Whole Wheat Burger Buns

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

When President Clinton replied, “I guess I am,” to Sanjay Gupta’s query, “Do you call yourself a vegan?” it was, I think, a turning point for the way the rest of the world looks at a vegan lifestyle. You could argue that there are thousands of vegans who have long shouted themselves hoarse about the benefits of a plant-based diet, and who deserve more credit than Clinton does, and I won’t fight with you. But here’s why the once-burger-chomping Clinton’s embrace of veganism is very important: because it tells everyone out there who swears they cannot live without meat and/or dairy products that they can change. More, that change could save their lives.

I often find in the media stories about ex-vegans who go back to eating meat, claiming their doctors found they were deficient in something or the other. Here’s what I don’t get: the deficiencies usually are for iron, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D, and if you work hard enough on balancing your diet and investigating the right foods to eat– surely you owe your health and your family that much– you really won’t even have those. If you do have them, you could pop a vitamin pill and you’d be fine. On the other hand, eating a meat- and dairy-loaded diet can cause diseases that can really, truly, honestly kill you, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and many cancers. All of these are all preventable if you follow a plant-based diet. So here’s the choice: you could eat all the meat and dairy you want and pop pills to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, and take insulin daily; or you could just eat healthy, delicious, life-giving fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. It goes without saying, but you’d be a fool to choose the cholesterol pills and the insulin.

And there are no excuses for not eating healthy vegan food. This blog and countless others on the web, and a large number of vegan cookbooks, now offer a variety of delicious recipes that will never leave you wanting another meaty burger or steak. Trust me. I grew up eating meat and fish. I loved dairy– I could drink milk by the gallon. More, I loved cooking with these foods for my family and friends. But after becoming a vegan more than four years ago, I have never craved animal foods except perhaps in the first couple of weeks. My tastebuds have changed, and my health has never been better. The number of omnivore friends accepting dinner invitations to our house hasn’t dropped. Most guests enjoy the healthy foods I cook and even feel liberated to eat more of them because they know they don’t have to worry they will feel awful afterwards.

Now, to share some real food with this food for thought, here is a recipe for my Whole Wheat Burger Buns you will absolutely love, and one that I had promised to share in my last post. Try it with a hefty vegan burger, like my Bean and Oats Burgers, or my Spicy and Fat-Free Black Bean Burgers.

Or with my vegan BLT. Enjoy, all!

Burger Buns
Whole-Wheat Burger Buns
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 6
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten flour (optional-- use it if you can because it gives the bread a great texture and a better rise)
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  1. Mix the sugar, ½ cup warm water and the yeast in a mixing bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to froth, indicating the yeast is alive and well.
  2. Sift all the flours, salt, and baking soda into the bowl. Knead on low speed in a stand mixer or by hand for about 3 minutes, trickling in 1 cup of water until you have a dough that's smooth but slightly sticky. If you are leaving out the gluten, knead at least 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the oil and continue to knead until the oil has been absorbed by the dough, about 1 more minute.
  4. Now place in an oiled bowl, turning over once to coat all over with oil, cover with a kitchen towel, and set aside for 2 hours until the dough has risen.
  5. Punch down the dough and divide into 6 balls
  6. Shape them into smooth balls. Place the buns on a lightly greased and floured baking sheet, at least a couple of inches apart. Flatten the tops slightly with your fingers, and let the buns rise for an hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 370 degrees. Place the buns in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
  8. Brush the tops with a little oil for a pretty, glossy look. Sprinkle some sesame seeds or poppy seeds on the top, if desired.
  9. Remove to a rack and allow the buns to cool before breaking them off.
(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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    • Dee says

      Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipes with all of us who are challenged with coming up with new ideas on our own. Vegan for just over a year now and vegetarian for 9 years. Not such a hard transition when others are willing to share their recipes.

  1. island cat says

    Interestingly, I’ve been borderline anemic all my life. I’ve always been asked if I was a vegetarian, or didn’t eat red meat. It was a rare day back then that I didn’t consume red meat. About a year after going vegan, I had routine bloodwork during a yearly physical, and amazingly, no anemia.

  2. Anonymous says

    Sometimes one familiar face, especially, like you said, one who was such a poor eater, can have more impact than hundreds of faceless unknown vegans…great post.

  3. says

    Richa, thanks! Yes, the soda helps the bread rise even more, and also makes a tender crumb. Hope you try it. :)

    Poornima, Thanks!

    Island Cat, that’s amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience. Nutrients from vegetables are more easily absorbed by the body, which perhaps explains why your anemia disappeared.

    Anonymous, thank you! :)

    Sum, thanks for your kind words. And I’m here for support if you decide to take the plunge! :)

    Sharmilee, Priya, Pavani, Thanks!

  4. says

    This post was perfectly timed. I just realized that all my local grocery store buns have now added whey or nonfat dried milk to the ingredients and I can’t have them! This recipe seems really easy–I’ll try it this weekend with my boca burger. Thank you!

  5. says

    Its very easy to be vegan once you decide to. I am a preferred vegan and I know endless possibilities to treat myself and my guests to a tasty vegan meal. And bloggers like you make my life easier by posting excellent recipes all the time :)

    I will make these delicious buns soon.

