The Sheet Pan Tip For Perfectly Shaped Homemade Burger Buns

Homemade burger buns have a charm all their own. Not only are they deliciously fluffy, but they also offer you the freedom to customize them to your taste. One of the biggest advantages is the ability to shape the buns as you like. While traditional burger buns are known for their dome top, sometimes a flatter shape is more practical and provides a better eating experience, especially if you love a good wide burger with lots of toppings.

The process begins with preparing your favorite burger bun dough as usual. Once it's mixed, kneaded, and has had an initial rise, divide the dough into equal portions then shape into round balls. Transfer the balls onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. This is where things get interesting. 

Instead of allowing the dough balls to rise freely, you're going to guide their expansion into a flatter form using another sheet pan on top of them. The weight of the pan will keep gentle pressure on the dough, forcing it to expand outward rather than upward. Doing this ensures that your buns will have a consistent thickness and shape, making them more practical when it's time to dress your burgers. 

Tips for perfecting the sheet pan method

To ensure the best results when using this hack, there are some other tips to keep in mind. Firstly, it's crucial to cover your round dough balls with plastic wrap before placing the sheet pan over top. This prevents the dough from sticking to the pan, ensuring a smooth removal without deforming any of the buns.

After the dough has risen under the pan and taken on its flat shape, the next steps are all about adding those final touches that make your buns stand out. For instance, brushing your buns with an egg wash should be done at this stage. The egg wash not only gives your buns a beautiful color but also contributes to a slightly crispy top, enhancing the texture. Another tip is to consider sprinkling on sesame or poppy seeds or pressing in some minced caramelized onions.

If you're a fan of artisan-style buns — whether you are using conventional or pretzel dough — you might want also to score the top surface of your buns. This should be done gently to avoid deflating the dough. Buns shaped and topped, you're then ready to bake them in a preheated oven until golden brown.