Potato Bun Recipe

potato buns

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 24 mins
Rise Time: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs 19 mins
Servings: 9 servings
Yield: 9 buns
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
270 Calories
6g Fat
45g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 9
Amount per serving
Calories 270
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 347mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 45g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 284mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Fluffy mashed potatoes add fabulous soft texture and moistness to these easy potato buns. The recipe for the buns is a simple one, made with the addition of mashed potatoes and some of the cooking liquid. The potato bun is similar to a brioche bun, but the potatoes give it a longer life and moister texture. If you have leftover mashed potatoes, feel free to use them and skip steps 2 and 3. You can replace the potato cooking liquid with water or milk. 

Why add potatoes to bread? Potatoes produce a lighter crumb and moister texture, and they even help the dough rise more quickly. The starch in the potatoes and cooking water also help hold moisture in the buns, keeping them soft and fresh for a more extended period.

Use potato buns for delicious burgers, or fill them with your favorite sandwich filling. They are excellent buns to use for sloppy joes, pulled pork, or breakfast sandwiches.

“Homemade potato buns will get you ready to fire-up the grill for the best burgers this summer! This recipe was very straightforward and also a great way to use up the extra potato you have on hand. The dough is a little sticky, but nothing some extra flour can’t handle.” —Tracy Wilk 

potato buns
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 large russet potato, about 12 ounces

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, more for the bowl

  • 3 cups bread flour, more as needed

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Topping:

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Peel the potato, cut it into small chunks. Place in a medium saucepan covered with unsalted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the potato is fork-tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Reserve 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the potato, then process through a potato ricer or mill into a large bowl. Alternatively, you can mash with a masher until smooth.

  4. Add the butter and cooking liquid to the potato. Mix until smooth. Let the mashed potato cool until lukewarm

  5. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, egg, and potato in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir with a spatula or mix with your hands until combined.

  6. Attach the dough hook and knead until the dough comes together, about 8 minutes. The dough will be somewhat soft and sticky.

  7. Scrape the dough into a large, greased bowl. Turn to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm spot until double in volume, about 1 hour.

  8. Punch the dough down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface.

  9. Shape the dough into 9 smooth, uniform balls, transferring them to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet 2 to 3 inches apart. There should be enough room on a half-sheet pan, but if your pans are smaller, you may need two.

  10. Flatten the shaped buns slightly by pressing gently with the palm of your hand.

  11. Place a light kitchen towel over the buns and let them rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 F.

  12. When ready to bake the buns, make the egg wash. Whisk the egg with water. Gently brush the buns with the egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

  13. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tips

  • For uniform buns, use a scale to weigh them. Before shaping, weigh the dough and divide it by 9 for large buns, 10 to 12 for medium buns, or 14 to 16 for slider buns.
  • Apply the egg wash very gently to avoid deflating the buns.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of sesame seeds or poppy seeds, sprinkle everything bagel seasoning over the egg-washed buns.
  • For sweeter potato buns, add an extra tablespoon of sugar.
  • To replace the instant yeast with active dry yeast, add the sugar to the liquid and warm it to 115 F. Add the yeast to the liquid and let the mixture stand until it is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with the mashed potatoes, butter, and eggs.
  • Prepared instant mashed potatoes may replace the fresh mashed potatoes, but you might need a bit more flour to make up for any extra moisture. Use water or milk to replace the potato cooking liquid.

How to Store Potato Buns

  • Place the cooled potato buns in a resealable food storage bag and store them at room temperature for up to 4 to 5 days.
  • To freeze potato buns, arrange them on a baking sheet and freeze. When frozen solid, wrap the individual buns in plastic wrap and foil and place them in a freezer container or resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost the potato buns on the counter at room temperature.

What's the difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast?

Both active dry and instant yeast—also known as rapid rise or bread machine yeast—are used to leaven yeast bread, but active dry yeast must be dissolved in warm water while you can add instant yeast directly into the dry ingredients.