Bake your own Burger Buns


I don’t know about others, but I feel a sense of liberation when my maid calls her day off. My brain starts buzzing with plans of things I want to cook to make the most of her absence, dishes that I prefer prepping for myself even when she is there. It doesn’t include making roti. You’ll be surprised the lengths I’ll go to just to avoid cooking our daily bread. To keep me in good spirits Kumari, the maid, calls off often enough and I get to break the routine roti-dal-subzi meals. Like today.

In an ideal world, she’d take all Sundays off but I’m glad that she usually let’s me know ahead. This Saturday she informed me that she was planning to take Monday off. I started planning! 🙂 I finished off the leftovers last night. Today there will be pasta for lunch – the tomato sauce is simmering gently on the stove. I might fry some eggplant, if I feel inclined [later: I didn’t.]. Dinner is going to be vegetarian burgers with home-made buns. Lately, I have been on a pantry-cleaning mission and ingredients that have been around for a long time are getting special attention. Every bottle of spice, or blends, and every container of strange ingredients sitting around, is destined to be consumed before the summer is out. With the second fridge also chock-full, that might well be wishful thinking but I should certainly have a cleaned-out pantry before the year is out. Then I can look forward to stocking it up again with new ingredients from near and far.

One of the ingredients that has been sitting forlorn in the pantry is bhat, the black soybeans I carried home from my work-trips to Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand) last year.  I tried a recipe for bhat ki churkhani twice but none of us took to this bean.  It is bland, doesn’t soften on cooking, and we are too used to soft-cooked beans and dal that I just didn’t know what to do with the lot. One day last month, obviously feeling bright, I soaked some again. After cooking and tasting a few I was disappointed to find nothing had changed. 😯 They were still as bland as I remembered. Could I make ghugni, a popular snack in Bengal and Bihar, as Kumari was suggesting? I din’t think the garnish and seasoning was going to take bhat too far. The black-beans reminded me of the lentil burgers that I make. I decided to keep it really simple: just bhat, one potato, half an onion, and some seasoning. They turned out so good that very soon after I bought more soybeans (white-variety, this time) from the Uttarakhand stall at Dastkar to replenish! [So much for emptying the larder!]

I’m making the burgers again tonight for dinner with my homemade 50-50 wheat buns. I wouldn’t have it any other way, maid or no-maid. 🙂 These buns make the burger.  Leftover buns can be fozen.


Burger Baps
(makes 10-12)

4 t active yeast
3 t sugar
1 1/4 C lukewarm water
1 C milk
5 t neutral vegetable oil
1 t salt
2 C maida (or APF)
2 C atta (wholewheat flour)
2 T wheat gluten (skip, if you don’t have. The buns will be a bit denser but none the worse for it.)
additional flour for dusting the counter
melted butter (or milk) to brush buns
sesame seeds (optional)

Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the water and let stand till frothy, 10 minutes. In a bowl sift together the flours (and wheat gluten, if using). Add milk and oil, and the yeast mix and combine to make a wet, sticky dough. Generously dust the work counter and turn the dough onto it. Knead, turning the dough as you do so, till you have a soft and smooth ball of dough. Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover. Let rise till doubled, about an hour (in a hot kitchen, such as mine in May).

Dust the work counter lightly and turn out the risen dough on it. Divide into 10-12 equal pieces. Roll each into a flattish ball. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Place the balls on the baking sheet. Brush with butter (or milk), and top with sesame seeds, if you want. Dust with some flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise till double in size, about 45 minutes. If you want perfectly round buns, space them far apart so they won’t touch (like mine did) on rising.

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 10. Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden on top. Cool before slicing.

Serve with burgers of choice, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, a slice of cheese, pickles, and fries.  These refrigerator pickles make an excellent accompaniment.

veg burger 03

11 thoughts on “Bake your own Burger Buns

  1. These buns (which my phone wanted to autocorrect to bums) look wonderful! But I’m more interested in the burger. I have some vegetarian visitors in the next month and I can’t think beyond eggplant and, unfortunately, it’s a vegetable they avoid. Burger recipe next, please?

    Really, or you are poking fun at all my auto-correction blunders?

    Will message you the burger recipe – easy-peasy. 🙂

  2. Awesome!!!! I love the fact that it does not have the egg white glaze like most of them do. Envious that you have a bai to do your phulkas…I make them everyday 😦 . Recipe for the lentil burger and the pickled veggies are bookmarked as well. That picture got me hungry!

    Egg does give a nice shiny glaze but then I don’t know what to do with the leftover-egg, so I rarely use it. A milk-wash can give a good enough if dull colour.

  3. Anita,The buns look perfect!! Can Wheat Gluten be substituted with anything else to make it less dense???? Keep the posts coming.

    Rameshwari: It’s ok to leave wheat gluten out of this recipe since it has only 50% atta. The gluten is vital when using a 100% atta recipe. If you want to have lighter rolls, increase the proportion of maida. It’s just that using more atta makes you feel less guilty about the bread.

  4. What delicious buns! And filled they look even better. Love the simple filling too.

    Try the recipe, Poornima – it is really not much work even.

  5. Anita, these buns are on my to do list but the elongated kind to stuff it with some smoked chicken/turkey and cheese which an Amish market here makes. They are delicious but they discontinued chicken & turkey because of lack of demand. Now I have to make them myself.

    Your recipe looks fantastically easy and no excuse not to make them.

    ISG, make them in any shape you like and stuff them with whatever you like – it’s such a dependable recipe! They are good even toasted and buttered.

  6. I’m happy these days when my help takes off – I can sleep in longer, or maybe not because my body clock is set. I enjoyed reading the post. Don’t think I’ll ever get round to baking bread or buns.

    Getting to sleep-in a big plus! As also the quietness!
    The buns are easy – try them once and you’ll be able to do them in your sleep soon!

  7. The buns looks soft. Once I get back to baking bread, I’m going to give this recipe a shot. Can I get the burger recipe please. Thanks !

    Do try, Suganya. There’s a bean burger recipe here which is good. This time I tried an even simpler one with only black soybeans.

  8. The buns look very good. I’ve made burger buns once before but the burgers (beef) themselves weren’t up to the standard so I’ve never made burgers at home since then. I was so worried about salmonella, I’d overcooked the burgers. Plus, the seasoning was off.. as in non-existent. Maybe I’ll try this with the bean burgers. Do you use the same bean patty recipe which you’d posted earlier?

    BTW, my brother is in IIT delhi for a couple of weeks and is complaining about the heat..

    It is horribly hot in Delhi right now: 45 degrees at 10 in the morning! The IIT Campus should be at least 4-5 degrees cooler than the rest of the city though.

    The bean patty here is very good but then I had this stash of soybeans that I didn’t know what to do with. The burgers turned out very good and I’ve already tried them twice. Soybeans+potato (just 1)+ginger+garlic+cayenne+garam masala and done!

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