Shaping Hot Dog Buns

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Once Little League starts its season I consider it the official Hot Dog opener. I don’t eat many of them, but that is shear will power, because I absolutely love a good dog. My husband and I once stood in like at Hot Doug’s in Chicago for 2 hours just to see what all the hype was about. You know what, I’d do it again, they were fantastic! I’m not a purist either, I like them loaded up with all kinds of business. One of my all time favorites is the really-bad-for-you chili dog we get at the Lake Harriet Band Shell in the summer, complete with fake cheese sauce and salty canned chili. It is just one of my weaknesses!

When I make hot dog or hamburger buns I like to use the Brioche dough from ABin5 or some other enriched white dough that make up a lighter bun. I made these with the whole wheat version and I found them a tad on the dense side, but as you can tell from my confession above, I love a junk food hot dog experience. ;) Use any dough that you like and form it just as I have below.

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Take a small (3-ounce) piece (about the size of a small plum) from your bucket of dough. Form them into smooth balls, as you would a larger boule.

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Elongate them into 6-inch long ropes.

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Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 25-30 minutes (10 minutes longer for whole grain doughs).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

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Paint the top of the buns with water or butter with a Pastry Brush.

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Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. They will not develop a crust.

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Slice when cooled, fill with the hot dog of your choice and go crazy with the toppings. (I took the picture prior to dumping a bunch of relish and other goodies on top.)

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111 thoughts on “Shaping Hot Dog Buns

  1. As a lifelong dog lover, I must say those rolls look fabulous. I will make them ASAP! Thanks for another great recipe!

  2. This makes me want to give hot dog buns another try. I will have to try that recipe as mine get too crusty and they’re too big for the kids to eat. I guess practice makes perfect. I finally got a bunch of rings and they made perfect hamburger buns :)

  3. A brioche sounds better than my first attempt a few weeks ago: I tried using an oatmeal dough I modified from King Arthur’s site. Because of a last-minute cancel on a dinner get-together, the buns, still stuck together on the sides, had a chance to sit for about 2 days in my bread bin. When I went to grab ‘em for sausages, they were totally flat! I used ‘em anyway, carefully sliced down the middle. They still tasted good. I’m giving these a try; hot dog weather is definitely here!

  4. Looks like a great idea!

    I just got your HBin5 a couple of days ago and I already mixed a batch of the WW Brioche dough and baked a delicious Apple Strudel Bread. Thank you for the wonderful recipes!

    I also just got a bag of wheat germ and I was wondering if I could add it to different recipes (Master recipe, Brioche, etc)? If so, how much and should I adapt the recipe in any way to compensate?

    Thank you!!!

    • Mariana: Use about a quarter cup in place of that much flour and you won’t need significant changes. Beyond that and you need to use a bit more water but that will take some experimentation, not sure as I haven’t pushed WG. Jeff

  5. hi zoe,
    i want to bake a panettone and i have a charlotte mold 7″ by 4.” would you know how much panettone dough will this mold hold ? i am using your panettone recipe from your book.
    thanks,
    patricia

  6. This will be great for those cook outs. I love making my own buns, what with the cost and chems in the store bought.

  7. I did a variation on the hot dog roll that was very successful. I took a slightly smaller piece of dough, about 2 ounces, and rolled it into a rectangle as wide as the hot dog and between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. I spread some mustard on it, added some cheddar cheese, and rolled the hot dog up inside it. I let that rise (seam side down) and then baked as Zoe instructed. The results were wonderful, although I don’t recommend waiting until you’re already hungry to start the process.

  8. I love both your books and for the past two years have been making most of our breads from your book. Thank you both. My reason for emailing is; for environmental reasons we try not to use very much plastic. So I have
    a few different questions. First, on the initial rise can we cover the flour mixture with a cloth? And does is make a difference when the dough is formed and set out for the 40 or 90 minute pre bake rise time can we leave it uncovered? I know it can present some problems with sticking to towels and difficult to wash out but I want to know if the plastic covering does anything else than just protecting the dough?
    Evy

    • Evy: Don’t use a cloth, it will stick to dough this wet. Just cover it with a pot lid or a plate. You may find that the surface dries out too much for the over-40 minute rises…

  9. I like to put my hot dog buns on the baking sheet very close to each other so that they touch while baking and those sides that you have to slightly tear apart are nice and soft.

