Homemade Hot Dog Buns

This is from the King Arthur Flour website

Makes 18

2 TBS granulated sugar

2 packets or 2 scant TBS active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (105 - 115°F)

2 cups warm milk (105 - 115°F)

2 TBS vegetable oil - I used olive oil

2 tsp salt

6 - 7 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour*

egg wash - I egg beaten with 1 TBS water

*The dough needs to be somewhat sticky for the most tender buns but conditions will vary from summer to winter and from climate in your area so start with 6 cups and then add a 1/4 cup at a time until you have a dough that is just past well, glop.

Mixing: 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, 1/4 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.

Kneading: 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. Or use the dough hook in your mixer for 8 - 10 minutes. That's what I did.

Rising: 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. 

1. 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. 

2. Shape each piece into a ball. For hamburger buns, flatten the balls into 3 1/2-inch disks. For hot-dog buns, roll the balls 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.

3. For soft-sided buns, place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet 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. 

4. 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.

I also made these in wheat. I followed the exact same recipe substituting White Whole Wheat flour for the unbleached all purpose flour. These rolls were a little denser but were still light and delicious.