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 my m are those buns so good! But that recipe didn’t excite me.

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.

Potato Burger Buns

I went through all 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.

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.

What is a Potato Bun Made of?

These potato buns are made of potato, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs.

Potato Burger Buns

The butter and eggs in this recipe are similar ingredients to what you find in an enriched dough recipe, like brioche. They add flavor and richness to the dough, and help to make the buns soft. 

To also 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 needed. High protein flour – I used bread flour – has more gluten than all-purpose flour, so combining a 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!

What Kind of Potatoes 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. 

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 1/2 pound.

I’ve seen many potato bun recipes that call for potato flakes. I’ve never tried making this type of burger bun with potato flakes because they’re not an ingredient that’s easy to find.

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!).

Potato Burger BunsThis post may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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 made bread before, that’s ok too! I’m here to help! (For the full recipe, keep scrolling!)

STEP 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. Measure 1 cup of the mashed potatoes into a bowl, mix in 2 tablespoons of butter, and cover the potatoes.

STEP 2: 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. Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot.

STEP 3: Divide the dough into 9 equal pieces and cover while you roll each into a ball. Cover and rest the dough balls.

STEP 4: Line the dough balls up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and press them into patties. Cover and rest again.

STEP 5: Preheat oven to 425° F. Brush the tops of the dough pieces with an egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

STEP 6: 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, with your favorite burger and some secret burger sauce, will just rock your grilling season.

Burgers for Your Buns

OK, so you’ve made your burger buns. Now it’s time to make some burgers! Some of our favorites include these bacon burgers with bacon onion balsamic jam, these marsala burgers, the pressed Cuban burgers we’ve been making for almost 20 years, and the always phenomenal BBQ chicken burgers.

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 break 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

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  • Shirley
    April 27, 2018 at 7:56 PM

    Tried your recipe and turned out really well. Best hamburger buns we’ve ever eaten. Will definitely make this every time now. Thank you for sharing!

    • Tara
      May 3, 2018 at 1:39 PM

      Yes!! These are, by far, the best we’ve ever eaten too! And I’ve made at least 5 different burger bun recipes in the past – none of them compare to this one! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment, Shirley!

  • Gijs
    June 3, 2018 at 10:13 PM

    I’ve attempted this recipe twice now, but I get flat buns that burn on the base. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, I’ve followed it to the letter! Help?

    • Tara
      June 4, 2018 at 11:19 AM

      It sounds like your oven temperature may be off (happens pretty frequently). Do you have an oven thermometer to test the temperature? If that’s not the problem, you could try stacking 2 baking sheets together. This would create an insulated pocket of air between the 2 sheets and would help to prevent the bottom of the buns from getting too hot.

      With regards to them being flat, can you tell me about what the dough looks like? Is it rising properly and is your yeast still good (i.e. not expired)? And in Step 5 of the instructions, are you pushing the air bubbles out of the disks? Air pockets that burst inside the buns while baking can make them deflate and cause them to be flat. Also, deflation can happen if the dough overproofs in either the first rise but more commonly in the second, after you shape the dough balls. If your room is really warm, it’s possible that your buns are rising faster than in the time I’ve indicated in the instructions so by 30-40 minutes of time, they may have overproofed. Overproofing will cause them to be extra puffy (i.e. too much air inside) and they will deflate in the oven. Let me know what you think!

  • Gijs
    June 4, 2018 at 1:48 PM

    Thank you for your reply! I sent a message with pictures to your Instagram account so you can see how they look!

  • Lisa A.
    August 10, 2018 at 10:18 PM

    I added 1/4 tsp. Turmeric to give the rolls a more yellow color. The amount is so small that you can’t taste it.

    • Tara
      August 29, 2018 at 1:46 PM

      Great idea!!

  • Tessa
    January 13, 2020 at 4:00 PM

    How would fresh yeast affect this recipe? Could I use that in place of the dry yeast?

    • Tara
      January 14, 2020 at 8:33 AM

      Hi Tessa! I’ve never used fresh yeast so I would suggest first checking your package of fresh yeast to see if there is a conversion equation. The conversion is different for instant and dry active yeast so be sure to use the calculation for instant since that’s what this recipe uses. If there isn’t conversion instructions on the package, you can try a 2:1 ratio of fresh to instant (I found this info on the Cooks Illustrated website). It’s best to weigh the yeast in grams rather than measuring it by volume in teaspoons when you’re converting it. Let me know if you have other questions! And please come back to let me know how these buns turned out for you using the fresh yeast – I’d love to know!

