We all know that every ingredient that goes into your hamburger needs to work in harmony. The sauce, the type of cheese, the veggies, and, of course, the patty.
One crucial ingredient that is often overlooked and (literally) just slapped together is the mighty bun. A true hamburgerologist knows that what goes on the outside truly defines the flavour on the inside. But with so much choice on the market, it's not always easy to decide which bun will truly make your burger sing.
So we spoke with our in-house expert who put together this handy "Know Your Buns" guide, breaking down the differences between all the buns on the market and the impact they'll all have on your final burger product.
Plain White Bun
The plain white bun gives us context, something to compare all the buns against. This is often the cheapest on the market but has little to offer if you’re creating a showstopper burger because it is often too fluffy to hold together for the entirety of a burger experience. So by the time you’re taking the last few bites, it’s fallen apart and making a mess of things.
If you have more than one patty on the bun and multiple sauces, forget the plain white bun. Go for something sturdier and (frankly) tastier.
Key takeaway: budget-friendly bun, will fall apart before your burger is finished.
Sesame Seed Bun
Everything mentioned above about the plain white bun applies to the sesame seed bun - namely because they are the same except this one has sesame seeds on the top.
That's not to say the sesame seeds don't make a nice addition to a plain white bun - they look great, add some crunch to each bite and don’t overpower the flavour of your ingredients. But you may find it falling apart in your hands if you like to load up on sauce and can't eat your burger quicker than it takes to fall apart.
Key takeaway: same as the plain white bun, but with sesame seeds.
A Potato Bun is a classic choice for an American-style burger. Potato flakes are added to the dough along with potato flour resulting in a subtly sweet, structurally sturdy burger bun with a longer shelf life than other buns. Another added benefit is that they're dairy and egg-free, meaning your lactose-free customers will be able to enjoy your burgers too.
The potato bun pairs perfectly with our120g Homestyle Beef Burger Pattiesand your choice of cheese and trimmings. You can count on a potato bun to keep your burger intact until the very last bite.
Key takeaway: authentic US burger flavour bun that will hold together under double patty action. Maintains freshness longer than traditional buns.
Korean culture is having a global influence and you cannot make a Seoul-style fried chicken burger without one. Well, you can, but it won’t have that X factor. But these buns aren't just reserved for chicken, with their distinct, milky taste, they make the perfect encasing for your chosen Angel Bay beef or lamb patty.
The milk bun is even softer than a potato bun but with a slightly crispier exterior, meaning your burger will hold together if built strategically. Aim to keep anything wet - think juicy patties and wet sauces - from directly touching the buns and they'll carry your diners through to the last bite.
But how are milk buns different from the rest you ask? They're made with a tangzhong, a mix of water, milk and flour cooked together to form a paste. Once cool, this paste is mixed and cooked with the remaining dough ingredients.
Key takeaway: soft burger buns that will melt in your mouth with a slightly hard exterior and savoury taste. Perfect for burgers with a more delicate flavour combination, as they aren't overpowering.
Oooh la la… chef’s kiss! Hailing from France and originally used in desserts, the brioche bun has quickly become a crowd favourite for beef burgers across the nation. These buns are made with enriched dough, which is where they get their soft texture and buttery, sweetness from.
Lovers of sweet and salty combinations rejoice when a brioche bun is on the menu because they make the perfect complement to any meat patty they hold.
Key takeaway: a crowd-favourite bun made with sweet dough. Perfectly pairs with any Angel Bay patty.
If you have a loaded burger that keeps destroying your lesser buns, then an upgrade to a ciabatta may be on the cards. Even the juiciest takeaway burger - on a journey homeward - would still be delicious and in perfect knick on a ciabatta bun.
This bun is boiled during preparation and so brings a chewy robustness. We highly recommend if you upgrade to ciabatta, toast your buns before serving to ensure they are crunchy rather than chewy.
Be warned though - crunching your way through a ciabatta bun can be hard work so keep your fillings to a minimum to keep your diners happy.
Key takeaway: can be chewy if not toasted. Great for holding together loaded burgers with lots of sauce.
You may have come across a charcoal bun in your travels and had questions along the line of, "What the hell?" and "What does it taste like?". In most cases, the charcoal bun is a variation of the brioche bun that's been made with activated charcoal to give the bun a distinct black colour.
Some would argue there's not much difference in taste between a regular brioche bun and a charcoal bun, and that the point of difference comes from the slightly not unpleasant gritty texture provided by the charcoal. Whatever your opinion of the bun, they make for a great showstopper on any menu as the bun contrasts well against bright coloured ingredients.
Key takeaway: a black brioche bun with a slightly gritty texture.
English muffins are a round, light-coloured flat yeast-leavened bread that when toasted has a crunchy exterior with a doughy centre.
We know we're not fooling anyone with this addition, English muffins aren’t buns, they’re muffins! But that doesn't make them any less worthy of a mention. One could argue that all the previously mentioned buns will carry you through lunch and dinner but what about breakfast? Well, the English muffin is your perfect breaky bun for your early morning trade (see our Breaky Muffin recipehere).
Key takeaway: perfect fit in your hand size for grab-and-go breaky burgers. Slightly salty dough with a crunchy exterior.
We know the bagel bun seems like a weird addition to our Know Your Buns guide, with its chewy texture, hole in the middle and sweet taste, but when prepared right they make for a winning breaky burger bun.
Like their ciabatta cousins, bagel buns are dense and chewy because they are boiled when cooked. To get the most out of this bun, make sure you toast it well and generously add sauces and cheese to break up the density. Bonus points if you use a runny fried egg.
Key takeaway: dense, chewy bun that needs to be prepared correctly to work as a burger. Great for breakfast burgers and creates a point of difference.
Now you know your buns, you’re one step close to earning your hambugerology degree from The Angel Bay University of Sizzle - don’t worry, there won’t there won’t be any end of year exams. All you need to remember is: whether you are going for cheap and cheerful or a fully loaded showstopper, there's a bun for everyone.