Keto as a Way of Life
Keto Hamburger Buns Recipe
Hamburger Buns are tough to find on Keto because they’re bread, and bread is pretty much the Anti-Keto.
Bread is like Keto’s arch nemesis. Like if bread were a villain, it would be Lex Luthor and Keto would be Superman.
We’ve tried a bunch of different Keto bread and Keto bun recipes over the last couple years. There have been some that were just ok, but nothing that made us feel like we’d been saved from a burning building by a man in a red cape.
One of the first breads most people discover when they go Keto is Fathead bread. That’s where you mix almond flour, mozzarella and eggs in various combinations, adding/removing a few ingredients here and there.
Every one of those have a flavor and/or texture that we didn’t really like that much. Or, the bun/bread would just crumble all apart if you so much as mentioned putting a hamburger patty on it.
Well, we went to work to figure out our own Keto Bun recipe. We started with Fathead Dough and experimented from there.
We had a few goals as we developed our Keto Hamburger Bun recipe:
- Our Keto Hamburger buns needed to stay low carb
- The recipe had to be relatively easy to make
- It also needed not to have a ton of ingredients
- Preferably, all ingredients would be basic Keto Kitchen staples
- The Keto buns needed to taste good; if not exactly like bread, it needed to be close
- As a “hamburger bun” we wanted our Keto Buns to hold together and be sturdy enough for a hamburger
I think we finally landed on a recipe that meets these qualifications and we’re excited about sharing it!
Keto Hamburger Bun Ingredients
Made of blanched and ground up almonds, this flour offers texture, flavor and substance to baked items.
Since there is no gluten or binding agent in almond flour, you typically have to use eggs in combination with this ingredient in your recipes.
We've tried a few different brands, and they're all good quality, but for the price, we like Blue Diamond. As I write this, it's $.28 cents/oz on Amazon versus $.52/oz for Anthony's and $.66/oz for Bob's Red Mill.
We tried using fresh mozzarella as well as the preshredded stuff you get in the big bag at Sam’s.
Honestly, both work out just as well, but we did notice that the fresh mozzarella had a little more moisture in it, so our dough tends to be a little more tacky to work with. That’s not a big deal; just something to be aware of.
I do recommend getting a good quality mozzarella, though. The off brand stuff never seems to melt right, and probably has funky ingredients in it.
Grated Parmesan Cheese seems to find its way into a lot of our baked dishes. It adds some salt, some texture, and a mild, savory note.
Suffice to say, it's become a kitchen staple for us. We use it so much, we buy the large containers of it to save money.
Amazon Prime pantry makes it crazy easy to get because someone just brings it to you. Who wants to go shopping when you can just get it in the mail?!
Monkfruit quickly became our favorite Keto sweetener. It tastes good, has no aftertaste that we can discern and it doesn’t affect our blood glucose at all. It also stands up to heat better than most other Keto sweeteners.
The only downside is that it’s a little more expensive than other sweeteners, but we think it’s worth it.
Granulated (aka Classic) Monkfruit is a substitute for white sugar, and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in most recipes.
Learn More About Sweeteners
Interested in learning a little more about sweeteners and where they rank for Keto?
We put together a handy chart of 55 sweeteners commonly used on the market today. The chart shows you which sweeteners are actually sugar, which ones are bad chemicals or natural, where they land on the Glycemic Index and more.
We also rank each sweetener on the list as Good, Bad, or Ugly for Keto.
Critical to just about anything you're going to bake, this ingredient is a pantry main stay.
We use Bob's Red Mill becuase we trust the ingredients, and Bob's doesn't use aluminum in their baking powder.
If you've ever experienced a tinny flavor on the back end of a muffin or pastry, it's because of the aluminum in the baking powder.
Baking soda is a levening agent in baked goods. It's especially important in Keto since most carb free baked good lack gluten, which is what helps bread to rise.
