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How to make Sourdough Buns with leftover over sourdough starter that are light and airy (like a brioche bun)  in about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, with only 20 minutes of hands-on time. 

Sourdough Buns

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  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 120
  • Cook Time: 22
  • Total Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: bread, baking
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: american


How to make Sourdough Buns with sourdough starter  (or sourdough discard) that are light and airy (like a brioche bun)  in about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish, with only 20 minutes of hands-on time. Watch the video!


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter or discard (unfed) ( 120 grams)
  • 1/2 cup milk (slightly warm 100F)- plant-based milk, regular milk or half & half
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast (rapid yeast -use fast-acting yeast here, or see notes!)
  • 2 cups flour (240 grams) All-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • —–
  • Eggwash: 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water
  • optional seeds: sesame seeds, “everything spice”, etc…


  1. Mix warm milk, unfed sourdough starter, oil, and egg in a large bowl (or stand mixer).
  2. Mix in salt, sugar,  instant yeast and flour.
  3. Combine with fork to form a ball and kneed for 5-6 minutes with a wet hand, (or dough hook). YES, the dough will be quite sticky – resist the temptation to add more flour (which will result in a heavy bun).  (Alternatively, if mixing by hand, you could do the “stretch and fold ” technique (see 1st video) from the sourdough bread recipe. Do 2-3 sets, 15 minutes apart )
  4. Oil the dough in the bowl, cover, place in a warm spot (70-80 F) and let double, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
  5. On a floured surface, gently divide into 6 pieces, form into balls and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  6. Let rise again, 30-45 minutes, while you preheat oven to 375F
  7. Brush with an Egg Wash, sprinkle with salt and seeds, and bake 20-22  minutes, on the middle rack until perfectly puffed and golden!


If using regular active dry yeast, mix the yeast with warmed nut milk first until dissolved, let stand 10 minutes before adding starter, oil and egg.  NOTE: Rise time will double.

If you rather not use yeast, leave it out, and let the dough rise until it almost doubles. Rising time will vary depending on kitchen temp, but I’d plan on roughly 6 hours.

If making ahead store in a zip lock bag, for freeze for later.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 212
  • Sugar: 0.5 g
  • Sodium: 222.4 mg
  • Fat: 4.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 7.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 31 mg