Amazing Potato Hamburger Buns: Created with a Bread Machine

Sneak Preview: Potato Hamburger Buns, crafted in a bread machine, are the ultimate upgrade for any cookout. Fresh potatoes are the secret ingredient that will make your burgers unforgettable.

stack of burger buns--some with sesame seeds, others plain.Pin

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Do you need an idea to make your next cookout memorable? Even if you’re having hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or grilled chicken, these homemade hamburger buns will definitely cause a commotion.

When I started making hamburger buns many years ago, I was distressed by their irregular appearance. But, as it turns out, the “homemade look” makes these buns even more charming and impressive.

If you get the texture and taste right, your buns will be a hit when you share them. The shape doesn’t have to be perfect, but I’ll show you how I shape a bun that works best for me.

Four Reasons To Give This Recipe a Try

  1. Buns not too flat or too round
  2. Light but sturdy texture
  3. Seeds on top hide imperfections.
  4. Use DOUGH cycle (bread machine) to mix and knead the dough; alternative methods available

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“Thank you for spending your morning, with me, making hamburger buns. As per usual with me, additions and substitutions occurred. Even with those, thanks to your step by step approach and excellent video, these look and smell as if they came from a really good bakery.” MELINDA


pulled pork sandwich made with a potato hamburger bun on a plate with FritosPin

Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients need for potato burger bunsPin
  • POTATOES:
    • Russet potatoes preferred; Yukon Golds OK.
    • Leftover mashed potatoes are OK, adjust for extra moisture.
    • For hot potatoes, add to bread machine first; pour cold milk over to balance temperatures.
  • MILK:
  • EGGS:
    • Always use large eggs; adjust liquid if using larger eggs.
    • Use less flour or add extra liquid for medium eggs.
    • Make adjustments as the dough mixes.
  • BUTTER:
    • Use salted or unsalted butter; adjust added salt accordingly.
    • No need to melt or warm butter; finely chop and add directly to dough.
    • Kneading will melt and incorporate the butter.
  • SUGAR:
    • Use granulated white sugar for lightly-sweet potato rolls.
    • Honey or maple syrup is untested; if using, possibly add more flour to adjust for moisture.
  • SALT:
    • Table salt or sea salt
    • If using Kosher salt, add an extra ¼-½ teaspoon.
  • BREAD FLOUR:
    • Bread flour recommended for sturdier buns.
    • Substitute with all-purpose flour for softer buns.
  • INSTANT YEAST:
    • Use instant yeast for bread machines.
    • Substitute with active dry yeast, adding an extra ¼ teaspoon.
    • Dissolving active dry yeast optional; if preferred, warm part of the recipe’s milk first.
  • SEEDS (optional):
    • Seeds enhance bun appearance and hide imperfections.
    • Favorites include sesame seeds, everything-but-the-bagel seasoning, poppy seeds, and dried onion flakes.

How To Mix and Knead the Dough for Potato Burger Buns with a Bread Machine

Start by baking a medium potato in your microwave. An 8-ounce potato will take around four minutes on HIGH power in a 1000-watt oven. The cooking time will vary according to the size of your potato and the power of your microwave.

preparing a fresh potato to add to the bread machinePin

Wrap the potato in a towel and let it sit for 5 minutes. Cut the potato in half and scoop out the innards. You need 1/2 cup of potato flesh. No need to mash the potatoes except to stuff them into a measuring cup.

all dough ingredients in the bread machine panPin

Add the dough ingredients to the bread machine pan in the order given, starting with the potatoes. It is not necessary to warm milk, egg, or butter. The friction of the bread machine paddles will warm everything in short order.

Close the lid and choose the DOUGH cycle. Press START.

clumpy appearance of dough after the beginning of the DOUGH cycle.Pin

Open the bread machine after the first minute or two to ensure the paddles are engaged, and the dough starts clumping together. If your dough looks like pancake batter, biscuit, or pie dough before you add the water, you have most likely made a serious measuring mistake. Add small amounts of liquid or flour until the dough clumps together.

dough is smooth and elastic toward the end of the kneading phase.Pin

The dough should be smooth, soft, and shiny toward the end of the kneading phase. If you touch the dough, it should feel tacky and bouncy. Watch how the dough sticks to the side briefly, then pulls away cleanly.

If your dough doesn’t look like this, add more liquid, a tablespoon at a time if it’s too dry, or more flour, a tablespoon at a time if it’s too wet. Read more about this step and watch the video if you need help assessing the dough.