Also, Rebecca uses an elecrolyte drink when she does extended fasts called “Snake Juice”. It’s a mix of salt and other things. One of the ingredients is Baking Soda.
She likes the Bob’s Red Mill brand because it doesn’t have aluminum in it. That’s not a metal you want a whole lot of in your diet!
Bob’s Red Mill does a great job of not adding a lot of extra junk to their products.
This recipe was written using Large Eggs. If you use Extra Large Eggs, you may find your dough is a little too moist.
If you use small eggs, you may find that your dough is a bit dry.
It’s not difficult to compensate for this, and it shouldn’t make a huge difference, but it’s worth noting.
Yes, I know that beer isn’t exactly Keto. But we’re not using much. Also, most Lite Beers only have 2 carbs per bottle, so the 2 tablespoons we use is hardly worth mentioning.
It’s all for flavor and lift.
Did you know that Anthropologists don’t know which came first; making beer or making bread? The two went so closely hand in hand, that, back in the day, you really didn’t do one without the other.
Beer helps to enforce the bread-like flavor we’re going for in this bread. So if you don’t like the taste of beer, don’t worry. The final product won’t taste like beer.
Your buns will just be nice and bready.
You’ll need some basic stuff like a large bowl, sheet pan (aka cookie sheet), parchment paper, a soft basting brush and a rubber spatula. You will also need a silicone mat, which is invaluable if you want to keep your keto hamburger buns from sticking to the pan when you bake them.
A silicone mat is, by far, the easiest way to keep baked goods from sticking to your sheet pans. I’ll never try to bake cookies, muffins or anything else on a pan lining other than a silicone mat again.
They’re easy to wash and take care of, and durable enough to last a long time.
Toast the Almond Flour
This is the first real secret to making your Keto Hamburger Buns taste like actual buns. I noticed that a lot of keto breads had a flour-like aftertaste that wasn’t very pleasant. After some experimenting, I discovered that simply toasting the almond flour before making the dough is the key.
You don’t want to OVER toast the almond flour and get it too dark. You’re looking for a light “brown sugar” color.
- Spread the Almond Flour out evenly on a parchment-lined sheet pan. NOTE: Using parchment just makes it easier to pull up and pour into your bowl later.
- Put it in your 375F degree oven for 5 minutes. Take it out and mix it around with your spatula a bit.
- Put it back in the oven, bake for 5 minutes, remove, and stir.
- Then put it back in the oven, bake for 5 minutes, remove and stir.
Before toasting: Note that writing ‘Keto Ginger’ in your almond flour before you toast it is completely optional.
Total bake time for the almond flour should be 15 minutes. At this point, it should be a nice, golden brown color when it’s all mixed.
Combine the Dry Ingredients
Measure all the dry ingredients and dump them into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl. I like using the biggest bowl I have because it makes life easier while mixing.
At this point, also add the mozzarella cheese. The almond flour won’t be warm enough to start melting it, so you’ll need to microwave the whole thing for about 30 seconds.
Once out of the microwave, mix, smoosh, and kneed the dry ingredients and the melty cheese together. I use a combination of my rubber spatula and hands for this. The dough shouldn’t be too warm to work with using your bare hands here. If you find that it is, just let it cool for a couple minutes. You should be able to knead the dough into a loose ball, like some squishy playdough.
Add the Wet Ingredients & Smoosh
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk them together pretty well. Three reasons:
- Never crack an egg directly into your recipe. This prevents the possibility of dropping a chunk of egg shell into your dough.
- By mixing the egg separately, you make sure there are no pockets of white or yellow in your dough.
- You’ll need to remove about two tablespoons of the egg yolk and reserve them to the side for an egg wash later. Whisking the eggs together makes that a little easier to do. If you’ve never tried to scoop raw eggs with a tablespoon, you’ll see what I mean when you do this.
Now just dump the main portion of eggs and your two tablespoons of beer over your dough ball.