  10. Thanks for a great book! I have the healthy bread version and everything I’ve made has turned out great, my family has really enjoyed it! The last master recipe I mixed up, however, was accidentally left out for like a 36 hour initial rise. I put it into the fridge, but I’m wondering if that might have been too long, is it safe to eat and will it rise when I bake it? Thanks so much!

  11. Love the books and the posts, learn more each time, and am waiting for better weather so I can try out the grill. DH is off working and not home so if I want grilled stuff I have to do it myself! But the buns look scrumptious, I am not a bread fan much at all (to the despair of my mother as a child) so think the pita shaped breads would work better for me, but can try the others out on the rest of the bread eaters.

  12. I made your master dough and added sunflower seeds, walnuts and raisins. After having the dough in the 24 hrs in the refrigerator, the resulting bread was only 1 1/2 inches high. The slashes never open up as I’ve seen in your pictures – especially the boule. What am I doing wrong and what can I try? Thanks

    • Hi Helen,

      Had you made the master recipe without adding seeds/nuts before? If so, did the dough bake up nicely then?

      It sounds like your dough is either too wet or you added so many things to it that it no longer has the structure to rise well. Let me know what you think.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. I have always loved making breads, starting with a 4-H demo. People always envied that I could make bread so well. I bought your first book and told several people about it. I could not believe how easy it was and how little time it took. My friend called me up and said “you have created a monster” after she bought the book and started baking. She said she has not bought a loaf of bread since! I have since bought the HBin5 and like it as well.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Thank you so much for trying the books and for sharing your enthusiasm with your friends!

      Happy baking! Zoë

  14. I have Brioche I made a couple days ago so hot dogs buns it is. They look great. I would have never thought of using brioche. I’ll make the pecan sticky buns too. My son is home for the weekend so always nice to make treats for him.

  15. I have just made a boule from my second batch of dough. (My first batch was done according to the 2007 book without corrections, so I wanted to make new dough according the the corrected information.)

    The qualilty of the bread is excellent, but I wonder about the size of the loaf. I’m assuming that the basic recipe is for about a week’s worth of bread – 6 loaves? This morning I took 1/6th of the dough and formed it into a boule. I let it stand for 90 minutes on the peel and baked it on the stone for 40 minutes. (I found the bread from my first batch to be slightly underdone at 30 minutes.)

    I am getting a loaf about 7″ in diameter and a scant 2″ high at the center. This seems small compared to the artisan bread available at my supermarket bakery. Am I doing something wrong? or are we talking apples and oranges.

    I use:
    2 pkg Red Star yeast
    1.5 tblsp kosher salt
    3 cups lukewarm water
    6.5 cups Hecker’s unbleached all purpose flour.

    It takes about 5 hours for the dough to rise in my kitchen. Then it goes into the refrigerator.

    • Barbara: Any chance you are measuring with “spoon-and-sweep” method rather than “scoop-and-sweep” method? That’s a typical problem. Other than that, have a look at our videos (see tab above) and be sure you’re forming a good “gluten-cloak” as you form the ball. It should be giving you more height than what you’re seeing.

      Possible it’s “over-proofing” with 90 minutes for the white flour recipe– especially if your home is warm (above 68 degrees F, let’s say). Could try 60 minutes after shaping and see if you prevent the spreading sideways that you’re getting.

      But I’m a bit thrown by this, because it’s taking a long time for full rise, despite your full dose of yeast. Is your kitchen cold?

      One other thing– six loaves out of this batch size creates pretty small loaves, about 10 ounces each. The full batch makes 4 loaves that are about 14 ounces each (a little less than billed).

  16. I just tried a GF recipe out of the Healthy Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a day. It was the GF Olive OIl bread. I have to say I was utterly disappointed. :( The inside was really super gummy from all the starch. Did I do something wrong with it? I halved the recipe and due to a severe egg allergy I used flaxseed and water as an egg replacement. Can you offer some advice?

    • Hi Beth,

      I’ve never tried the egg substitutes, but I know people have been baking the crusty boule recipe with it. The GF Olive oil dough is a much lighter texture and it may need the leavening properties of the egg protein to rise properly.

      You may have a much better time substituting the eggs from the crusty boule recipe and using olive oil to replace the veg oil in the recipe.

