Perfect White Buns (vegan option)

Desserts & Baking, Recipes, Sides

Perfect white buns

I am a big fan of whole grain bread.  Honestly, the more nuts, seeds and fibre you can cram in a loaf the better as far as I’m concerned.  But there is something so nostalgic (and decadent) about fluffy white buns fresh from the oven (yes, with butter, I said it).

White bun dough

I grew up in Northern Alberta for the first part of my life where my Mom stayed home and made everything from scratch.  I suppose it rubbed off on me!  For special occasions we would always have homemade white buns like these.  As I developed a passion for baking I started scouring our family recipe books (literally, I would dig through my family members’ kitchens when we would visit to find out what recipe they used), and eventually stumbled upon this gem from my Aunty Jackie. Now that lady can COOK! Needless to say I stopped looking after I found this recipe, it’s a winner every time.

Perfect white buns in metal baking dish

You can make simple buns or a loaf of bread, or you can turn it into cinnamon raisin bread or add whatever your heart desires.  I know this isn’t the health nut whole grain bread that I normally eat and recommend, but it is what we call a ‘sometimes food’ in our house, and well worth the splurge in my books!

Perfect white buns

To make these vegan simply substitute the honey with sugar, omit the eggs, and use vegan butter!  You can easily substitute half or all of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour as well to make them healthier.  Here’s my old fashioned no-fail recipe:

Perfect White Buns

Step 1:

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or vegan butter)
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl and cool.

Step 2:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (not too warm, you’ll kill the yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fast rising yeast

Dissolve the water and sugar in a small bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit.

Step 3:

  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 6-7 cups unbleached white flour
  1. Mix the eggs into the first (Step 1) mixture once it has cooled to room temperature.
  2. Add 1 cup of flour to this mixture and stir well.
  3. Add the yeast mixture (Step 2) to the bowl and stir to incorporate.
  4. Gradually add the remaining flour, cup by cup, until the dough gets too difficult to stir in the bowl.  At this point, on a floured surface (your counter), empty the dough and knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  You will need to keep the surface floured to prevent it from sticking.
  5. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and place in a draft-free warm area to rise.
  6. Let the dough rise until doubled (about 40 minutes) and punch it down.  Repeat this process once.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease two 9×13 sheet baking pans (the ones with the small sides).  You can use any shape of pan you want in actual fact – I used round ones like these.  Cut off pieces of dough that are approximately 1/2 cup in size (doesn’t have to be exact!) and form into buns.  I keep my fingers slightly floured and tuck the dough under as I stretch the dough to make it smooth on top, but you can use whatever technique you like!
  8. Place the buns about a 1/2 inch apart on the greased pan, cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Makes approximately 36 small buns

Cinnamon bread

If you want to make cinnamon bread, roll out about 2 cups of dough into a longer strip, about 1′ x 2′.  Spread 2 Tbsp. of butter on the bread and sprinkle with about 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon (I use Epicure brand) and 1/3 cup raisins.  Roll up the dough length-ways completely to make a ‘loaf’.  Place the rolled cinnamon-raisin loaf in a greased bread pan, cover, let rise until double and bake at 350F until golden brown.  Remove from the pan as soon as it is out of the oven, cool and slice!

Loaf of cinnamon bread

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76 Comments on “Perfect White Buns (vegan option)”

  1. Dulcie Timmons

    Thank you for sharing this recipe – they look phenomenal and I will be baking them tomorrow. Quick question on the butter… is it to be salted or unsalted?

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  4. Maya

    Hi Tori!
    I would like to use my Kitchen Aid mixer to make the dough – would I use the dough hook for all of step 3? Or would I initially start with the flat beater or mixer? And does the dough hook help “cheat” with kneading the dough?


    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Maya,

      Thanks for the note. I’ve always done it by hand so I’m just speculating, but I think that you would only use the dough hook once the dough is made (i.e.: all of the flour is in the mixture)… I would have to look it up, I’m so old fashioned when I make bread haha! Great idea to use the attachment, saves an arm workout! So yes I would start with a whisk or a fork to be honest then move to the bread hook. Let me know how it goes!

  5. Alexa

    Hi Tori! I’m so excited to try these out for thanksgiving. Do you get approximately 11 rolls from this recipe? Sorry if you wrote it somewhere and I didn’t see!

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    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Carmen, I know I responded by email but just in case anybody else experiences the same thing. I recommend that you just add more flour until you get a dough that is soft but not sticky.

  7. Katherin

    I made these tonight to serve with lamb burgers and they were perfect, thank you for this recipe that will become a family favorite in our house.

  8. Shelby

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have made them for dinner tonight. The house smells so good. Everyone loved them.

  9. LMB

    I misplaced my bun recipie while away for Christmas and noted yours as identical to mine. So used it.
    The buns are the finest and are always a big hit. Your guests will rant and rave about them!!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. Jen

    Hi Tori,

    I assume the butter should be first melted? Also, do you happen to know if I can replace flour with bread flour? Thank you!

