Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns



  1. In a small saucepan, gently heat the honey, butter, and milk over low heat until the butter is just slightly melted. Don’t boil or simmer this mixture– you want it just barely warm.
  2. Place the yeast in a mixing bowl. Check the temperature of the honey/milk mixture. It should be warm, but not the slightest bit hot. If you put your finger in the mixture and it’s even the tiniest bit uncomfortable, allow it to cool down to around 100 degrees before adding it to the yeast. Otherwise, you’ll end up with dead yeast and flat buns.
  3. Mix the lukewarm honey/milk mixture into the yeast and stir well. Add the egg and salt. Gradually add in the flour, mixing and kneading as you go.
  4. I add flour very cautiously, as it is easy to add too much. Too much flour results in dry, crumbly buns.
  5. Once the dough gets to the point where it is forming a ball, but is still pretty sticky, I let it rest for 2-3 minutes. The whole wheat flour tends to soak up more liquid as it sits, so giving it a few minutes allows the flour to soak up liquid and prevents you from adding too much. After this resting period is complete, I go back in and add more flour if needed.
  6. I like my whole wheat dough to be slightly stickier than my white flour doughs–not so much that it is goopy and sticking to my fingers, but just slightly “tacky.” I’ve found that if I keep adding flour until it’s perfectly smooth (like white flour dough), the end product is often too dry.
  7. Knead 6-7 minutes, adding flour as needed. Cover the dough ball and allow it to rise in a warm place for one hour.
  8. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 8 portions (12 if you like smaller buns). Roll each portion into a ball, then flatten it. (I flatten mine right on my baking stone, which is what I will bake the buns on.) You could also use a baking mat or a piece of parchment paper.
  9. Cover the dough circles and allow them to rise 30 minutes in a warm place.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees in a preheated oven for 12-18 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure you aren’t overcooking them–golden brown is good, hockey pucks are not.
  11. A minute or two before they come out of the oven, you can brush them with melted butter and sprinkle on some sesame seeds or rolled oats. This isn’t necessary, but definitely makes for a pretty end product.
  12. NOTE: I usually use organic hard white wheat flour for this recipe–it’s a bit more mild than hard red wheat. However, feel free to play around with a variety of flours–you could even use white flour or a mixture of whole wheat and white.
  13. NOTE: You can use water in place of the milk, but usually use milk since it creates a softer bun.