Using the rubber spatula, start to smoosh the dough together and combine it with the liquid. At first, it will look like everything is not going to incorporate but keep smooshing…. it will. You will discover here why having a large mixing bowl makes life easier.
Note: ‘Smooshin’ is a technical culinary term that I learned from a chef on Food Network. 😉
After a couple minutes of smooshing, everything will combine evenly into a somewhat tacky ball of dough. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and get all that bread batter goodness into the dough ball.
A tacky ball of dough.
Roll that Dough
At this point, you should be able to handle the dough with your hands. Pick it up and roll it into a rough ball. That will make it easier to use a knife and separate the dough into 4 equalish parts.
Roll those 4 pieces into perfect little spheres of dough and place them on your silicone-lined sheet pan. You don’t have to mash them down or do anything else to them. Just make sure they’re as spherical as you can get them and that they have enough room to flatten and expand just a little.
Bake ‘Em! Brush ‘Em! Bake ‘Em!
Put your dough balls in your 375F degree oven and bake them for 10 minutes.
Pull them out and lightly brush the tops with the egg wash. Use a soft brush here, because the dough is somewhat delicate at this point. If you press too hard, you may end up with misshapen buns. And that’s never any fun!
Now put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes to finish baking.
When they come out, they should be nice and golden brown and a little glossy on top.
Give Your Buns a Rest
Let them rest on the kitchen counter for AT LEAST 5 minutes before you try to slice them. 10-15 minutes is best. It’s just like regular bread. If you cut that fresh out of the oven, you just end up with squished bread. It needs time to set up and stabilize a bit.
So have a little patience there, Speedy Pants.
Cut and Serve
Carefully cut your fresh Keto Hamburger Buns with a bread knife. Remember never to cut toward your hand!
“Safety first! Because Safety Second ain’t worth a damn.”
~My Dad to me, about a bazillion times when I was growing up.
I find that it’s best to lay the bun on a towel on the counter, turn the bread knife sideways, parallel with the counter and slowly saw it through the bun, just barely holding the top with my free hand. That keeps fingers and everything out of the way of the knife.
See those air holes and all that texture? That’s courtesy of the beer.
Serve these with a hamburger on them, of course. But they hold up against cheese steak, meatloaf, and brisket. These keto hamburger buns also make a great delivery mechanism for a sausage egg and cheese breakfast sandwich!
We taste tested each of those extensively just to make sure these were all good applications. That’s the service we provide, folks, and it’s truly a worthy sacrifice!
Just wait until you have a slaw burger on these bad boys with some of our Keto Cole Slaw!
Thanks for Reading
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Keto Hamburger Buns
Easy, tasty, low carb buns that can stand up to a burger or any other kind of sandwich you want to throw at 'em!
- 3 large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Lite Beer
Preheat oven to 375F degrees
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread the almond flour our evenly over the paper
Toast the almond flour in the oven for 15 minutes, taking it out to stir every 5 minutes. It's done with it's a light, golden brown color, similar to the color of light brown sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
Add the shredded mozzarella and mix together.
Microwave the mixture for 30 seconds.
Remove from microwave and, using a rubber spatula, smoosh the dough together until everything is incorporated into a loose ball of dough.
Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them together.
Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the egg into a seperate bowl and set aside to use as an egg wash later.
Add the wet ingredients and smoosh the dough together again. Keep smooshing and mixing until the mixture comes together into a somewhat tacky ball of dough.
NOTE: A rubber spatula is the best tool for this job. It take 3-4 minutes of smooshing for this to thoroughly combine.
Cut the tacky dough ball into 4 equal pieces.
Roll the 4 pieces of dough into perfect little spheres and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat. Make sure they are not close to each other. They will spread out a little as they bake.
Bake in the 375F degree oven for 10 minutes.
Remove them from the oven to gently brush the tops and sides with an egg wash. Careful not to misshhape the dough balls.
Return them to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes before slicing. NOTE: Don't try to cut them without letting it rest for a few minutes. They need a few minutes to set.
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