How To Shape Hamburger Buns

Close to the end of the DOUGH cycle, check the dough. If it has doubled in size, remove it from the pan. If the dough has not doubled, leave it in the pan until it does.

moving dough from the bread machine pan to a floured surface for shapingPin

Pull the dough from the bread machine pan onto a lightly floured surface. (Silicone baking mats work well. Throw the dirty mats into the dishwasher when done.) Use your fingers to press the air bubbles out and form the dough into a rough ball.

portioning the dough for bunsPin

Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 8, 10, or 12 balls.

If you want your rolls to be a uniform size, weigh the whole ball of dough, then divide that amount by however many rolls you want. Although matching buns look pretty on a platter, offering differently-sized buns is a crowd-friendly, waist-line-pleasing option.

shaping roll to create tensionPin

Prepare a cookie sheet. Cover it with a silicone mat or parchment paper (my least favorite because it wrinkles when you smash the buns), or spray the pan with Baker’s Joy.

How to make round balls

  1. Place the dough in your left palm (if right-handed) and pull the dough from the bottom to the top.
  2. Pinch it together with your fingertips.
  3. Work your way around the ball, creating a round roll with tension. (See the video.)

Place the pinched side of the ball down onto the prepared cookie sheet.

arranging the rolls on a prepared cookie sheet.Pin

I like to place five balls on each tray, giving each ball plenty of space. Allow the balls to rest for 15 minutes before flattening them.

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flattening the balls with wax paper and a tool for flattening meat.Pin

After the balls have relaxed, use your fingers to flatten each ball down to ½ to 1-inch thickness. I get a more uniform “press” using waxed paper and a tool with a smooth bottom designed to flatten meat. You could improvise with a small plate, bowl, or pan with a flat bottom.

glazing the buns before baking.Pin

When the buns are puffy, coat them with the egg-water glaze. Be careful not to let the glaze drip onto the tray.

sprinkling the buns with sesame seeds.Pin

If using seeds, now is the time to sprinkle them on top. Bake at 400˚F (200˚C) for 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (88˚C) and the buns are evenly browned on top. You may need to rotate and turn your trays to achieve even browning.

baked buns covered with glaze and sesame seeds.Pin

Remove baked buns from the cookie sheet to a wire rack so the bottoms won’t get soggy. Use a serrated knife to slice before serving.


FAQ about Potato Buns

Can I use instant potatoes instead of fresh potatoes?

I find them a bit bland, but you can use instant potatoes as a substitute. Just prepare them as directed, making sure they’re drier than usual. Aim for the dryness of the inside of a baked potato. If you choose this alternative, it is imperative that you check the moisture content of the dough as it kneads.

What is the best way to store these buns?

These buns stay fresh for just 2-3 days as they don’t have preservatives. For longer storage, freeze them for up to a month. They preserve best when double-wrapped: first wrap each bun in plastic wrap, then place all of them in a larger plastic bag.

How do I toast homemade hamburger buns?

Split the buns horizontally and brush the cut with melted or spray-butter. Place each bun with the cut side down onto a hot skillet or grill to brown. Watch carefully to keep them from burning.

Can I substitute whole wheat flour for bread flour?

Partially. I don’t recommend substituting more than 1 cup of whole wheat flour for white flour. Going any higher than 50/50 could result in bun-shaped bricks. Another option is this recipe for whole wheat buns or these multigrain hamburger buns you can make in a bread machine.

Parting Thoughts: If this is your first attempt at hamburger buns, don’t expect perfectly round rolls with a silky smooth glaze and no drips. If your buns taste good and aren’t too dense, your family or guests will forgive any sins.


Recipe Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.


pulled pork sandwich on a potato burger bun made with a bread machinePin
Yield: 10 buns

Potato Burger Buns Mixed with a Bread Machine

These potato hamburger buns (mixed in a bread machine) are guaranteed to make your next outdoor party more memorable. They are soft but sturdy buns and flavorful without tasting like dessert. A fresh potato is the secret ingredient.

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Video

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Mixing and Rising Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 medium russet potato (7-8 oz)
  • ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (184 g) milk (any fat content)
  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon table or sea salt
  • 3 ⅓ cups (400 g) bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast

