recipe, we hope you find lots of things to bake and enjoy on our blog 🥰 x, Caylie

  7. I did add extra flour after kneading over 10 min as the dough was still too sticky. They turned out soft and delicious! I will make again. I don’t have a bun pan so I used my rimed cookie sheets with no problem at all.

  8. Hi! Would it be possible to start the dough in the morning, let it rise all day, and then place it in the fridge for a longer ferment? I’ve seen several comments about leaving the yeast out but I didn’t see any that said anything about doing so and then doing an overnight ferment. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Paige! I have never done this dough that way. My first thought is that it would be over proofed. If you decide to try it, let me know how it comes out.

  9. Is it possible to leave out yeast and just let rise a longer time frame? Want to make dough ahead and take to bake somewhere else

    1. Hi Trish! If you keep your starter dormant in the refrigerator and only use it occasionally, you need to be sure to feed it for a couple of days before using it to refresh it. You can use the discard from the refreshed starter to bake with. Never feed your starter and try to use it immediately. If you are in a hurry or doing multiple bakes during a day, you can use it a couple of hours after you feed it if you leave it at room temperature after feeding. If you have any more questions, please let me know.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious buns!! They were simple to make and turned out great. The hubs gave them a thumbs up!!!