Homemade Hot Dog Buns

Hi,
It has been forever awhile! I am still a college student that spends way too much time not studying. I always find something to distract myself with. Cooking, baking, reading lore on some random game or series, trying to meal prep for the week - the list goes on and on.

A new thing that I want to incorporate into my blog posts - calories. I hesitated to count calories for when I bake because all the ingredients add up in one way or another. That extra little bit of butter, those chocolate chunks I add in at the last minute, whether I use fancy ultra-filtered nonfat milk or regular nonfat milk. I realized that calorie counting when I bake is the same when I cook. It helps me keep accountable. I can totally have a piece of cake, just need to figure out how much of that piece. (Pst, a food scale helps tremendously in the kitchen, whether you're counting calories or not.)

Now on to the actual topic of this post! Homemade hot dog buns, which are pretty amazing.

A few months ago, I spotted a plastic bag of brioche hot dog buns at the grocery store. I was curious about the texture and consistency of the bun as I recently made pain de mie, which is a French sandwich bread that is similar to brioche. I don't remember the calorie count, but I didn't want to fork over $8 for a bag of buns. Plus, I wanted to bake some bread!

I've made this recipe from Foodie with Family several times with a few adaptions. I chose her's due to the easy detailed instructions. Throw everything in a bowl, mix, proof, and then shape and bake the dough. I proof it for two hours in my Instant Pot(details below). I finished baking both batches in a couple hours after proof was done. If you have two baking sheets or one large baking sheet, it'll only an hour after proof. I didn't want to overcrowd my baking sheet.

Recipe adapted from Foodie with Family: (She has several options on how to make this recipe from using a stand mixer or bread machine, I went with using my hands!) My adaptions and notes are in brackets and following in line after original author's text. Original author's text in italics.


Homemade Hot Dog Buns

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk [Temperature should be around 95°F for instant yeast, 105-110°F if using active dry yeast. I used nonfat milk.]
1 large egg, beaten [I cracked the whole egg into the bowl, just realized that the instructions stay the egg should be beaten. Whoops]
6 tablespoons butter softened to room temperature, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
4 cups bread flour
[Author says that all-purpose flour can be used instead. I did make a batch with almost half bread flour and half all-purpose flour. I didn't notice any significant texture between that batch and the all bread flour batch]
3 tablespoons instant potato flakes [Used that box of instant mashed potatoes from who knows when]
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten optional, but it improves the final texture
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup of cultured buttermilk
 half and half for brushing [Please don't use a fat-free half and half. I tried it and would rather just use whatever milk I had instead. The fat-free half and half had corn syrup in it and left a strange sticky residue on the silicone mat]

Instructions

To Mix dough by hand:
Add all ingredients except for the buttermilk to a large mixing bowl. Use a sturdy wooden spoon or your hand to stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 15 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours. 

I mixed everything, but the half and half in a plastic bowl. I used a little silicone spatula. I kneaded it on a floured cutting board. I kept kneading until the dough felt smooth and not as tacky. It is a workout. For the proof, I did this step in my Instant Pot! In the Instant Pot's liner, I put a few cups of cold water and the Instant Pot trivet. I put the dough in a metal bowl, which I put on the trivet in the Instant Pot. I used the Yogurt, Low setting for 2 hours.


To form rolls:
Lightly grease an 11-inch by 13-inch baking sheet or line with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
[I used an AirBake baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.]
Divide dough into 3 equally sized pieces and form into logs. [I divided the dough by 4 and then by 4 again to get 16 pieces.
Divide each log into 5 equal pieces for standard sized rolls or 4 equal pieces for larger Italian sausage or hoagie rolls.
Working with one piece at a time, pat each piece out into an oval.
Press an indentation down the length of the center of the oval with the side of your hand.
Roll the dough up around the indentation.
Pinch the seam together lightly.
Roll the pieces gently seam side down until about 6-inches in length.

To get the most accurate calorie count, I weighed the dough and, since I wanted 16 equal pieces, divided the weight by 4, then by 4 again. For this latest batch, each bun weighed raw was 68 grams. So the dough ball was 1088 grams, each log was 272 grams. It takes some practice. A bench scraper is very useful here! If you don't have one though, use a butter knife or something similar. I have used my plastic rice scooper when I forgot my bench scraper at home.
The author has amazing photo instructions on her blog post! I loosely followed them. I rolled and stretched out each dough ball. For the length, I just eyeball it. Surprisingly, each bun was roughly the same length after baking! I make an indention in the middle with my hand and pinch the sides together. Then, put the seam side down, rolling slightly.

Baking:
Transfer to the lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between the pieces, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Brush the puffy dough generously with buttermilk half and half.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
Cool the rolls on a rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

The rolls after proofing

I left baked the dough in two batches, 8 each. Since I have two silicone baking mats, I just put the batches on the mats then transferred the mat to the baking sheet when ready to proof/bake. For each batch, I did the final proof in an oven that I preheated to 200°F then turned off. I put a small pan of water in the oven with dough rolls. I proofed each batch for around 20 minutes. Then, I removed the baking sheet from the oven and brushed the rolls with half and half, while the oven preheats to 375°F. I only used about a tablespoon to brush the rolls.

The rolls after baking for 18 minutes 

Crumb shot
I love these rolls with anything/everything. I eat them by themselves, with my egg scrambles, with sausages, with steak and bell peppers. Always good. At about 172 calories, I have these way too often. They are higher in calories than the average hot dog buns at the grocery store. However, I think that they're worth the extra calories.

For storage, I keep them in a plastic ziplock bag. If I'm not going to eat them within a few days, I keep the plastic bag in the freezer. Just slice them and toast in the oven before eating. Can be thawed the night before if desired.

Nutritional Information:
16 servings. Serving size is 1 bun.
Calories: 172 • Fat: 5 g • Protein: 5 g • Carb: 26 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: 24 g • Sodium: 16 mg

~ Meli♡

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