Egg Wash

  • 1 large (50 g) egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  • Place a clean and unpeeled 1 medium russet potato (7-8 oz) into a microwave oven. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 minutes (time may vary according to the size of the potato and the wattage of your oven) until the potato is soft and squishy. As soon as the potato is cool enough to handle, cut the potato in half and scoop out the insides. You will need ½ cup of slightly-mashed potato.
  • Add remaining dough ingredients: ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (184 g) milk (any fat content), 1 large (50 g) egg, ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter (chopped), 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1½ teaspoon table or sea salt, 3 ⅓ cups (400 g) bread flour, and 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast in the order listed. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START.
  • Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. Do this right after the machine starts to see if the paddles are correctly engaged and the dough is starting to form a ball.
    Recheck the consistency of the dough again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.
    If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.
    Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Find out more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
  • When the DOUGH cycle completes, if the dough has doubled in size, go to the next step. If the dough has not doubled in size, leave it in the machine until it doubles before proceeding.
  • Remove the dough from the pan onto a lightly-floured surface. Push the dough down with your palms to remove the bubbles. Shape into a smooth ball.
  • Divide the dough into 10 pieces, more or less depending on how big you want your buns to be. (Your buns will be more like slider buns if you divide the dough into 12 or more pieces.) Shape into round balls by pulling the dough from the bottom to the top and pinching it shut to create tension when you turn them over. Watch the video if you want to see how I do it. Place 5 buns on each of two prepared cookie sheets. (To prepare cookie sheets, cover with a silicone mat or grease with Baker’s Joy. Parchment paper didn’t work for me because it tends to wrinkle during the flattening process.)
  • Place each ball onto a cookie sheet. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Flatten the dough balls to less than 1-inch thickness with your palms or a small flat plate. I do this with a piece of wax paper between the dough ball and a flat meat pounder. (See picture above.) Cover with a tea towel to rise one more time.
  • About 15 minutes before you think the rolls will be ready to bake (when they are quite puffy), preheat the oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
  • Whisk 1 large (50 g) egg and 1 tablespoon milk together in a small bowl. Brush the glaze over the rolls immediately before you put them into the oven. Try not to leave any unglazed surface. Also, don’t use so much glaze that it drips onto the tray.
  • Bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (or 88˚C) and the rolls are golden brown all over.

Notes

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape it as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bun | Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 429mg | Potassium: 193mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 279IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hi:

    Is it possible to substitute dried instant potatoes in this recipe?

    Thanks! Love this technique!

    1. Hi Spring,

      So nice to hear from you.

      I haven’t tried it myself, but it would probably work. Since real potatoes contain more moisture, you will need to pay attention to the moisture content. If you haven’t already, be sure to learn how to judge the moisture in the dough as it kneads and how to fix it here.

  2. Jacqueline says:

    5 stars
    Another great recipe. Perfect hamburgers buns to serve with chicken or beef burgers. Thank you Paula.

    1. Thank you Jacqueline. You’re the BEST!

  3. 5 stars
    Hello Paula! Thank you for spending your morning, with me, making hamburger buns. As per usual with me, additions and substitutions occurred. Even with those, thanks to your step by step approach and excellent video, these look and smell as if they came from a really good bakery. They are cooling now. The wonderful aroma says these will be wonderful. Thank you very much!

    As an aside, you helped me feel worthy of a bread machine. After quite a while reading your blog and your suggestions I felt comfortable ordering the Zojirushi. I’ve practiced with all the included recipes. With your support I am now venturing into recipes I’ve made for decades by hand that suddenly failed me. I thought my bread making mojo was lost forever. Thank you for your recipes, your knowledge and your deep kindness. Everything I’ve tried has been a taste pleaser. Many, many thanks!

    1. Hi Melinda,

      What a pleasure to hear from you. I’m so glad you are once again back in the bread game. Your family and friends will be blessed. So happy your hamburger buns were good.

  4. I always use “Sandwich Thins” beca use we don’t like a lot of bread on our burgers. But I’m wanting to try these. Only problem is where is states “See video here” under “How to make round balls” there isn’t a hot link and even copying it takes me nowhere.

    TIA, Kat

    1. Hi Kat,

      The video is actually in the recipe. Scroll down a bit farther in the post. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear in the post. I’ll fix that as soon as I’m back home.

      I can relate to thinner buns. Cut the dough in smaller portions and smash them thinner. I do it all the time. Hope they turn out good for you.

  5. 4 stars
    The crust on mine isn’t as soft as what one buys packaged. How can I keep them softer?

    1. Hi Martha,
      Try putting them into a sealed plastic bag. I’m betting that will make the crusts softer as long as they weren’t baked too long to begin with. I’m hoping that works for you.

  6. 5 stars
    Two of my grandkids are with us for the weekend so we’re having sloppy joes for dinner! I made these buns and they turned out looking great with such little effort on my part. I made one little change – substituted one cup of bread flour with one cup of whole wheat flour. They look perfect! Thanks for the recipe and tips.

  7. Thank you for all the tips and tricks. I have been using my Mom’s bread machine for years, with lots of luck. Thank you again.

    1. You’re welcome! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions in the future.

  8. Very much appreciate the level of detail and photos you provide. You are making me a better bread maker. Thank you.

    1. You’re welcome, Lori. Glad to hear it!