Potato burger buns are perfect for all of your burger needs this summer! Soft, squishy, and delicious, this super easy homemade potato bun recipe just cannot be beat!

Potato Burger Buns

I consider myself a burger bun connoisseur. Lover. Major advocate.

I’m especially a connoisseur of homemade buns.

Sadly, I’ve not had much luck in the past finding a really good recipe for said buns. My go-to version for years was more of a compromise.

It was good enough – and waaay better than any store-bought version, except for maybe Trader Joe’s brioche buns because oh lordie are those buns good! But that recipe didn’t excite me.

Potato Burger Buns

This was wholly due to the fact that no matter what I did, the proofed dough spread out and yielded flat-ish buns. Case in point with these veggie burgers.

I did went through the troubleshooting steps I could think of to get rounded buns:

  • Did not allow the dough to overproof.
  • Re-rolled the dough before the last rise.
  • Was careful to not push down on the dough when I brushed the tops with butter before baking.

Nothing worked.

Potato Burger Buns

So last summer, I decided that enough was enough with these lackluster buns! And I went off in a direction I wasn’t expecting to go: potato burger buns.

Now, if you’ve not ever eaten one of these buns, you need to get on this train!

The potato bun of my childhood was a bit of a luxury. If they were on sale and mom had a coupon, she would buy them. They’re big, soft, squishy potato buns…and taste nothing like potatoes.

I have always adored them. Kyle? Not so much.

Potato Burger Buns

And I don’t know why! He couldn’t put his finger on the…ahem…beef he had with them. (sorry.) So I threw all caution to the wind last summer, made these potato burger buns when he wasn’t around. I basically sneaked the potatoes into the recipe like I was cooking for a toddler or something.

And guess what? He absolutely loved them!

He bragged about them to our friends: “Did you know Tara MADE these buns? Yeah, she makes hamburger buns too!”

Why is it Called a Potato Bun?

The answer to this question is very simple! Potato buns are made with potatoes! For this recipe, I boiled cubed potatoes for 10 minutes, until they were tender when stuck with a fork. Then I mashed them and added the mashed potatoes to a flour-yeast-sugar-salt mixture.

The potatoes mix seamlessly into the dough and you would barely notice they are in the recipe at all.

Potato Burger Buns

What Kind of Potato to Use for Potato Buns?

For this recipe, I used Russet potatoes. You want to use a potato that is considered to be a “starchier” potato because the starch weakens the gluten in the flour to create a soft bun. 

To ensure these potato buns are soft and yet sturdy enough to hold a hefty burger like the one you see in my photos here, a high protein flour is also used. High protein flour – I used bread flour – also has more gluten so combining the starchier potato with more gluten will also help to strengthen the structure of the dough.

And thus you’re left with a both a soft AND sturdy potato bun. Win-Win!

Idaho potatoes would work well in this recipe too. In fact, potatoes that you would use for baked potatoes are perfect for this recipe. They are easy to find in all grocery stores and you don’t have to buy a 5 pound bag when you only need 1 pound.

I’ve seen some potato bun recipes that call for potato flakes. I’ve never tried making this type of burger bun with potato flakes. But, if you’d like to try a recipe that uses potato flakes, King Arthur Flour’s recipe seems to be a reliable one (as most of their recipes are!).

How to Make Potato Buns

Let’s talk about you make these buns, shall we? I already said that you need mashed potatoes. That’s step 1. Steps 3 – 8 are really basic steps, especially if you’ve made bread before. And if you haven’t, that’s ok too! I’m here to help! (For the full recipe, keep scrolling!)

  1. Boil cubed potatoes until they are tender. Reserve some of the potato water, drain the rest, and then mash the potatoes until smooth or pass them through a food mill. There should be no lumps at all in your potatoes or your dough could be lumpy.
  2. Measure 1 cup of the mashed potatoes into a bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons of butter, and cover the potatoes.
  3. In a stand mixer bowl, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Mix in the potatoes, the potato water, and 1 egg. Knead with the dough hook for 8 to 10 minutes on low speed.
  4. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot.
  5. Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces and cover while you roll each into a ball. Cover and rest the dough balls.
  6. Line the dough balls up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press them into patties. Cover and rest again.
  7. Preheat oven to 425° F. Brush the tops of the dough pieces with an egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake and then cool completely on a baking rack before slicing

Storing Potato Buns

If kept in a sealed bag at room temperature, your potato buns will last for 2 to 3 days. Remember, there are no artificial preservatives in these buns so they will spoil and dry out faster than store-bought buns will.

My recommendation is that you slice any uneaten, completely cooled buns and freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, toss them in a zip-top bag and freeze until you need them next. The frozen potato buns will keep well for about 2 months.

When you need them, either let them thaw at room temperature or warm them in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds in the microwave at medium power.

Potato Burger Buns

Admittedly, these buns don’t quite resemble the potato buns of my childhood. Maybe because this homemade version isn’t tinted yellow? But they are soft, squishy, sturdy, and downright delicious.

And those are really good things!

You just cannot beat the taste or texture of homemade bread and these potato burger buns will just rock your grilling season.

Potato Bun Recipe

Potato Bun Recipe

Yield: 9 large buns
Active Prep Time: 35 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Bake Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 1 minute
Potato buns are incredibly easy to make at home and turn out soft, squishy, and delicious. They're perfect for all of your burger needs! What makes this potato bun recipe both sturdy and soft is the use of bread flour, which adds structure to the dough because of the higher amounts of protein, and starchy potatoes, which help to bread down some of the gluten in the flour leaving you with a soft bun.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 ¼ cups (12 ⅓ oz) bread flour
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cover the potatoes with water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer 5 tablespoons of the potato water to a bowl then drain the potatoes and return them to the hot saucepan. Over low heat, cook the potatoes while shaking to remove the surface moisture, about 1 minute.
  2. Process the potatoes with a food mill or ricer (or mash well with a masher - they should be very smooth) into the saucepan. Measure out 1 cup of potatoes, add to a medium bowl and mix in the butter until melted. Throw a kitchen towel or some foil over the bowl to keep the potatoes warm.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the warm potatoes and mix with your hands until combined. Mix in 1 egg and the reserved potato water with the dough hook attachment and continue to mix on low speed until the dough is soft and a little sticky, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should still be warm.
  4. Remove the dough and shape into a ball. Lightly grease the mixer bowl and return the dough to the bowl, coating it lightly in the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until almost doubled in volume, about 30-40 minutes. Very warm kitchens will require less time.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, pat it into an 8-inch square, and cut the square into 9 equal pieces; separate the pieces and cover them loosely with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Working with one at a time, roll the dough rounds into a tight balls and return them to the work surface under the plastic wrap; allow them to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Firmly press each dough round into a 3 ½-inch disk, pushing out large pockets of air from the dough. Line the disks up on the baking sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to proof at room temperature until almost doubled in size, another 30-40 minutes. While the dough proofs, preheat the oven to 425° F with the racks in the two center positions of the oven.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water. Lightly brush the tops of the dough rounds with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through the time from top to bottom and front to back, until the buns are a deep golden brown. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool for 5 minutes then transfer the buns to the racks to cool completely before slicing.

Notes

I've doubled this recipe without any issues. The leftovers were sliced then frozen to thaw for burgers at a later time.

adapted from Cook's Illustrated