      I hope this helps! Zoë

  17. Jeff,

    Thanks for the response. Several things:

    My kitchen is on the cool side.

    You’re right about the spoon and sweep. Please clarify scoop and sweep for me.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Barbara,

      Instead of spooning the flour into the measuring cup, we just scoop the flour directly out of the flour bin. Doing this results in more flour per measuring cup.

      I hope that helps? Zoë

  18. I really like the nuts/seeds/fruit combinations of the oat recipes but I don’t digest the oats very well. I tried the master recipe and added sunflower seeds – about 1/2 c, walnuts – 1/3 c, and 1 c raisins. The finished bread was only 1 1/2 inches high – Zoe said I might be adding too much or that the dough was too wet. Reading the other comments I realized that maybe the “wet” was the answer because I’ve been spooning the flour into the measuring cup too.

    • Hi Helen,

      Yes, spooning the flour will certainly result in a dough that is too wet. I’ll bet you have better results now!

      Perhaps you would like the millet-fruit bread, and add a bit of seeds to that?

      Thanks and happy baking! Zoë

  19. I just started reading your first book and have a question. I am confused by your lidded but not airtight container. I think that means that you poke holes into the lid. Would an ice cream bucket make a good container. I am looking forward to trying the recipes. Thanks

    • Melina: It means to leave it cracked open a bit for the first 48 hours or so. After that, you can snap it down assuming like most plastic lids, it doesn’t make a perfectly airtight seal. Punching a pinhole accomplishes the same thing.

  20. Hi. I’m wondering whether I can bake your bread in my Dutch oven instead of on a stone and adding water in a pan underneath it. I have the stone, and I did a whole batch that way, but it pretty much ruined the baking pan I put the water in. One of my best pans, too! I use the dutch oven for the New York No-Knead Bread recipe from the New York Times. I’m thinking this method might work for your bread, too, since the Dutch oven seals in the moisture. What do you think?

  21. I saw that recipe but am wondering if you have an online source for the millet. I went to a grocery store that has everything and looked in the organic/ cerealand flour aisles and didn’t find millet. I did find some at a bird store – the manager said to strain it which is fairly tedious. Is there anything I could substitute for the millet if the bird food millet doesn’t work?

  22. Zoe,

    I found an online source for millet. I have a batch percolating with the bird food millet – hope it works too!

  23. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, and am hoping to get your first book for my birthday next month, but I have a small problem. My fridge is usually full of milk (we have a couple Jersey cows) so I’m wondering how well it would work, to cut down the amount of dough I make, so I could use a smaller container to store it in, in the fridge…maybe make it a rectangle pan (if I can find one) that would fit on the lower shelves, since my main shelf, that allows for taller items is usually full of Milk.

    Just wanting to know, so I can be prepared with whatever container, when I get the book! :)

  24. My son is obsessed with hot dogs lately–today is his Birthday, so I used this recipe and we had hot dogs for supper.–the buns were AWESOME :)

  25. I made hot dog buns with the HBin5 master recipe. I need to work on my shaping technique, but they turned out tasty! I’m sure the brioche dough is even better… will have to get a bath of the whole wheat brioche dough going.

  26. My husband made the turkey-spinach-feta variation of the Stuffed Sandwich Loaf from HBin5 yesterday, using the master recipe as the base dough. It rose beautifully, but ended up with a huge air pocket between the top crust and the filling (the inside filling & bread starts about halfway down the loaf). It doesn’t look like he over stuffed it… the turkey is thin and the cheese is well distributed. The bread spiralled around the filling looks pretty dense (still tastes fine). The dough wasn’t all that old – 5 days maybe. We did wait until it was cool to slice it.

    • Susan: I’m not sure why this is happening. Make sure you don’t use more filling than we specify (as this will put more air into the loaf.

  27. I actually have one question concerning the gluten-free boule recipe. My son is severely allergic to wheat, milk, soy, eggs, etc… and I wondered if it’d affect the recipe in a good/bad way if I were to use egg substitute? I use the Ener-G egg replacement for almost everything.

  28. I just bought the book HB in 5 and already, I have become obsessed with making bread! Can you give specific rising and baking times for a 2 lb free form loaf?

