Whole Wheat Burger Buns

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These homemade vegan whole wheat burger buns are fluffy, soft and healthy, and they are perfect for that delicious veggie burger you just grilled up. Vegan, soy-free and nut-free recipe.

Photo of homemade vegan burger buns nestled in cheesecloth in a straw basket.

Summer is all about grilling, and you can't find a better bread to cradle that delicious veggie burger you just cooked up than this vegan and whole wheat burger bun.

This is an amazing bun: soft, fluffy, and it slices into half perfectly. You can make it either part whole-wheat or all-whole-wheat, and get a great result either way.

You can easily customize this recipe to get the right texture for your bun: soft, or slightly crusty. I'll show you how.

Photo showing a sliced whole wheat burger bun in closeup.

What you'll love about this vegan burger bun

  • It's delicious and flavorful.
  • It's half whole-wheat so actually good for you.
  • It's customizable for texture--make the buns softer or crustier, depending on how you like them.
  • It's easy, you don't need to be a skilled baker--but follow instructions closely, especially if you are a new baker.
  • They are great for warming up on the grill--sturdy, and you don't have to worry about them falling apart under your fingers, the way some buns do.
Photo of two vegan veggie burgers made with whole wheat burger buns on a white plate.

Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour
  • All purpose flour
  • Active dry yeast
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional, for topping the buns)
  • Vegan butter (optional, instead of the oil, for softer buns)
  • Nondairy milk (optional, for softer buns)
Closeup photo of a vegan whole wheat burger bun

Tips and steps for foolproof burger buns

  • Follow instructions. I can't repeat this enough. Especially if you are a new baker, and until you understand baking well enough to tweak ingredients, just follow the recipe.
  • You need whole wheat flour for this recipe and you can use the regular whole wheat flour you can buy off the shelf or, if you have it, use a softer whole wheat like the durum whole wheat flour sold for rotis. That's because it is finer textured and will create a bun with a more delicate, softer crumb. The buns you see in the photo above were made with regular whole wheat flour and they are soft and fluffy and slightly crusty. The buns in the photo below (from when I posted this recipe earlier 10 years ago) were made with durum whole wheat flour). For softer buns, also check out further instructions in the FAQ section below.
Three perfect vegan burger buns nestled in a wicker basket.

Make the buns

  • Burger bun dough rising in bowl
  • Burger bun dough risen in bowl
  • Burger buns rising on baking sheet
  • Burger buns rising on baking sheet
  • Burger buns brushed with oil and milk
  • Bloom the yeast: To make the burger buns, begin, as you will most bread recipes, by "blooming" the yeast in lukewarm water with a bit of sugar added in to feed the yeast. You need to wait five minutes and make sure the yeast bubbles and froths, indicating it's alive. If it doesn't, the yeast needs to be replaced.
  • Sift in dry ingredients: Once the yeast has bloomed, sift in all the dry ingredients--flour, baking soda and salt. If the bran stays back in the sieve, just add it back in to the flour as you want it in there for a healthier bun.
  • Knead the dough: Mix all the ingredients by hand or with a dough hook set to medium speed, then slowly trickle in the remaining lukewarm water until a soft, supple dough forms. You might not need all of the water depending on where you are and the weather outside. I usually use up all of the 1 ½ cups but this time I made the buns on a humid day and needed about 2 tbsp less.
    You just need to knead the dough for three minutes once it comes together, then add the oil, mix it in until incorporated. Form the dough into a ball, put in in a covered bowl coated in oil and set it aside in a warm spot in your kitchen for two hours, during which time it should more than double.
  • Shape the buns: Once the dough has risen, gently fold it over itself to deflate it. Form into a ball again, then divide into eight pieces. Shape each into a smooth ball. Place the buns on a baking sheet (preferably lined with parchment) side by side with at least two to three inches between each bun. You can flatten the tops of the buns slightly with your fingers, if you wish. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and return to a warm spot until the buns have doubled, about an hour and a half.
  • Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sprinkle on the seed topping (optional): You can bake the buns as they are, but if you like a seed topping, make a mix of one teaspoon oil, one tablespoon nondairy milk and a quarter of a teaspoon of maple syrup in a bowl. Brush this on the top of each bun. The sprinkle on sesame or poppy seeds over the top of each bun.
  • Bake the buns: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Let the buns cool thoroughly on a rack before eating.

FAQs

How can I make the buns softer?

To make the buns softer, replace ½ cup of water with lukewarm milk and the vegetable oil with softened vegan butter. You can also use just all purpose flour and leave out the whole wheat flour altogether for a softer bun.

Can I make these buns all whole wheat?

Yes, absolutely. Just use three cups of whole wheat flour, skip the all purpose. Also add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten along with the whole wheat flour, which will give you fluffier buns.

Can I make the buns bigger or smaller?

You can shape these into six larger buns or 12 smaller buns, which will be more like slider buns. If you make smaller buns, cut down baking time to 22 minutes.

Will these hold up on the grill?

These buns are soft but crusty and sturdy and yes, they do beautifully on the grill.

Veggie burger patty recipes to serve the buns with

Overhead photo of whole wheat hamburger buns nestled in cheesecloth in basket.


Whole wheat hamburger buns in a straw basket nestled in cheesecloth
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Whole Wheat Burger Buns

These homemade vegan whole wheat burger buns are fluffy, soft and healthy, and they are perfect for that delicious veggie burger you just grilled up. Vegan, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
Course Bread
Cuisine Vegan
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Hamburger Buns, Vegan Burger Buns, Whole Wheat Burger Buns
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8 buns
Calories 188kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water (sub ½ cup water with nondairy milk for softer buns)
  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (sub with 1 tbsp room temperature, softened vegan butter for softer crust)

Instructions

  • Mix the sugar, ½ cup warm water and the yeast in a mixing bowl and set aside for five minutes or until the mixture starts to froth, indicating the yeast is alive and well.
  • Sift all the flours, salt, and baking soda into the bowl. Knead on low speed in a stand mixer or by hand for about 3 minutes, trickling in 1 cup of water until you have a dough that's smooth and supple. You might not need all of the water.
  • Add the oil and continue to knead until the oil has been absorbed by the dough, about 1 more minute.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat all over with oil, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm spot for 1 ½ hours until the dough has more than doubled.
  • Fold the dough over itself to deflate. Form into a ball again, then divide into 8 equal sized pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball.
  • Place the buns on a baking sheet that's either been lightly greased or is lined with parchment. Space the buns at least a couple of inches apart. Flatten the tops slightly with your fingers, if you like. Cover the buns loosely with a kitchen towel and set them in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 370 degrees.
  • Before the buns go into the oven, you can sprinkle seeds on the tops of the buns if you like. To do this, mix 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tbsp nondairy milk and ¼ tsp maple syrup in a bowl. Brush the tops with this mixture, then sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on the tops.
  • Place the buns in the oven and bake 25 minutes. Remove the buns to a rack and allow them to cool thoroughly before serving.

Notes

  • Double or triple the recipe to make more buns. Don't change rise and bake times.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bun | Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 2mg

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