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Spelt hamburger buns

Every great burger deserves an equally impressive bun to cradle its flavors, and there's something truly special about making them from scratch. Combining wholesome spelt with a soft, yielding texture, these buns promise to elevate your burger experience, marrying the old world with the new in every bite. Ready to take your burgers to the next level?

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We’re a burger family as hamburgers are our one of our go-to summer meals. We tend to make them about every weekend, especially when we have people coming over. I will make 1/3-pound hamburgers, which fit these buns perfectly, and top them with standard hamburger fare: mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, adding in some avocado or grilled onions to jazz them up.

Even though we make these most weekends, I don’t plan when early enough to use wild yeast (sourdough), so using active dry yeast means I can have these ready from start to finish in a little under 2-hours.

But, why spelt? Beyond just taste, spelt carries nutritional advantages: it’s often heralded for its richer profile of vitamins and minerals compared to many modern wheat varieties. Additionally, the gluten structure in spelt is different from that in standard wheat. This results in a bun that has a tender crumb and a texture that’s both soft and pliable, which is what you want for your hamburger. It also is a better option for anyone who is more sensitive to the gluten in modern wheat.


  • Warm water: When using active dry yeast, you want your water to be about 110°F (45°C) in order to activate the yeast but not so hot that it kills it
  • Sugar or honey: I used sugar, but honey works also
  • Active dry yeast: Since we’re not using a sourdough starter (or wild yeast) for this recipe, we need active dry yeast to get these buns to rise
  • Olive oil: Just a little bit of oil is needed
  • Spelt flour: I used freshly milled spelt for this. You can also use store-bought spelt flour, which typically has some of the bran removed You won’t need as much liquid if you use store-bought flour
  • Vital wheat gluten: Optional, adding gluten can improve the structure of these burns. Gluten can strengthen the dough, giving the buns a better rise and creating a more uniform crumb structure. The added gluten can help the buns hold up better, especially if they’re going to be used with hefty burger fillings. In an earlier version of this recipe I didn’t add the gluten and the buns started to fall apart the longer we held them
  • Egg: beaten (for egg wash)
  • Salt: Never forget the salt in your baked goods!
  • Sesame seeds: For topping

How can Spelt hamburger buns be used, besides hamburgers?

Hamburger buns can be used for so much more than just hamburgers. Here are some ideas:

  1. Breakfast sandwiches: Use the spelt buns to make gourmet breakfast sandwiches. Think scrambled eggs, avocado, crispy bacon, and a slice of sharp cheddar.
  2. Mini pizzas: Split the buns, add tomato sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  3. Croutons: Cube leftover buns and toss them with olive oil and herbs. Bake until crispy and golden, then add to salads or soups.
  4. Bread pudding: Use the buns as the base for a sweet or savory bread pudding. For a sweet version, think vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins. For a savory twist, consider adding cheese, herbs, and sautéed vegetables.
  5. Bruschetta or crostini: Slice the buns thinly, toast them, and top with classic tomato-basil mixture, or other toppings like whipped feta and roasted red pepper.
  6. Sliders: Create bite-sized sandwiches, such as pulled pork sliders, mini chicken sandwiches, or even small-sized veggie burgers.
  7. French toast: Give a twist to your breakfast by soaking the buns in a mixture of eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, then pan-frying until golden brown.
  8. Breadcrumbs: Pulse stale buns in a food processor to make breadcrumbs. These can be used as a topping for casseroles, to coat fried foods, or in meatball and meatloaf mixtures.
  9. Tuna or Chicken Salad Melts: Heap tuna or chicken salad onto a spelt bun half, top with a slice of cheese, and broil until the cheese is melty and slightly browned.
  10. Dinner Rolls: Serve the buns as dinner rolls alongside hearty soups, stews, or any main dish. Their unique flavor can complement many dishes.
  11. Panini or grilled cheese: Use the buns as the base for a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich or panini, filled with your favorite ingredients and grilled to perfection.
  12. Bread bowl for soup or dip: Hollow out the center of the bun and fill it with a thick soup, chili, or a creamy dip. This is a great way to serve individual portions at gatherings.

Frequently asked questions

Why use spelt flour instead of regular all-purpose flour for hamburger buns?

Spelt flour offers a unique, mildly nutty flavor, setting it apart from the neutral taste of all-purpose flour. Additionally, spelt is an ancient grain that’s often considered more nutritious, providing a richer profile of vitamins and minerals. Using spelt can elevate the nutritional content and flavor profile of your hamburger buns.

Can I substitute spelt flour 1:1 with all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour?

While spelt flour can often be substituted 1:1, its distinct gluten structure and absorption rate might require slight adjustments in the liquid content. It’s advisable to start by substituting half the amount, assess the dough’s consistency, and adjust as needed. Remember that each type of flour can influence the final texture and flavor of your buns.

How should I store leftover spelt hamburger buns?

Spelt hamburger buns are best stored in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to retain freshness. Keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you plan to store them longer, consider freezing for extended shelf life.

My buns turned out denser than expected. What went wrong?

Spelt’s gluten structure is more delicate than that of regular wheat, making it susceptible to overmixing, which can result in denser buns. Next time, try mixing the dough just until it comes together and avoid excessive kneading. Ensuring your yeast is fresh and active also plays a crucial role in achieving a light and airy texture.

Can I add seeds or grains on top for extra texture?

Absolutely! Topping your spelt hamburger buns with seeds like sesame, poppy, or sunflower can add a delightful crunch and visual appeal. Simply brush the buns with a light egg wash before baking and sprinkle your choice of seeds or grains on top.

Spelt hamburger buns recipe

Every great burger deserves an equally impressive bun to cradle its flavors, and there's something truly special about making them from scratch. Combining wholesome spelt with a soft, yielding texture, these buns promise to elevate your burger experience, marrying the old world with the new in every bite. Ready to take your burgers to the next level?
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Resting time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 53 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 buns


  • 1 Stand mixer (optional, you can also mix by hand)
  • 1 Hamburger bun/mini pie pan (optional, you can use a flat cookie sheet)


  • 1 cup Warm water (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar or honey
  • 2 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 3 cups Whole grain spelt flour
  • 2 tsp Vital wheat gluten (optional)
  • 1 whole Egg (optional, for egg wash)
  • Sesame seeds for topping (optional


  • In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  • Add olive oil to the yeast mixture.
  • Add salt to the mixture.
  • Add 1 cup of spelt flour and vital wheat gluten and mix until combined.
  • Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining spelt until smooth and elastic.
  • Using a bowl scraper or well-oiled hands, scrape the dough to make it come together, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm area for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). If you're using a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper. if you're using a hamburger pan, grease the pan. Divide the risen dough into 6-8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and place them on the baking sheet, leaving enough space between each for expansion. Cover with a damp cloth and let them rise for another 20-30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.
  • Optional, but before you put the buns in the oven, brush the tops of the buns lightly with the beaten egg. If you'd like, sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Cool on a wire rack before slicing and using for hamburgers.
Keyword Spelt
The classic hamburger bun is given a nutritional boost by making it with fresh 100% whole grain spelt flour, an ancient grain that works well in baked goods.