  6. says

    I’ve loved all of your bread recipes that I’ve tried, so I am excited to try these now that summer is approaching in Australia! I tend to make a million variation on veggie burgers/patties in the summer. First up though, this week I have your whole wheat saffron buns on my ‘to-make’ list :-)

  7. dj says

    I’m new on this vegan journey, but every book I’ve read so far, “The China Study”, “21-Day Kickstart” for example, addresses the vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, needs. I think the problem is more our doctors are trained in procedures, pharmaceuticals, and fixes, and not necessarily botany, diet and prevention. Vegan isn’t easy in our society. Yesterday when I was making my way through a mega-store. The sites and smells were overwhelming. I just thought of trying to prevent artery disease, diabetes, and cancer and feeling good and energized and they lost their power. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.

    Love the recipes!

  8. advitha says

    Vaishali, I’m planning to bake this WW bun in the weekend. I have white whole wheat flour from Trader Joes. Can I use that for all 3 cups, do I need APF at all?

  9. says

    Advitha, White whole wheat, albeit lighter than regular whole wheat, would still make a fairly dense bread by itself because of its low gluten content. Do you have vital wheat gluten flour? It’s available in grocery stores, including Whole Foods. If you are doing all-whole-wheat, I would advise adding 3 tbsp of gluten flour to the recipe. If you do try it without the gluten, I’d be interested in knowing how the buns turned out. In that case, be sure to knead for 4-5 minutes longer to develop the gluten in the flour.

  10. Samarpita says


    I so agree with you on the fact that we can be very healthy if we follow a well balanced vegan diet. After almost a year of vegan diet, I went for a blood test recently. I have hemoglobin count of 13.5 out of 15.5, protein count of 7.4 out of 8.5 and every single parameter is perfect including cholesterol. Yes, I do pop a multi vitamin and multi mineral pill every day, but I follow a very good diet as well.
    But I think all these raw vegan and stuff might not be good. Just saw Megan Fox has ditched her primarily raw vegan diet since she was getting thin (which is understandable)

  11. Vidya says

    I just made these to rave reviews by everyone that tried them! I never realised how much I used milk and honey in my bread recipes before going vegan. These are so delicious, earthy and “healthful” tasting, but still soft with an incredible crust. I didn’t have gluten flour; I used 1.5 cups of white bread flour, which if I’m not mistaken, is higher in gluten/protein, and 1.5 cups of normal whole wheat. I also made sure I kneaded the dough until very smooth and elastic, which took longer than 5 minutes. I ended up making 8 rolls, and I like the size. I’m planning on filling them with the veggie burgers over at Oh She Glows.

  12. AP says

    I just used this recipe to make my first ever bread – you’ve inspired me to keep going! they were lovely, fluffy inside with a crusty outside, and no-one could believe they were home made!! thank you so much, keep up the great work!

  13. Priscilla says

    I made these buns for our 4th of July veggie burgers. I love the flavor and texture. I kneaded these by hand. I had to add quite a bit of extra flour (about 1/2 cup) to keep them from sticking to my hands and the counter while I kneaded the dough. But they still turned out great! I really enjoy your blog. Your recipes are so different from most vegan cooking blogs, and I appreciate your thorough and well-written instructions.

  14. Yuko says


    I am going to make these hamburger buns today. I am a little confused about 370 degrees – is it F or Celsius?

  15. Dragish says

    I was under the impression that Ap flour is not vegan because part of the bleaching process uses animal bone meal. Is this untrue or do you use unbleached ap flour? I am a vegan friendly non vegan looking to open a restaurant that features both vegan and non vegan menu items and I’m doing my best to learn as much as I can.

    • says

      I’m not sure– I googled this and see all sorts of claims on the internet, but it’s hard to verify. I don’t know of any vegans who don’t eat AP flour because it’s not vegan, and I’ve never run into this claim before.

  16. Anonymous says

    I noticed that the recipe calls for salt but there are no instructions for adding it. May I assume that it goes in with the flour and baking soda?

  17. Anonymous says


    I just made these today, and I think I made a mistake. Was I supposed to add just enough of the 1 cup of water to the flour mix to get a smooth slightly sticky dough? I poured the whole 1 cup and then added an extra cup of flour because it was so liquidy.

    I also would like to know if bread recipes can be doubled?

    Thanks so much!

    • Anonymous says

      We just tried this recipe and had the same result you did. Looked like thick oatmeal, and after rising for two hours, was still too thin. I added some flour to get it separated and will try to bake them after they rise for another hour. Was thinking to add just enough of the one cup of water UNTIL the dough looked like bread dough. Am I right?

  18. Wendy says

    I made these for my family and my very picky teenage boys, who hase everything I make, really liked these buns! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  19. Nisha Tiwari says




    • says

      Hi Nisha, what a lovely message. I am so happy if I have in any way contributed toward making you love baking and I am sure you are doing a fantastic job. Thanks for your kind words! Hugs. :)

  20. sarah says

    The recipe doesnt say at what point the yeast gets added. I followed the recipe and had the flour, salt, baking soda in one bowl and my yeast was still separate in another. Please amend the recipe to state clearly when the yeast needs to get added. Thanks

    • says

      Hi Sarah, the instruction for the yeast is in the first line of the recipe. You mix it with the water at the very beginning to get it to “flower.”

  21. Emma Wynn says

    I used my bread machine for this recipe and it worked great. I added the ingredients in the order I normally do w/ my machine (liquid, dry, then yeast) and everything went perfectly. Just wanted to let people know you can make the dough in the machine and then cook in the oven :)

  22. meenakshi says

    Hi , I made it yesterday , appreciated by all, but next day my remaining two buns became hard even though i had wrapped in the plastic bag . could you help me how to make them soft again or how to reheat to make them soft?


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