Best Store Bought Buns For Pulled Pork Make These Homemade Sandwich Buns for Pulled Pork or Barbecue

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35 mins

20 mins

Rising Time:
100 mins

2 hrs 35 mins

12 servings

12 buns
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
299 Calories
8g Fat
49g Carbs
9g Protein

Show Full Nutrition Label


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 299
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 242mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 130mg 10%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 161mg 3%
*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.)

The best of sandwich fillings can fall short when you use the wrong bread. The underwhelming feeling of biting into stale bread, or into a bread that’s too chewy or too crusty, is not uncommon. The availability of many types of store-bought bread has made us used to loaves of bread and buns that aren’t good enough but that keep showing up in our kitchens because they’re easy and convenient.

Our recipe for sandwich buns will forever change your sandwich game—and your bun game, too. This recipe can be shaped in whatever form you need and suits a variety of fillings, from pulled pork, grilled chicken, or cheese, to beef and vegetables. No matter what you want to put inside, these rolls will be your new favorite. Even on their own with butter, they are simply delicious.

For our soft yeast buns, we used a kaiser roll stamp to make an impression, but if you don’t have a stamp, simply flatten the dough balls slightly with your hand before the second rise. Before you start, plan ahead as you need two and half hours to complete the proofing and baking. Be mindful the buns contain butter and eggs, so they aren’t suitable for people with these types of allergies.


For the Dough:

  • 3 teaspoons instant dry yeast

  • 1 cup water, at room temperature

  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed 

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

F​or the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Toppings:

  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds

  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for versatile homemade sandwich buns recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  2. In a mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and water. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes to fully hydrate the yeast. Add the milk, flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter to the yeast mixture. Mix until the dough is formed. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface or with the dough hook attachment of the stand mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic. This should take about 10 minutes. Add more flour in small amounts, as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to your hands, bowl, or other surfaces.

    Combine the ingredients

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  3. Grease a large bowl with the oil. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and roll the dough over to coat it thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free place. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

    Let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 or 3 times and let it rest for 5 minutes. The whole ball of dough might be close to 42 ounces in weight. Cut the dough into 10 (4-ounce) portions.

    Weigh the dough for uniform rolls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  5. Shape the dough into tight balls and flatten slightly with the floured palm of your hand. Place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets.

    Shape the dough into balls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  6. Stamp the tops firmly with the kaiser roll stamp but do not cut through them. Dust the tops lightly with flour and turn the stamped rolls over so the impression is on the bottom. If you don’t have a stamp, simply flatten the rolls. Cover the rolls with a lightweight kitchen towel and let them rise in a draft-free place until doubled in size, or about 25 to 35 minutes. Heat the oven to 400 F.

    Leave them plain or emboss them with a kaiser roll stamp

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  7. Sprinkle the rolls lightly with cornmeal and then, very gently, turn the rolls over so the impression, if you used a stamp, is now on the top. 

  8. Whisk the egg and water to make the egg wash. Lightly brush the egg wash over each bun. Sprinkle with the seeds to taste.

  9. Bake the sandwich rolls for 16 to 20 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown. The rolls will be about 200 F to 210 F in the center when done. 

    Homemade buns for barbecue and sandwiches

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

  10. Enjoy the buns with your favorite fillings.

Allergy-Free Buns

To make these buns vegan and free of most common allergens:

  • Replace the butter with plant-based butter or margarine.
  • Replace the milk with plant-based milk. Rice milk and oat milk are great, as they don’t contain nuts like other plant beverages such as almond or hazelnut milk do.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of plant-based milk with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to make the egg wash. If not allergic to coconut oil, this is a great oil to use.
  • Substitute the sesame and poppy seeds for pepitas or sunflower seeds, or leave them as is and simply brush with the vegan wash.

Video about Best Store Bought Buns For Pulled Pork

Hirata Bun With Slow Cooked Pulled Pork by Lee Kum Kee

We teamed up with Chef and Founder of School of Wok, Jeremy Pang, to create an exclusive range of recipes especially for you! If you think yourself as a wok master, then these are the dishes to challenge your skills!

First up, a street food favourite in Hong Kong – Hirata Buns With Slow Cooked Pulled Pork. This sticky-sweet treat is great for showing your kitchen skills off to friends and kids will love them too!

For the full recipe and steps, see below.

Let us know in the comments what recipes you’d like to see next!

Happy Wok-ing!

Hirata Bun with Slow Cooked Pulled Pork
Serves 8

Spiced Pulled Pork

500g pork shoulder
2 Tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. garlic, peeled and finely chopped

The Sauce
2 tsp. Lee Kum Kee Chilli Bean Sauce
2 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
2 Tbsp. Lee Kum Kee Double Deluxe Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
300 ml chicken stock

The spices
1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick
the peel of 2 medium size piece mandarin
1 star anise

The garnish
Hoisin Sauce
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Spring onions, thinly sliced
Garlic panko breadcrumbs (optional)


Mix together all of ‘The Sauce’ ingredients.

Place the pork shoulder in a baking tray and pour over the sauce ingredients, ginger, garlic and ‘The Spices’. Make sure the meat is fully covered by the sauce and spices before covering the tray with foil.

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Cook the meat in the oven for 3 hours or so, until fully cooked and incredibly tender. Once the meat is cooked, let it rest for 10-15 minutes before shredding it with the tines of two forks, in order to create your bao filling.

Finishing the bao
Stack the following inside the burger:
Shredded pork, cucumber, spring onion, garlic panko, hoisin sauce

Cover with bao top bun and skewer through the middle for presentation.

Hirata Bun Recipe

530g middle gluten wheat flour
15g baking powder
2g salt
8g fast action dried yeast
30g caster sugar

50g milk
300g warm water
25g vegetable oil

Place the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and yeast into the mixer using a dough hook. Then separately, mix the milk, 300g warm water and vegetable oil together. Slowly pour the water, milk and oil mixture into the dough and knead on a low/medium speed, for 2-3 minutes until all the water is well mixed into the flour. Once well mixed, turn the mixer to a high speed, continuing to knead for a further 2 minutes until smooth and ‘tacky’ in feel

Once dough is smooth and soft, cover with 1 Tbsp. oil and a damp cloth. Allow to rest in steam oven 1% steam 25°C for 20 minutes, or if not available just an unused oven, to prevent drafts and let it rest for 1.5 hours.

Making the Buns

Once the dough has proved, tear into a few manageable pieces and roll each small ball into a long cylinder.

Then using a bread scraper or knife, cut the cylinders into ping pong ball size pieces, covering the unused dough with cling film to prevent it from drying out.

Grease a pair of chopsticks with oil.

Flatten each small dough ball into an oval shape and, using a rolling pin, roll out until it is roughly 2-3mm thick

Then, using one of the oiled chopsticks, place it in the middle of the oval shaped dough, dividing the dough in half but not pushing it through the dough. At this stage, you’ll want to pick up the oval shaped bun and place on dim sum paper or greaseproof paper.

Fold one side of the dough over the chopstick to meet the other half of the bun, making an ‘elongated half-moon’ shape

Carefully pull or roll the greased chopstick out of the dough, allowing the oil to coat the dough a little bit in order to keep the bun halves separate.

Cover with cling film and rest for 20 minutes, then steam in a covered bamboo steamer over a half-filled wok with boiling water for approx. 8 minutes.

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