This recipe for Bakery-Style Hot Dog Buns yields an incredibly soft yet fluffy bun. It's the perfect vessel for a hotdog or smokie. Make it at home and you'll never have to buy store-bought hotdog buns ever again.
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We don't eat too many hotdogs, but when we find ones without added nitrates, we'll let the boys have a little treat.
Why you'll love this recipe
This recipe uses ingredients that you'll have in your pantry and fridge.
The buns turn out soft and fluffy, without any bread conditioners added (which is what makes commercial buns so soft).
Tangzhong is the magic ingredient that keeps the buns soft, even after a few days later.
If you have a package of 10 hotdogs, one batch of this recipe makes exactly 10 buns! (No need to worry about odd number of buns to dogs).
Ingredients you'll need
There's only a few ingredients in these buns.
For the tangzhong, there's only 3 ingredients, which are a part of the total ingredient list.
- whole milk: you can use milk or a non-dairy alternative
- all-purpose flour: you can use regular flour, or bread flour if you have it
- active dry yeast: makes the buns nice and fluffy
- large egg: helps keep the dough soft and supple
- granulated sugar: adds a little touch of sweetness
- sea salt: you can use kosher salt if you like
- avocado oil: you can use any neutral vegetable oil
How to make the buns
Make the tangzhong:
Combine the milk with the flour in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk until it becomes thickened and paste-like.
Remove from heat and let slightly cool.
Make the dough:
Combine the yeast, sugar and warm milk in a bowl. Give it a stir and leave for a few minutes until the yeast becomes bubbly.
Add the flour, salt, egg and oil into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Pour in the activated yeast mixture, lightly cooled tangzhong mixture and knead until the dough becomes smooth, shiny and elastic (Step 1-3 below). Note that the dough will go from shaggy to smooth.
Note: this dough is tacky and you may need to finish kneading the dough by hand.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap (Step 4 below).
Let the dough rise in a warm location, about 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size (Step 5 below).
Preheat oven to 350F.
Divide the buns into 10 equal pieces, about 62g each (Step 6 below).
With a rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape about 7" in length (Step 1 below).
Coil up the dough lengthwise, forming a log shape and pinch the seams together (Step 2 and 3 below).
Flip the dough seam-side down, press down and flatten the dough (Step 4 below).
Place seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet (Step 5 below).
Repeat with the remaining and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap.
Leave buns to rest until slightly puffy -- this can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Brush the tops of the dough with milk (Step 6 below).
Bake at 350F for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown in color.
Expert tips & troubleshooting
My dough is not coming together
If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of milk to the dough and continue kneading, until it comes together.
If the dough is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and continue to knead, until it becomes smooth.
Note: This dough tends to be more sticky/tacky, and initially you can use an electric mixer with dough hook to knead the dough, but you may need to finish kneading using your hands.
How can I tell if the dough is proofed?
Use the poke test -- if the dough:
- the bounces back right away when you poke the dough, it's not ready yet; give it some more time.
- leaves an indentation and bounces back slowly, it's ready to go.
- leaves an indentation and doesn't bounce back, it may be overproofed -- time to get it in the oven ASAP.
Tip: it is better to underproof than overproof the dough -- once the dough is overproofed, it will collapse and the texture will be dense and not fluffy.
How to serve
Serve the fresh hot dog buns with a steamed or boiled hotdog, or BBQ'd/grilled smokie.
Alternatively, you can use the hot dog buns as a bun for sausage and peppers.
How to store & reheat homemade hot dog buns
Store the buns in an airtight container/freezer bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.
You can keep the buns in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
Keep the buns in the freezer in an airtight freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months .
To reheat the buns, you can microwave them from frozen for 40-60 seconds, or until warmed through.
You can also steam the buns on a rack over boiling water to heat them up.
Shape the dough into rounds to make hamburger buns.
Sprinkle untoasted white sesame seeds onto the buns prior to baking for a sesame version.
Divide the dough into 8 portions to make larger sub-style buns.
Other hot dog recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
If you tried this recipe, let me know -- I'd love to see your creations! Tag me on Instagram @siftandsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Bakery-Style Hot Dog Buns
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 86 ml whole milk
- 14 g all-purpose flour
- 5 g active dry yeast
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 85 ml whole milk warmed
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- pinch sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 40 ml avocado oil or neutral vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
For key visual process steps, refer to the body of the blog post.
Make the tangzhong:
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine together the milk and flour.
- Whisk until the mixture thickens, about 3-4 minutes. The paste will appear quite thick and gluey.
- Remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
Make the dough:
- Combine the yeast, sugar and warm milk in a bowl. Give it a stir and leave for a few minutes until the yeast becomes bubbly.
- Add the flour, salt, egg and oil into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment.
- Pour in the activated yeast mixture, lightly cooled tangzhong mixture, and knead until the dough becomes smooth, shiny and elastic. The dough will be slightly tacky and you may want to finish kneading the dough with your hands.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm location, anywhere from 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size, depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
- Divide the buns into 10 equal pieces, about 60g each.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval shape about 7" in length.
- Coil up the dough lengthwise, forming a log shape and pinch the seams together.
- Place seam side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Leave to rest until slightly puffy.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the tops with milk.
- Bake at 350°F/177°C for 18-20 minutes, until buns are lightly golden in colour.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.