HOMEMADE TOP-SPLIT HOT DOG BUNS

These are outstanding buns, substantial yet tender.  The soft sides of the top-split hot dog buns are just made for grilling or toasting.

 

Cook’s Note: you will need a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to make this recipe the easiest way, but if you don’t have one, stir together the ingredients in a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, until the dough forms. Then, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead it by hand, (incorporating only enough added flour to keep the dough from sticking) for 7-8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

MAKES ABOUT 16 HOT DOG BUNS

1 1/4 cups, whole milk

1 cup, heavy cream

1/4 cup, warm water (105-115 degrees)

1 (1/4-ounce) package, active dry yeast

1/4 cup, sugar

5 cups, all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons, salt

 

To Make the Dough: Bring the milk and cream to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat and cool the mixture to 105 to 115 degrees.

 Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer (see Cook’s Note, in Introductory notes), stir together the warm water and yeast and allow it to stand until foamy – about 5 minutes.  (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.)

 Add the warm milk mixture, the sugar, flour, and salt to the yeast mixture and mix at low speed, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary, until the flour is incorporated.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 6 minutes.  (Dough will be sticky.)

 Transfer dough to a lightly oiled large bowl and turn it to coat the outside of the dough with oil.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and allow it to rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until the dough has doubled in volume –  about  2 hours.

 

To Make the Hot Dog Buns: Butter 2 9”X13” baking pans.  Punch down the dough, then divide it into 16 equal pieces (about 3 oz each).  On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 6-inch-long log.  Space 8 logs evenly in each pan so that there are 2 columns of logs that run parallel to the long sides of the pan.

 Loosely cover the buns with oiled plastic wrap and allow them to rise in a draft-free place, at warm room temperature, until the buns just start to touch each other – 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

 

 To Bake the Buns: Position the oven racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 Bake the buns, switching the position of the pans halfway through, until the tops of the buns are golden and the undersides are golden-brown and sound hollow when tapped – 20 to 25 minutes.  [Cook’s Note: the sides of the buns will not form a crust and brown, because the buns are touching each other.]

 Allow the buns to cool in pans for 10 minutes (this allows them to steam), then transfer the buns to racks to cool completely. 

 Before using the buns, pull them apart and cut lengthwise down the center of each (but not all the way through).

Recipe adapted from:  Epicurious.com (July, 2009)