Hot dogs never tasted so good as when you make homemade hot dog buns! You’ll be amazed at how much better it is.
Bonus: they only cost 18 cents a bun to make!
You’ve got hot dogs, but no buns.
You could go to the store.
You could do that weird thing with hamburger buns that your dad did when you were a kid and make the hot dog fit a round bun. Or worse, sandwich bread.
Or you can make homemade hot dog buns.
The investment of half an hour plus some wait time will result in most likely the best hot dog you ever ate.
Why Make This
They are delicious! It may seem totally “extra” to make your own hot dog buns, but trust me. It’s totally worth it. The flavor and texture of store-bought in no way compares to a homemade hot dog bun.
They’re more nutritious. Not only do you get a deliciously tender homemade bun, but you also get to control the ingredients. No weird ingredients, preservatives, or additives.
The store bought buns are going to be made with icky preservatives but these homemade hot dog buns are all made with real ingredients. Here is what you need:
milk – You can use any kind of milk you like. It makes the dough more tender. If need be, you can sub in water, but the tenderness factor will be reduced.
egg – Adding an egg to your yeast breads gives it great texture. There really is no substitute.
oil – Again, a great addition for better texture. Use whatever oil you normally use: canola, vegetable, olive, or avocado. If you’re in a pinch, you can also use butter or margarine.
sugar – It’s just a bit of sugar, but it helps the texture of the finished hot dog buns. Use granulated sugar or honey if you prefer a less processed sweetener.
bread flour – Bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose so again, it adds to the texture. However, you can use all-purpose if that’s all you have.
salt – Just a little salt goes a long way in adding texture and flavor to homemade buns. Don’t omit this.
yeast – This is what helps the dough rise; definitely a necessary ingredient. You can buy dry active yeast in packets, jars, or vacuum-sealed blocks. If you buy the latter, you’ll usually benefit from bulk pricing. Once opened, transfer the yeast into an airtight container and store in the freezer.
- Combine the milk, sugar, and yeast in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to proof for five minutes.
2. Add the oil and the egg.
3. Add the flour and salt.
4. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and run the machine until the dough is smooth and elastic. (If you’re making the dough by hand, stir with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Then knead by hand on a floured surface.
5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about one hour.
6. When the dough has doubled in bulk, you’re ready to form the hot dog buns and bake them.
9. When the dough is ready, divide into 12 equal portions.
10. Form each portion into a thin loaf for hot dog buns.
11. Roll the thin loaf on the work surface to smooth the seal.
12. Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375oF. Bake for 15-22 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a rack before slicing to serve.
Bread machine instructions:
To make hot dog buns with a bread machine: Place all ingredients in a bread machine pan according to manufacturer’s instructions. Program for “dough”. Once the machine beeps, proceed with the instructions for forming and baking the hot dog buns.
If you have a bread machine, making your own buns is quick work. If you don’t have a bread machine, that’s fine. Mix the dough by hand or in a stand mixer. Either way it will be delicious.
Other tools that I find handy include: a large cutting board for working the dough, a bench knife for easily cutting it into portions, and a silpat baking mat or parchment paper for easy cleanup. If you don’t have a sheet pan, consider getting a sturdy one like this.
Yes, you can make hamburger buns with this recipe. Just form the dough into a round instead of a long oval.
Whether you make your own or buy store buns, you can freeze hot dog buns. Make sure that your fresh baked buns have cooled completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in a ziptop bag. Store-bought buns can be stored in their original packaging. Place in the freezer until ready to use. Thaw at room temperature in the wrappings prior to serving.
The dough requires only common baking ingredients. Based on non-sale prices, the costs break down accordingly:
- milk – $0.24 ($3.09/gallon)
- egg – $0.25 ($2.99/dozen)
- oil – $0.12 ($1.99/48 oz.)
- sugar – $0.04 ($1.97/4 lbs.)
- bread flour – $1.14 ($4.99/5 lbs.)
- salt – $0.04 ($2.99/26 oz.)
- yeast – $0.33 ($0.99/3-pack)
Total cost to make 12 homemade buns: $2.16 or 18 cents a bun.
If you shop the Good Cheap Eats way, that is shopping the best store, the sales, and clearance, you can easily get that price much, much lower.
Quality hot dog buns at the store run about $4 a package. You can get the cheap ones for a buck twenty-five. That makes them 15 to 50 cents a piece.
Yes, it might be a little cheaper to buy those cheap generic grocery store sponges impersonating as hot dog buns, but these are goooooood. And those aren’t.
It’s up to you, but for a really special dinner — even if it’s just hot dogs — I suggest homemade. Be sure to check out these simple BBQ ideas for easy entertaining.
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Homemade Hot Dog Buns Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup milk , warmed
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoon neutral oil
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar or honey
- 4 cup bread flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
To make the dough by hand or in a stand mixer:
- If making the dough by hand or in a stand mixer, warm the milk slightly. Combine the milk, egg, oil, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Allow to proof for five minutes. Stir in the flour and salt. This will form a stiff dough. Knead by hand on a floured surface or in the mixer with the bread hook until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about one hour.
To make the dough in a bread machine:
- Place all ingredients in bread machine pan according to manufacturer’s instructions. Program for “dough.”
To form the hot dog buns:
- When the dough is ready, divide into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a thin loaf for hot dog buns. (You can form flat rounds for hamburger buns.) Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat mat.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°Bake for 15-22 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on a rack before slicing to serve.
- To freeze: store cooled rolls in an airtight container in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
This post was originally published on July 31, 2009. It has been updated for content and clarity.