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Hot Dog Buns

I have never been a big fan of store-bought hot dog buns. I know that the number one complaint about them is that buns are sold in packages of 8, while many hot dogs are sold in packs of only 7, but that doesn’t bother me too much. Who hasn’t over-toasted a bun and been glad for the extra? I say that it’s good planning. What bothers me is that they are never the right size for the the sausage. They’re usually too long or are so bready as to overwhelm the hot dog. I also take issue with the buns being overly soft or stale.

But I love hot dogs and, carb lover that I am, I am unwilling to eat them plain.

Making buns has one huge advantage over store bought, besides freshness, taste and fun: customization. You can make the buns in the precise shape and size to fit your sausages. If you are using a spiced sausage, you can include a tablespoon or two of fresh, chopped herbs. As with any bread product, the variations are endless.

The recipe came from King Arthur Flour, but I halved the recipe instead of making a full batch. I also found that they called for a bit too much flour and that the dough was not “slack”, though they described it that way. I estimated the amount of oil I added, so it was probably a bit less than stated. The directions below are given for an electric mixer, though you can certainly mix this by hand. I also tried to elaborate on shaping.

I really enjoyed the fact that I got to practice shaping dough while I made these. I am very confident with round loaves now, but, more often than not, my shaped breads look a bit rough. This dough was very soft and easy to work with. It wasn’t sticky, but it was easy to pinch the seams together to create smooth buns. I strongly feel that the only way to get good at shaping is to practice. This is a perfect chance to do so because you get 9 tries in one batch of dough! If it doesn’t work out on your first try or two, you have many more to work on. And you can always eat your mistakes because the buns tastes great. Once you’re good to go with the rolls, you’ll be happy to know that they also stand up to condiments without getting soggy.

Hot Dog Buns
(slightly adapted from King Arthur’s recipe)
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet or 1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 cup warm milk (105-110F)
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp salt
3-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg white (for egg wash)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve and let set until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add in milk, vegetable oil and salt. With the mixer on a low speed with the dough hook attached, gradually add the flour. Once 3 cups have been incorporated, add the remaining flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 2-4 minutes, until smooth and supple. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Shaping the dough:
Gently remove the dough from its bowl onto a floured surface. Flatten it slightly into a large rectangular log. Divide dough into thirds and divide each third into three equal pieces. Cover unworked dough with a clean dishtowel while shaping.
Gently flatten dough into a long rectangle. Fold left and right sides to meet in the center. Fold the top and bottom sides towards the center. Keep pinching the edges together, pulling the dough into a tight roll shape (Not that I’m advocating smoking – because I’m not and I don’t – but it is similar to hand-rolling a cigarette. Except bigger. And dough). Repeat until you have 9 rolls.
Place hot dog buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with a dishtowel. Let them rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Brush buns with egg white and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove to a rack to cool before slicing.
Makes 9 buns.

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  • Melissa
    September 15, 2005

    Those look amazing, I’m so impressed.
    WHEN I get time, that is on the list of To Do recipes!

    btw….I made your Buttermilk Scones and brought them to a coffee….they loved ’em.
    Thanks Nic!

  • FoodNinja
    September 15, 2005

    Up here everthing is sold in Dozens.. Buns, dogs, sausages.. Hmm. I do want to make this one before the next snow falls… the last one melted before morning

  • Alice
    September 15, 2005

    Here in Ohio, both buns and hot dogs generally come in packages of 8…well, you can get the buns in packages of 12, also. Anyway, speaking of King Arthur and hot dog buns…have you seen the pan they sell to make the New England variety hot dog buns? I SO want one, but can’t justify the cost. I think I should just try regular hot dogs buns first…this recipe looks like a great starting point…thanks!

  • Alicat
    September 15, 2005

    That bun looks DELICIOUS. You are much more ambitious than I. I tend to bake stuff that you can scoop or smooth in a pan, not doughs where shaping is involved. Great job!!

  • Stephanie
    September 15, 2005

    Nic, that’s brilliant!

    I would never have thought to make my own hot dog rolls…and yours looks fantastic.

    Matt loves to make his own rolls for burgers, so I’m going to have to ‘borrow’ your recipe for future cook-outs.