  • Steph B
    February 2, 2020 at 3:08 PM

    I made these today using active dry yeast since that’s what I keep on hand. I bloomed 2 1/4 tsp yeast with the 5 tbsp of potato water (cooled to 110°F), and divided the sugar so I could add 1 tsp to the yeast mixture and the other 2 tsp to the flour mixture. After sitting for 10 mins, I added the yeast mixture to the stand mixer after the warm potatoes. I hope that helps!
    The buns turned out really beautifully, and I borrowed the tip from another review to add 1/4 tsp turmeric for colour. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Tara
      February 10, 2020 at 8:59 AM

      Yay! So happy to hear you loved these buns! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review and some very helpful tips, Steph!

  • Raven
    April 11, 2020 at 3:06 AM

    I can’t seem to find bread flour anywhere. Would using all purpose flour be fine?

    • Tara
      April 12, 2020 at 8:33 AM

      Yes, you can use an equal amount of all-purpose flour. The buns will lose a little of their “chew” that the bread flour gives (it has a higher protein content, which makes bread chewy), but the AP flour will work perfectly fine. I hope you love this recipe!

  • Sibylle Blumenthal
    April 12, 2020 at 8:21 AM

    Tried them today and they came out perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

    • Tara
      April 12, 2020 at 8:29 AM

      Fantastic to hear! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a review, Sibylle!!

  • Vanessa
    April 15, 2020 at 9:19 PM

    I don’t have a stand mixer, any alternative if mixing by hand?

    • Tara
      April 19, 2020 at 2:13 PM

      Hi Vanessa, Yes, that should work but it will take a bit longer to knead by hand rather than using a stand mixer. Let me know how these turn out for you! Happy baking!

  • Amanda
    May 1, 2020 at 9:26 PM

    Can I cream potatoes with a hand mixer? I don’t have a food mill or a ricer.

    • Tara
      May 1, 2020 at 10:34 PM

      Sure! I don’t see why not. Just try not to overbeat them. You want them to be fluffy, not gummy, which can happen with a hand mixer. Happy baking!

  • Adrien
    May 6, 2020 at 2:19 PM

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was just wondering. The ingredient section mentions ½ lb russet potatoes so approximatively 225 g of potatoes. And then, we should be having 1 cup of mashed potatoes i.e. approximatively 325 g. Am I mistaking ? Thank you

    • Tara
      May 10, 2020 at 2:08 PM

      Hi Adrien! I haven’t measured the mashed potatoes by weight so I can’t say for sure but remember that the potatoes will absorb water when they cook so the cooked potatoes will weigh more than the uncooked potatoes. I hope this helps! Please let me know how these buns turn out for you! Happy baking!

  • Magnus Kjeldsen
    May 17, 2020 at 8:47 AM

    How much water is required in this recipe? I’m using fermented potato-mash and I dont have the potato water available anymore 🙂

    • Tara
      May 24, 2020 at 12:09 AM

      5 tablespoons – see step 1.

  • DMain
    May 23, 2020 at 10:14 PM

    The best burger buns yet! I halved the recipe for four beautiful buns to host my barbequed burgers. Nice outer crust that holds the soft flavourful interior together with juicy meaty burgers and condiments. Soft like brioche, but enough body to hold all the burger makings together.
    I wont make burgers with any other bun recipe…THANK YOU!!

    • Tara
      May 23, 2020 at 11:51 PM

      You’re SO welcome! I’m so happy to hear they turned out so well for you – this totally makes my day! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a review!

  • Tyler Robb
    June 17, 2020 at 9:01 PM

    Hello,

    My buns always turn out small and dense I’m following your recipe aside from using a stand mixer. I am mixing by hand. Do you think I should knead longer? Not sure what to do?

    • Tara
      June 20, 2020 at 12:25 PM

      Hi Tyler! Yes, if kneading the dough by hand, you’ll need to knead it longer to really work the potato into the flour so the gluten proteins has a chance to relax during the rise and allow the dough to rise more and produce a softer bun. You’ll want to knead it for about 10 minutes by hand. A few other suggestions: 1) Check the expiration date on your yeast. 2) Make sure the potato isn’t really hot when you add it to the flour – that could kill off the yeast. 3) Ensure your kitchen is warm enough to allow for a good rise. If your AC is on, you might need to proof the dough in a warm oven. To do this, turn the oven to 200 degrees F for 3 minutes, turn it off, and the put the bowl of dough in there to proof. Let me know how these buns turn out after you make some adjustments! I’m happy to brainstorm with you further until they’re perfect for you. 🙂

  • tyler robb
    July 4, 2020 at 10:00 PM

    Thanks so much they turned out better this time but not perfect, I only got 6 buns out of the recipe too. Should I let it proof longer? I let it go for about 50 minutes in my kitchen and it definitely rose but it still didn’t seem like enough for 9 buns?

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