Hot Dog Buns

IMG_2376So…I shared my hot dog sauce with you the other day…and now it’s time for the most important part. At least it’s the most important part for me… The part that can make or break the hot dog experience.

The bread…
The bun.

I love bread.
Especially when it’s hot out of the oven.

IMG_2375

I admit to eating one of them as soon as I pulled them out of the oven, and, of course, it was gobbed with butter! I’ll tell you, I could have made a meal on these rolls alone. But I stayed strong, I stopped at one.

Ok… One and a half.
Ok… Two.
I stopped at two.
And then I was too full to eat the hot dog!

Anyway…I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect hot dog bun recipe…trying different recipes from different blogs.. and finally happened upon Joy the Baker’s blog, who got the recipe from King Arthur Flour.

I’m so impressed with them, the rolls are so soft and fluffy, and yet they don’t fall apart…they’re perfect for hot dogs!

And…while they’re very easy to make, I’m not going to lie, there’s some prep work to them… rolls are basically a bread dough… and bread takes time to prepare…

IMG_2400

So, while I want to say that I’m never buying store bought hot dog rolls again, and only make them homemade from now on…

We all know that would be a little white lie…
Ok, a big white lie.
A big fat lie.

There is no doubt that I’ll buy store bought again. Sometimes I just don’t have the time to make them homemade… ok, a lot of the time I don’t have the time….

But I do plan to make these again… and again. Seriously, they’re just that good…and I know would be so delicious with burgers…and easy enough to shape into hamburger buns!

The important thing that Joy mentions in her post, is that you shouldn’t let the dough over proof, and don’t handle the dough too much. This is a squishy dough, it’s not the dough you’re used to when making bread.

IMG_2365
IMG_2366
IMG_2368
Handle it lightly, and you’ll be rewarded with those light and fluffy rolls!Once you have the rolls shaped, let them be! They don’t have to be perfect! They will form a perfect bun as they rise.
IMG_2369
IMG_2371
IMG_2372
IMG_2373
If anything, everyone needs to experience a homemade bun with their hot dog! Impress your friends at your next cookout when you come walking out with a basket of freshly baked (and still warm) hot dog buns. You’ll be the life of the party!

Life is good, it’s a “You’re probably happy that this is the very last hot dog post, but I really had to share this recipe with you because it’s awesome” kind of good..
IMG_2376

Homemade Hot Dog Buns

Prudy’s note: This recipe called for 6 to 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Trust me, don’t go as high as 7-1/2 cups flour. Stop at 6 cups, or even 5-1/2. You’ll be kneading it, so it will form a dough that you’ll be able to work with.  I also used sesame seeds instead of poppy seeds.  I love poppy seeds, but  fussy Mike doesn’t (I know..surprise, surprise).

This recipe is copied from Joy the Baker’s blog.

recipe from King Arthur Flour

makes 18 buns

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 packets or 2 scant tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
2 cups warm milk (105°F to 115°F)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 to 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
poppy seeds, coarse black pepper, and sea salt for topping (optional)

*King Arthur Flour gives a fairly wide flour measurement variation for a couple of reasons. First, you’ll find in the summer that you’ll need a bit more flour to absorb a given amount of liquid than you will in the winter. This is because it’s humid and flour acts somewhat like a slightly dampened sponge as a result. I used 6 1/2 cups flour for my hot dog buns.

King Arthur Flour also notes that this particular dough should be quite slack, i.e., very relaxed in order to make soft and tender buns. So you want to add only enough more flour, past the 6-cup point, to make the dough just kneadable; sprinkling only enough more to keep it from sticking to you or the board.

To mix the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil, salt and 3 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.

To Knead the dough: Knead until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Because this dough is so slack, you may find that a bowl scraper or bench knife can be helpful in scooping up the dough and folding it over on itself.

To rest and rise the dough: Put the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a tightly-woven dampened towel and let rise until doubled, about one hour.

To shape the buns: Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide into 18 equal pieces. This is done most easily by dividing the dough first into thirds, then those thirds into halves, then the halves into thirds.

Roll the dough into cylinders, 4 1/2-inches in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly; dough rises more in the center so this will give a gently rounded top versus a high top.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment paper.

For soft-sided buns, place them on prepared baking sheets a half inch apart so they’ll grow together when they rise. For crisper buns, place them three inches apart.

Second Rising: Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Just drape a towel over the buns for the second rose, a piece of plastic wrap may stick and deflate the buns when the plastic is removed.

To Bake: Fifteen minutes before you want to bake your buns, preheat your oven to 400°F. Just before baking, lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with whatever seeds strike your fancy.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190°F. (A dough thermometer takes the guesswork out of this.)

When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Enjoy!

IMG_2376