    Excellent job.

  • Nic
    September 15, 2005

    Melissa – I’m glad you had a chance to try the scones. My own to-do list is getting a little out of hand.

    Templar – Lucky! And it’s snowing already? Better get out the grill before the season is really over.

    Alice – I have seen those pans. They definately intrigue me! But I think I’ll need a bigger kitchen (or just more storage space) before I get any more cookware.

    Alicat – Thank you!

    Stephanie – If you shape them into rounds, you can use this same recipe for hamburger buns. Just sprinkle a few sesame seeds on after the egg wash.

  • rae
    September 15, 2005

    oh bestill my trailer beating heart! that hot dog tucked into it’s cozy bun and wrapped up in condiments looks absolutely delicious!

  • Shakthi
    September 15, 2005

    I just love your blog, recipes and simplicity and yet sophistication of your style.

  • Nic
    September 15, 2005

    Rae – Thanks. I have to have ketchup and mustard on my dogs.

    Shakthi – Thank you so much for the kind words!

  • drbiggles
    September 15, 2005

    I’ve always wanted to see what your buns looked like and I have to say I’m very impressed.
    I’m going to mark this page for reference, der.


  • Nic
    September 15, 2005

    And they are darn fine buns, if I do say so myself!

  • cookie jill
    September 15, 2005

    Ahhhh…shades of PINKS! 😉

  • Punky
    September 15, 2005

    Wow. I have to say I am very impressed. When I actually get up the nerve to start making bread this will be one of my 1st recipes to try. I agree that hotdog buns are often an awful texture when bought in the store.

  • Shauna
    September 15, 2005

    Okay, that’s killing me. I LOVE that you make your own hot dog buns! Where were you when I was a kid, and my Dodger Dogs were twice as long as the bun?

    I’m going to try to update these for gluten-free flour, because I just desperately want a hot dog now!

  • Cathy
    September 15, 2005

    I’ve always loved the idea of making something from scratch that is almost always store-bought. Hotdog buns are near the top of that list, thought I have never made them. You make this recipe sound so easy – I’m seriously tempted.

  • augustusgloop
    September 15, 2005

    Oh yum. These look great!

    I’m in awe of your industriousness as always. I’m sure they tasted delicious!

  • Nic
    September 15, 2005

    Punky – This is definately an improvement over a lot of commercial buns.

    Shauna – I think that gluten free buns sound like a great idea. At least with the Dodger dogs, the half that wasn’t on the bun would be gluten free!

    Cathy – I found this to be pretty easy. I hope my instructions for shaping the dough are clear enough.

    A.G. – You’re too kind!

  • Clare Eats
    September 16, 2005

    YAY! Nic to the rescue!
    I Never buy hot dog buns here cause they suck!!!! Now wont case be impressed when I ply him with these instead heheeh
    + I will get to practise shaping bread :)!

  • Ana
    September 16, 2005

    I do not like hot-dogs that much but I love the bratwurst sausage in a hot-dog bun. Since the bratwurst can be just plain boiled, it can be made during the winter. What a great idea Nic.

  • Dawna
    September 16, 2005

    Ah, homemade hotdog and hamburger buns! You just can’t go back to plasticrap from the supermarket after that! Great job, Nic – I like your description of how to shape them.

  • Molly
    September 16, 2005

    That bun looks out-of-this-world gorgeous. Love that light, golden sheen! I’ve been craving a hot dog for a while now, and by god, now I’ve got to have one of your hot dog buns too!

  • Nic
    September 16, 2005

    Clare – I bet case will be impressed. If you make them a bit larger, these are good for regular sandwiches as well.

    Ana – Hot dog bun, bratwurst bun. It’s all good.

    Dawna – Thanks! I hope it’s helpful.

    Molly – Your description of them alone makes me want to bake another batch. Thanks.

  • farmgirl
    September 17, 2005

    Talk about a picture perfect hot dog bun! What a great photo and a wonderful post. I am not a hog dog eater, but I do love grilled sausages, though I don’t think I’ve ever bought a hot dog bun in my lfe. I can’t wait to try making these. Thanks, Nic!

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