Well guys, I guess you knew it was only a matter of time. I already insist on making my own pita, pizza dough, and hamburger buns, so hot dog buns couldn’t have been too far behind. Just as with burgers, a good hot dog bun needs to be light and tender but still able stand up to whatever you choose to put inside of it. I am personally more of a ketchup only kind of girl, though I probably wouldn’t say no to a chili dog if someone made it for me. Either way, these buns are sturdy enough to hold all your fixins and a tasty complement to the star of the show – the hot dog itself. I know, I know – a package of buns from the store costs like, 59¢ or something. People may think you are a little nuts for making your own hot dog buns but to me, it’s just another one of those things that is so much better homemade, I won’t be able to buy them from a store again.
One more small thing I happen to love about this recipe: it makes nine buns. Most packages of hot dogs have either eight or ten. This inevitably leads me to recall that fabulous scene from Father of the Bride where George Banks loses it. Classic.
Hot Dog Buns
Yield: 9 buns
1 tbsp. sugar
2¼ tsp. instant yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-110˚ F)
1 cup warm milk
1 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
1 tsp. salt
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping, if desired
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, yeast and warm water. Stir in the milk, oil, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix with the dough hook until well combined. Add the remaining cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (you may not need the full cup). Continue kneading on low speed, 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Using a kitchen scale, divide the dough into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Roll the balls into cylinders 4½ inches in length, and flatten slightly. Place each bun on the prepared baking sheet with the sides just barely touching. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if using. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the buns to a wire rack and cool completely.