Thursday, August 5, 2010


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A rather tippy veggie burger, with all the trimmings, made with one of my new thin buns.

I've been meaning to try some "sandwich thin"-type buns for a long time, and finally got inspired to adapt one of my favorite burger bun recipes-- one I've used for over 25 years! The recipe was an old "yeast batter bread" recipe. In those days, you made a yeast-leavened batter and just rose it for 30 minutes, then formed the bread or buns, rose again briefly and baked. These were tasty enough, but I figured that they could be improved upon by using the newer no-knead bread techniques. The longer rising time with the new techniques develop the gluten and the flavor.

I chose this recipe because it was 100% whole wheat, vegan already (many sandwich bun recipes contain egg), it was "tried and true", and it is fairly soft (due to the added potato). It worked very well, though some might say they aren't big enough for some burgers. I added an option to make bigger buns, if you like. But these just fit the burgers I had around and I thought it was great that the bun didn't overwhelm the other tastes. The bun was soft, but held together well and didn't get soggy.

I did a little research, and whole wheat burger buns seem to range from 110 calories to 210 calories. Mine are 98 calories for the smaller ones and 130 for the larger ones. If you want to raise the fiber level, you can add 1/4 cup of wheat bran to the batter with no ill effects. At any rate, you can control the ingredients, and they certainly are easy and cheap to make! My freezer is now sticked with burger buns for quick meals!

Printable Recipe

Servings: 24
Yield: makes 18-24 buns

These are half the calories of many ordinary sandwich buns, 100% whole grain, and 1.5 ww points! Also, very good!

1 Tbs dry active baking yeast (or 3/4 Tbs instant yeast)
1 cup warm water
2 cups warm nondairy milk
1/4 cup instant potato flakes
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs maple syrup or unbleached sugar, or 1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground flax seed, preferably golden flax
4 cup whole wheat flour (NOT pastry flour), regular or white whole wheat
Soy, hemp or nut milk for glazing tops
OPTIONAL: sesame seeds or other desired topping

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add to the soymilk in a medium bowl, along with the potato flakes, oil, syrup or sugar, and salt.

Add the flour and ground flax and stir with a heavy wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk until well mixed, but rough looking. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 2 to 18 hours.

First mixing

After 2 hour rise

Then refrigerate the dough, well-covered, for at least 3 hours and up to a week.

When ready to bake, take the dough from the refrigerator. With floured hands, dump the dough out on a well-floured surface and, coating the dough lightly with flour as you go, pat the dough out into a large rectangle about 3/8" thick. Cut the dough into rounds with a 3 1/2-inch cookie cutter (or a 4-inch cutter if you want 18 larger buns).  Here's a set of round cutters that goes up to 4 and 7/16-inches.)

Carefully transfer to baking sheets lined with baking parchment and sprinkled with flour or cornmeal. The rounds should have a little room around them, unless you like them softer, in which case you can have them barely touching.

Note: You could also use a hamburger bun pan, either with 3 1/4” molds (for 24 buns) or 4 1/4” molds (for 18 buns).

Pat down the dough in the center of each round, so that they don't make big "humps" in the middle when they rise.

Sprinkle the rounds lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, or place the pans inside of large food-safe plastic bags,and let rise 40 minutes, while you heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Ready to bake

Brush the buns with nondairy milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds or other topping. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on racks. When serving, slice them in half horizontally with a sharp serrated knife.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving [1 of 24 buns]): 98.3 calories; 19% calories from fat; 2.2g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 169.2mg sodium; 131.7mg potassium; 17.3g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 1.7g sugar; 14.3g net carbs; 3.8g protein; 1.5 points.

If you make 18 larger buns (4" across) the nutrition facts are as follows: Nutrition (per serving [1 of 18 buns])): 131.0 calories; 19% calories from fat; 2.9g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 225.6mg sodium; 175.6mg potassium; 23.1g carbohydrates; 4.1g fiber; 2.2g sugar; 19.0g net carbs; 5.0gprotein; 2.1 points.



Heather said...

These look fantastic! I love a good bun, but am always hesitant to waste all those calories on the bun, when they could be spent on extra filling. And the thin ones they sell in the store just aren't that tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Those look so good! And easy to do. Now I don't have any excuse to have the store-bought ones.

julie hasson said...

These look great Bryanna! I was just thinking about a healthy/low point/calorie burger bun, and this looks like just the ticket.

Søren said...

They look scrumptious Bryanna. I must try these out!

Meghan said...

these look great and i've been looking forward to trying them, but i have a question. can the instant potato flakes be omitted or subbed?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Meghan, the potato helps lighten up these whole grain buns, so don't omit it! Use 1/4 cup of mashed cooked potato (with no milk in it) and omit about 2 3/4 tablespoons of liquid from the recipe.

Dori said...

mmmmmmm... wow!

K said...


I used quinoa flakes instead of potato flakes, and the buns turned out perfectly. Such a phenomenal recipe!

Thank you!!!

elizabeth said...

I just mixed up this dough, it was very wet, like a thick pancake batter ,should it be this wet? Do you know how much flour you use in grams or oz?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

elizabeth, no-knead doughs are quite wet. That's why I write: "With floured hands, dump the dough out on a well-floured surface and, coating the dough lightly with flour as you go, pat the dough out..." I measured 4 cups of my whole wheat flour, which came to 543g. I looked up a cooking conversion table for that amount and they said it was equal to 4.5 cups. So, it varies a little.

elizabeth said...

Oh good, just making sure. I'm sure it will be fine to work with once it is chilled. I'll let you know how they turn out. Thank you for the grams measurement.

elizabeth said...

Strange, I just measured out 4 cups of my Bob's Red Mill organic wholewheat bread flour and it was 589 grams, so I used over 100 grams more than you do?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

No, mine was 543 g.

elizabeth said...

Thanks for pointing that out, I totally read the number wrong, corrected it in my notes.

elizabeth said...

I baked these up this morning. They are nice inside with holes like an english muffin. For some reason, the scraps I rerolled rose better and looked like yours, the cuts I baked first were too flat. Next time I might knead the dough a few times when I take it out of the container from the fridge and before rolling, also might try white ww flour.

Dori said...

Yeah! I missed this one back in the day, running to the kitchen. :-)