Week 73: Shake Shack Buns

According to eater.com, one of the reasons Shake Shack’s burgers are so popular is their soft, squishy buns. They’ve been using Martin’s Famous Potato Rolls since Shake Shack opened their first location in NYC in 2004. The buns are not readily available here in the PNW, so I did a little digging and came up with a version you can make at home. I’ve never had the burger, but you could give J. Kenji López-Alt’s Fake Shake a try – everything he does is fantastic.

STEP 1: Prep potatoes

  • 1 russet potato (at least 300 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  1. Peel and then roughly chop the potato
  2. Place them in a small pot, add water to cover, and boil until tender.
  3. Reserve 5 Tbsp of the boiling liquid into a small bowl, then drain the potatoes, returning them back to the pot.
  4. Heat on low to evaporate as much of the moisture from the potatoes as you can.
  5. Mash well, then put 1 cup of the mashed potatoes in a bowl.
  6. Add butter to potatoes and mix in until melted.
  7. Add the egg and sugar to the potato water and mix.
  8. Let potatoes water cool.

Step 2: Make dough

  • 350g bread flour
  • 6g yeast
  • 6g salt
  • Mashed potatoes and butter
  • Potato water/egg/sugar mixture
  1. Measure out the flour, yeast and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
  2. Add the mashed potatoes and mix with the handle of a wooden spoon to loosely combine.
  3. Place bowl in mixer, and with the dough hook on low speed, slowly add the water mixture.
  4. Mix until the dough starts to form and there are no dry bits left.
  5. Increase speed to medium-low, and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, and comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Step 3: Proof

  1. Empty dough out until a very lightly floured countertop.
  2. Give it a few kneads and form into a ball.
  3. Place, seam side down, into a greased bowl, cover and let rise 30~60 minutes.

Step 4: Shape

  1. Remove dough from bowl, and shape into a log.
  2. Cut into 8 pieces, weighing about 85g each.
  3. Follow “How to shape up perfect bread rolls” instructions on the Tips page to shape the pieces into rolls.
  4. Arrange the dough balls, seam side down on baking sheet evenly spaced apart.
  5. Press dough balls down to form uniform disks.
  6. Cover, and let rise for 30~60 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat over to 425 degrees.

Step 5: Bake

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp water
  1. Lightly beat egg yolk with the water.
  2. Brush tops with a beaten egg yolk.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown.


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