I love a good beef burger covered in cheese and barbecue sauce inside a homemade burger bun. Fluffy onion sweet potato buns topped with seeds are perfect for burgers, chicken salad, pulled pork, or bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast melts. Skip the squished store-bought buns and mix up a batch of these seeded buns for your next cookout.
This recipe is featured in my cookbook, “The Southern Baking Cookbook” and is a fun twist on backyard burger buns. The dough is super easy to handle, the seeded tops add a little crunch and new twist to the classic sesame bun, plus they taste amazing.
Ingredients You Will Need for the Buns
Fresh Sweet Potato
I added roasted sweet potato puree to my hamburger bun dough for a little sweetness and added flavor.
I love the little chunks of onion and subtle taste enhancement it gives to the bread. You can chop yours small or or diced. Just remember as you cook them in the skillet they will shrink some.
Active Dry Yeast and Warm Water
Active yeast needs warm temperature around 105-110 F to be ‘activated’. Anything hotter will kill the yeast.
A couple tablespoons of sourwood honey added to the warm water gives the yeast a little boost.
All Purpose Flour and Bread Flour
I chose a mixture of all purpose flour and bread flour for a nice structured bun that isn’t too soft nor too firm.
Unsalted Butter and Eggs
The eggs create a richer tender bread dough. While the butter acts a tenderizer and adds more flavor to the buns.
Can I make the buns bigger?
This recipe makes 12 burger buns that are about 3.5 inches wide and the perfect size for a single serving. If you are making very wide, flat burger meat or prefer a wider bun, simply divide the dough into 8 or 10 pieces instead of 12.
Follow all the steps exactly the same as you would for making 12 buns. Just monitor the baking time and add 2-4 additional minutes for the larger buns if needed. Buns are baked when golden brown.
How to Store Hamburger Buns
Homemade buns are best enjoyed the day they are baked. If you have leftovers, place the cooled buns in an air tight container or sealed plastic bag. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days of freshness.
Homemade Burger Buns
- ½ large sweet potato
- 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose four plus more as needed
- 2 cups (250 grams) bread flour
- 2 tsp (6 grams) sea salt
- 8 tbsp (112 grams) unsalted butter room temperature, divided
- 1 cup (52 grams) yellow onion diced
- 2½ teaspoon (8 grams) active dry yeast
- ¾ cup (180 ml) water warmed to 105 to 110F (40 to 45C)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) sourwood honey
- 2 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon water
- To make the buns, preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sweet potato on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the sweet potato for 20 minutes, until it is fork-tender.
- Let it cool enough to handle, and then scrape out the flesh. Transfer the sweet potato flesh to a blender and blend until it is smooth. Measure ½ cup (122 g) of the sweet potato puree, then set the puree aside.
- Next, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Set the flour mixture aside.
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons (28 g) of the butter. Add the onion and sauté it for 20 minutes, or until it has become a caramel color.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and allow the onion to cool to room temperature.
- Prepare your dough by first stirring together the yeast, water, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until it is foamy.
- While the yeast mixture is resting, lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Set the bowl aside.
- Add the remaining 6 tablespoons (84 g) of butter, eggs, sweet potato puree, and sautéed onion. Mix the ingredients together at medium speed until they are combined.
- Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and slowly spoon in the flour mixture while mixing the ingredients at medium-low speed.
- Once all of the flour is added, increase the mixer’s speed to medium-high and beat the dough for 6 to 8 minutes, until a smooth, elastic dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl.
- Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free location to allow the dough to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- Line a rimmed large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly dust a work surface with flour.
- Then lightly coat the top of your hand with flour. Gently press down on the dough with your floured fist to release any excess air.
- Weigh the dough and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Cup the palm of your hand over a piece of dough and lightly roll it in a circular motion on the prepared work surface to create a smooth ball.
- Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
- Place the buns on the prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover the buns with a light tea towel and allow them to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 30 minutes, or until they have doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, make the topping. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, poppy seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, and onion powder. Set the topping aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). While the oven is preheating, make the egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to stir together the egg and water. Very gently brush each bun with the egg wash, and then sprinkle the buns with the topping.
- Bake the buns on the oven’s middle rack for 28 to 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the buns to the rack to completely cool.