  29. Totally off topic, but I just made and ate the msemmen/Algerian flat bread from HBin5
    and it was amazing!
    too spicy for my son so I got to eat the whole thing….my question is why the rest on the oil surface- I rolled it out on that too, was that right? It was a little hard to remove but it did work, just wondering why not rest and roll on flour?
    thanks as always!

  30. My question is also unrelated. Is there anything I can substitute for spelt flour in your roasted garlic bread in HBin5 on pg. 100 and in herbed potato and roasted garlic on pg. 103? Does the spelt flour have a different flavor then wheat flour.
    Thank you.

    • Denisa: It’s a milder-tasting, lower-gluten variety of wheat. You can swap whole wheat here. You may have to slightly increase the water since the extra gluten soaks up water a little more than spelt.

  31. Thanks Jeff, just wanted to know. I do also make the Naan often and love that too, and yes there is a difference with the flour vs. oil. Made the msemmem again today and yes, the oil does make the bread. Love it!
    (And I am not normally a “spicy person,” but this comob is just right.)

  32. My oven is too small for a baking stone. I tried using a 16×16 piece of granite tile — which cracked the first time I tried it. Any other ideas? I’m thinking porcelain tile, or brick, or facebrick, perhaps using a silpat sheet on top of that, and then finishing on an oven rack as you suggest. What do you think?

    Thanks!

    • Chakrates: People have talked about “unglazed quarry tile,” but I have not tried it. James Beard used to swear by it. I haven’t seen where to buy it but people talk about building supply places. Make sure you get unglazed.

      The other ideas might work too, but haven’t tried them.

  33. I was somewhere in the artisanbreadinfive and it said to increase the water if using King Arthur all purpose flour. Do I also increase the water if using KA WW? Can you direct me back to that area because I have been looking and can’t find it now!

  34. I want to make a low-carb artisan bread. Do you have any listings of how many carbs a slice of any particular bread is?

  35. Hi. I’m having a great time trying all sorts of different recipes from the two books. My 8 year old is now pointedly disappointed if there isn’t home made bread for him to eat. I’m having one small problem. I like to make challah for Friday night. It tastes fine, but looks very, very sad. I would love a video on how to roll and shape the challah. If there’s already one on the site, I apologize, but I can’t find it. Also, I see that the rolling out technique has changed from the first book to the second. Is that because you’ve improved the method or because the different doughs do best with the different methods? Thanks!

    • Hi marcia,

      Check out this post and let me know if you still have any questions. I think a video is a great idea!

      Thanks, Zoë

  36. What I do, is roll out ropes and wrap the hot dogs in a spiral, and bake the hot dog and the bread at once… soooo delish!

  37. I have a question about the hot dog buns. I made them out of the master recipe dough in ABin5 and they were tasty as could be, but a little ugly in my opinion. They didn’t want to stretch out into snakes even though I let the dough rest a little while so they were a little short. Plus they were awfully lumpy on the outside, not consistent in shape or size like store-bought buns. Is there a trick to making them not look quite so home-made? Thanks!

    Incidentally, I have the same lumpy bumpy odd-shaped problem with my equally delicious bagels. Look sad, taste amazing! Apparently I stink at shaping…

    • Jennie: I’m guessing that you’re not doing quite enough “gluten-cloaking” before final shaping. Check out our videos tab above. A longer rest might help too.

      For the bagels, try a shorter water bath and see if that helps.

  38. I waited 2 hours at Hot Doug’s, too! I loved that foie gras dog and the duck fat fries! I tried these buns and failed when they came up in our HBin5 group, but this tutorial makes me want to try again. Thanks!

  39. Thanks Jeff. I appreciate your suggestions. I did make some more hot dog buns and hoagie rolls tonight out of the “healthier” brioche dough from HBin5 and they looked much much better. (And tasted simply a-maz-ing).

    I cheated on the shaping of the hot dog buns… placed them maybe an inch or two apart in a greased 7×11 glass pan. Once they rose and baked, they ended up touching, leaving me with nice smooth tops and whitish edges that were tall and easy to slice.

  40. i made my first loaf of bread and the crumb was white a few days latter i made a second batch and the crumb was brown. did i do something wrong and is this normal

    • Chetjr: I’m guessing that you had too much air circulating into your storage vessel, or too large a storage vessel. Snap the lid down at 48 hours (assuming not a screw-top lid on glass), and consider transferring to a new, smaller vessel as you use it up.

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