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Hot Dog Buns – Bake from Scratch

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We took the recipe for Japanese milk bread and shaped it into the traditional long hot dog form for a couple of reasons. Milk bread dough is hydrated with a paste of milk and flour, yielding a cottony crumb. The slight sweetness of milk bread also balances out the saltiness of cured hot dogs. Baked together in a row, these buns also have nice height and soft sides. These buns can serve the classic purpose as your vehicles for sausages, hotdogs, or bratwurst. For a less conventional take, consider stuffing them with lobster or crab salad, as the buns’ mild sweetness will complement the seafood.

Hot Dog Buns

  • 3¼ cups (406 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • Flour Paste (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) water
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, divided
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 3 cups (375 grams) flour, sugar, salt, and yeast by hand. Add Flour Paste.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat ½ cup (120 grams) water, ⅓ cup (80 grams) milk, and butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at low speed until combined. Beat in 1 egg (50 grams).
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 8 to 9 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook. Add up to remaining ¼ cup (31 grams) flour, 1 tablespoon (8 grams) at a time, if dough is too sticky. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down dough, and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 8 portions (about 97 grams each). Press 1 portion into a 5×4-inch rectangle. (Keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out.) Place rectangle widthwise in front of you. Starting with bottom 5-inch edge, fold dough, about ½ inch at a time, pressing to seal each time before folding again. Repeat until you have a tight cylinder. Place seam side up, and fold ends in. Place seam side down, and shape to 5 inches long and even thickness. Place on prepared pan, and press gently to flatten top. Repeat with a second portion of dough, and place about ¼ inch from first bun; press flat. Repeat with remaining dough, making 2 rows of 4 buns. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) milk. Brush buns with egg wash.
  9. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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Flour Paste

  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (16 grams) all-purpose flour
  1. In a small saucepan, cook milk and flour over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and whisk leaves lines on bottom of pan. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool until an instant-read thermometer registers less than 130°F (54°C) before using.

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Shape and Bake: Hot Dog Buns

  1. Divide dough into 8 portions (about 97 grams each).

2. Press 1 portion into a 5×4-inch rectangle. (Keep remaining dough covered to prevent it from drying out.)

3. Place rectangle widthwise in front of you. Starting with bottom 5-inch edge, fold dough, about ½ inch at a time, pressing to seal each time before folding again. 

4. Repeat until you have a tight cylinder.

5. Place seam side up, and fold ends in. Place seam side down, and shape to 5 inches long and even thickness.

6. Place on prepared pan, and press gently to flatten top. Repeat with a second portion of dough, and place about ¼ inch from first bun; press flat. Repeat with remaining dough, making 2 rows of 4 buns.





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