  11. Heidi

    Hello! Thanks for the recepie i followed it last night came out great tasting but the buns were a bit hard and not as fluffy as i would have lied any suggestions?

  12. Kristy

    Thank-you Tori for sharing this recipe. I have made it 3x now without fail. I use my kitchen aid mixer and use the paddle for incorporating the flour into the dough and switch to the dough hook for the “kneading” 2mins (stir speed) on low, then 5minutes a little faster (speed 2)and finish it off with another 2mins of slow. It is perfect every time!

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  14. Nancy L

    Made these for our Christmas eve dinner with family and they were amazing! I’ve never had success with making my own bread but these worked out beautifully. Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Erin

    Hi Tori! What are your tips for letting dough rise in the fridge? I’d like to mix up buns the day/night before I actually need to bake them but haven’t had a lot of luck when I’ve put dough in the fridge. Thanks 😊

  16. Sharon

    I subbed the eggs with 2 tbsp ground flax mixed with 5 tbsp water (let it sit 15-20 min) , earths balance for butter and unsweetened almond milk for milk and turned out amazing … and vegan ♥️

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Sorry for the delay Amy, yes you can! Just leave them out and follow the instructions as you see them. I make them without eggs all the time and they are great, I will add that in, it’s been up for so long!

  17. Andrea

    Made these tonight to go with pulled pork and they were amazing! It would be nice if the recipe was also by weight…so much easier for things like honey. It would also be helpful to note the total prep and cooking time since I misread it but this recipe is still a keeper! Thanks Tori!

  18. Nicole G

    Love this recipe! Have been making it every weekend for the past few months. 18 buns and a loaf. For the week ahead and for the husband’s lunches. Best bread recipe!

  19. Sarah

    When you mention grease the bowl and pan you put them in, what do you use to grease them? Can I use a spray butter or what exactly do you use?

  20. Jody

    Wowzers, these were absolutely delicious! Today was my first time making buns (ever!) and your recipe was so easy to follow. They were a huge hit for our Easter supper. I’m already excited for the next holiday so I can make them again. Thanks Tori!
    Side note-Thank you to the reader that posted about the Kitchen Aid mixer tips- so helpful as well. xo

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Muriel, sorry for the delay! Oat flour won’t work unfortunately as it doesn’t have any gluten and won’t make a good dough. You could use spelt flour!?

  21. Cheryl Forster

    Hi Tori,
    Thank you for this recipe…I made them for Easter supper and they were a huge hit!! Best bun recipe I’ve ever used and now I will only ever use your recipe!! So delicious!! Can’t wait for the cookbook.
    Happy Easter

  22. steph

    I made these last night – so amazing!!!! Have you tried making these with nut milk instead of water? Or tried whole wheat flour (maybe half and half)?

  23. Kathy Goldie

    These are now my favorite buns! Ammmmaaazing just as they are, so soft and delicious. A real treat. Made them with pulled pork, family loved it, then made them as hamburger buns, family again raved. But …. the most amazing trick has been to roll them with cheddar cheese (marble for the kids, aged white for the adults, with a sprinkling of herbs and roll them up like a cinnamon bun – amazing for breakfasts, school lunch boxes or just a snack. Thanks Tori for another amazing recipe.

  24. Kelsey N

    Hey tori!
    I made these this weekend and they were delicious!
    If I made a loaf of bread would the cooking time be approximately the same as the buns?

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Kelsey,
      Thanks!!! It is a bit longer but not much – about 5-10 minutes. I go by a visual indicator, the top should be a golden brown just like the buns and the bottom should be golden as well.

  25. Molly

    Probably a silly question?!?? Lukewarm? What is that temp? I always go to hot or not warm enough!?!? Thanks! Molly

  26. Mira

    Hi Tori! I think I’m going to take the plunge and try making bread from scratch for the first time ever this weekend! I’ve read your recipe, and Jamie Oliver’s. Question about yours: how many loaves would this make? Wondering if I could make rolls and a loaf with this recipe amount? And could I leave the rolls a bit bigger could they be used for burgers? Thanks so much!

  27. Lisa Barnes

    I feel like this is a silly question but I have mom brain and I’m tired. Just want to confirm that the total resting time for the dough is 80 mins? Going to make these for mother’s day dinner!

    1. Tori Wesszer

      Hi Lisa so sorry for the late reply! It is about 80 minutes I find it depends on the room temperature and your yeast so it’s always approximate. I hope you liked them if you made them!


  28. Jen

    Delicious! First time round I made them so big… lol , didn’t see the note that this recipe makes about 36 small buns, second time , made them much smaller, and they were the best!

  29. Faith

    Do you have any successful substitute for Gluten Free. I am allergic and am still trying to figure out how to make these so I can enjoy them too. Flax allergy too. 🤔

  30. Samantha Campbell

    Hi Tori, I use your recipe anytime I’m making bread or buns we love it! I was wondering if you have to use 2 tbsp of yeast or can I cut it down a bit? I’m finding that you can really taste the yeast – any suggestions on how to not have it taste like it’s formentated? Thanks!

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