Like many others, the LHTC team has gotten into bread making lately, and man-oh-man have the carb-filled days been great. While the testing continues on some of our favorite breads, these hot dog buns are ready to hit the summer grilling circuit! Light and fluffy and topped with poppy seeds (totally optional, btw), these are perfect for your favorite hot dog - or even a lobster roll if you wanna get fancy.
To get into the over-specifics of hot dogs varieties - there are two. Top-loading and side-loading. Top-loading buns (like you see in this post) are cut from the top and are just about as pretty as can be (excuse my obvious bias). These are commonly referred to as New England style buns or Lobster Roll buns. To make ours, we used this fabulous New England Hot Dog Pan from USA Pan
Side-loading buns are the traditional hot dog buns you find in the grocery store or at the ball park; they are sliced from the side and are often referred to as American-style buns and are equally effective hosts of your hot dog & topping of choice.
There are other regional varieties of the hot dog bun - including the Poppy Seed Bun which hails from the home of THE BEST hot dogs - Chicago. You'll see that poppy seeds make an appearance in this post and it is exclusively inspired by a love for Chicago-land (and Portillo's).
Another great tool to make this project E-A-S-Y? A bread machine. I know. You can absolutely make by hand or in a stand mixer, but using a bread maker the last month or so has been an absolute game changer. You literally dump all the ingredients in, push a button and presto! Your dough is done and proofed in like an hour and a half. No kneading or messiness to clean up.
If you're interested in this route, we've had great success with this Compact Automatic Bread Maker from Cuisinart (pics below, look how fabulous that dough looks). It's tiny compared to most bread makers (hence the "compact" label), but still makes a 2 lb loaf - which is both convenient and space-saving. It's also incredibly affordable for the quality of bread.
New England Style Hot Dog Buns
Yield: 10 Buns
1 1/3 cups Water, warm
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 cup Oil (Vegetable, Canola or Grapeseed)
4 cups Bread Flour (All-purpose will work in a pinch though!)
1, 1/4 oz packet Yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons)
Egg Wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, whisked together), for brushing
Poppy Seeds, optional, for topping
DIRECTIONS FOR BREAD MACHINE
1. Add all ingredients to the machine in the order listed in the ingredients list. Select the dough setting on your bread machine. When dough cycle is complete, refer to step 4 (shaping the dough) below.
DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING DOUGH BY HAND
1. In a small bowl, mix together the warm water, sugar and yeast and allow to sit 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture begins to foam (if it doesn't foam, the yeast may be expired. Throw out the mixture and start again).
2. In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and oil and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Pour out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic and passes the window pane test.
3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise 1-2 hours or until doubled in volume.
SHAPING THE DOUGH
4. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions, about 90 grams each. Roll each into a rectangle about
4" x 6". Roll up starting from the long side into a log 6" long. Place each long roll into a slot in the hot dog pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise 45 minutes , or until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 350F. Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, if desired. Bake 30-35 minutes until golden brown.