7.04.2013

Hot Dog Buns Recipe

Photos  Courtesy  Joy The Baker
It's summer time, time to savor the simple joys that go with summer eating. The perfect hot dog on the BBQ. Plain and simple with the bare necessities of ketchup, mustard and relish or...venture with me to the explore the intricacies of  the  homemade hot dog bun, some new and wonderful toppings and even a simple homemade ketchup. Let's look at some extraordinary combinations for toppings. A whole new taste sensation at your next back yard BBQ.
Making hot dog buns may seem a little adventurous, maybe even a little too courageous for those of you who haven't ventured in to bread baking. However I can assure you that once you embark into this territory you don't easily turn back because its no longer all about the toppings and the all beef wiener. Now the bun achieves importance as well. No longer just a vessel to hold those toppings, these buns are a must have for the hot dog connoisseur.


Notes:

This recipe was adapted from  King Arthur Flour. As a side note, don't over proof the dough, and don't over handle it to shape it. Shape the bun, then let it be!! Yeast dough is tricky to work with in humid, summer months if that's when your embarking on this creative adventure.
This recipe makes 18 buns. You can freeze any extra buns or feel free to cut the recipe in half to try it. 
Careful with the amount of flour. If you're making these on a humid day, you will need more flour to absorb the given liquid in this or any recipe. That's why the amount is 6 to 71/2 cups. Start with 6 and add as needed.
Only add enough flour past the 6 cup mark, to make the dough kneadable for your buns to turn out soft and tender. Moist and mellow dough = tender buns.

 Moist, mellow, shaggy dough, still a bit wet and sticky.The dough should just begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Ingredients:

 2 tbl sugar
2 tbl dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water(105-115 degrees F)
2 cups warm milk
2 tbl olive oil
2 tsp salt
6 to 71/2 cups AP flour

Egg Wash:1 egg beaten with a tbl cold water
Poppy seeds, coarse black pepper, or sea salt for topping

To mix the dough,dissolve the sugar,and then the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, oil and salt and 3 cups of flour. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time,just until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl as pictured above.Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.Knead until it is smooth and elastic.
This dough is what is referred to as "slack" so its a little tricky to handle. You might find that a bowl scraper or dough knife is helpful for folding and kneading. When your dough is smooth and elastic, place it in an oiled bowl to rest and rise.Turn the ball of dough once in the bowl in order to coat the entire ball with oil. Cover with a dampened towel for about an hour. It should be doubled in size.To shape the buns,turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled surface.
Divide the dough evenly into 6 pieces. then divide each of those pieces into 3.

Roll the dough into cylinder shapes, each 41/2 inches long. Flatten them slightly.You want a gently rounded top as opposed to a high top. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, lightly oil the paper. Place your dough pieces on the sheet a half an inch apart. This creates a soft sided bun. For a crisp bun place them 3 inches apart. Cover with a towel lightly and let rise til doubled, about 45 minutes. Handle gently and don't over proof or this delicate dough will "fall" .
About 15 minutes before you are ready to bake the buns, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Just before you put them in, lightly brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with salt, pepper, or poppy seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes. They sound hollow when you tap them from underneath. That's how you tell that they are done. Remove the buns from the baking sheet and let them cool on a wire rack, otherwise your crust will be soggy.
All of these great photos courtesy  Joy The Baker
The finished product. Well worth the effort. Courageous for the novice bread baker, but the accolades received and of course the taste of homemade bread will have you making these and other breads when the occasion arises. Enjoy! 







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