I’ve been making soft homemade Hot Dog Buns for years and they are our favorites! These easy-to-make bread buns are popular for their versatility. They can be used to make hot dogs, sandwiches, bread puddings, stuffing, appetizers, bread crumbs and so much more. And you can enjoy these buns sweet and savory.
updated from 2018
Growing up in Czechoslovakia these were the most sought-after soft buns you could get in the grocery stores. And to this day they are super popular in Slovakia and Czech Republic. If you visited Prague I bet you had one of these.
I also use them to make appetizers like Avocado Cream and Bacon Crostini and traditional Slovak Pupaky/Bobalky – cut-up buns soaked in hot milk, sprinkled with ground poppy seeds/sugar topping, and drizzled with melted butter. And, let’s not forget my mom’s bread pudding with a meringue topping.
They are the kind you can eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Let me show you how to make the most delicious and my favorite homemade hot dog buns.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE HOT DOG BUNS
This homemade hot dog buns recipe consists only of 3 main ingredients: flour, yeast, and fat; not counting salt and water. And as far as the type of fat you can use, I’ve used soft butter, lard, duck fat, and vegan butter, too. So, if you need to make vegan hot dog buns you can definitely use this recipe.
Hot Dog Buns Ingredients
- Honey or Sugar (pinch)
- Fat: softened butter, vegan butter, lard, duck fat
What Flour Should I use?
Over the years I’ve made this soft hot dog buns recipe with a number of different flours. Here is what I’ve experimented with and what worked for me in my kitchen.
- Bread Flour – brand or generic grocery store brand
- Good quality All-Purpose Flour – King Arthur, Pillsbury
- Blend of Bread Flour and All-Purpose Flour – for example, 1:1 ratio, 1:2 ratio, or 2:1 ratio – Bread Flour: Generic Grocery stores’ all-purpose flour or brand all-purpose flour. This can be useful if you have only so much bread flour and need to find a suitable filler.
- For best results, look for bread flour with 11-13% protein content. If all you have is some bread flour and all-purpose flour with lower protein content, it’s ok to mix them together for this recipe (see the above ratios).
Prepare Yeast Sponge
Into a bowl or a plastic container add room temperature to warm water. Don’t use hot water. Into water add honey or sugar, dry yeast, and a tablespoon of flour. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes, until bubbly on the top.
TIP: Don’t use hot water, it will kill the yeast. If you don’t know how warm the water should be rather use room temperature water than water that is too warm/hot. Cooler water won’t kill the yeast but it may take longer for the yeast to start working its magic. This is normal.
Knead The Yeast Dough
Into a bowl of your stand mixer add flour and salt. Whisk to combine. Then make a well and pour in bubbly yeast mixture, soften butter of other fat you are using. Whisk to combine till all of the flour is absorbed. Then knead with a hook attachment until smooth and flexible dough is formed, about 5-10 minutes. If the dough appears too dry add 1 tablespoon of room temperature water. And if it appears too wet add 1-2 tablespoons of flour.
TIP: Different flours can behave differently, some can be drier than others. That’s why sometimes you’ll need to add an extra tablespoon of liquid. And if the dough is too wet add 1-2tablespoon of flour.
Let Yeast Dough Rise
After 5-10 minutes of kneading, the dough is soft and it’s okay if it’s sticking to the kneading hook. Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and knead it into a ball (steps 1-4).
Grease the bowl with olive oil or spray with a non-stick spray (steps 5-6). Place the yeast dough ball into a bowl. Cover with a damp towel and plastic wrap. Or just plastic wrap is fine, too. Let it rise in a warm draft-free spot for 30 minutes (steps 4-8).
Can I Make This Dough by Hand?
Absolutely. Into a bowl add flour and salt, and whisk to combine. Pour in the prepared yeast mixture and soften the butter or other fat you are using. Combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. The dough will be rough and soft. Dump it onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes with your hands until it’s smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball. Place ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a plastic wrap let rise in a warm and draft-free place for 30 minutes.
How to Create a Warm and Draft-Free Spot?
Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Pour it into a shallow dish. Place the dish with boiling hot water on the bottom rack of your oven. Place bowl with the yeast dough either above it or next to it. Depending on how much room you have in the oven. Close the oven door and let the yeast dough proof for the recommended time.
TIP: Cooler the temperature slower the yeast will work and your yeast dough will take longer to rise. This is normal.
Weigh Hot Dog Buns
Invert raised yeast dough onto a clean work surface and weigh the dough. Divide it into even portions. Weight each piece so all buns weigh approximately the same.
TIP: I usually weigh the dough so each unbaked bun weighs about 90 to 100 grams ( 3oz to 3.5oz). If you want them smaller adjust the weight accordingly.
How To Shape Hot Dog Buns
Shape each piece of the weighted yeast dough into a small ball. Cover balls for 5 minutes with a kitchen towel. This helps to relax the gluten in the dough so it’s easier to roll out.
To shape the hot dog buns I use a silicone mat and a rolling pin. You can use a wood rolling pin but in recent years I’ve been using a silicone rolling pin and it works even better than the wooden one. Silicone one doesn’t stick to the yeast dough as much as a wooden rolling pin.
Roll out a small ball of dough into a thin oval shape.
TIP: Rolling out yeast dough on a silicone mat works great. The dough clings to the silicone mat slightly. Silicone helps to keep it stretched making it easier to shape the buns.
TIP: Don’t dust work surfaces with flour!
Starting at a shorter side start rolling the piece of flattened yeast dough. Press the dough down with the palms of your hands as you are rolling the dough away from you.
Place shaped hot dog buns onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Space the buns about 2-3 inches apart to allow for dough expansion.
Cover loosely with a damp paper towel or a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
How To Bake Hot Dog Buns
Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Place a shallow oven-safe dish on the bottom rack of your oven.
TO BAKE HOT DOG BUNS YOU NEED :
- A shallow tray ( I use a small tray from an old toaster) or use a shallow oven-safe dish.
- And a spray bottle filled with room temperature water.
Once the buns have risen, remove the damp paper towel or a kitchen towel and generously spray risen hot dog buns with room temperature water (steps 1-2).
Immediately place the baking sheet with sprayed buns into the preheated oven and pour about 1/3 cup of water into a shallow dish on the bottom rack. When water touches hot baking dish steam will form. Close the oven door right away.
TIP: You can also use ice cubes instead of water.
Bake hot dog buns for 12-13 minutes until lightly golden brown. Take the buns from the oven and immediately while still hot spray freshly baked soft buns again with room temperature water. Then let them cool completely. Repeat the process with the remaining buns.
Can I Double This Hot Dog Buns Recipe?
Absolutely. This easy soft bread recipe can be doubled and even tripled.
Can I Make Vegan Hot Dog Buns?
Yes, you can. In the place of butter use a vegan butter substitute.
How Many Hot Dog Buns Does This Recipe Make?
One batch of homemade hot dog buns recipe makes 9 to10 medium to large hot dog buns. Do you want to make small or mini hot dog buns? To make mini hot dog rolls divide the yeast dough into smaller balls of dough (50 grams-70 grams, 1.7 oz. to 2.5oz), yielding 16-11 buns.
Can I Freeze Homemade Hot Dog Buns?
Yes. I freeze buns as soon as they are cool to the touch after baking. I freeze them in Ziploc bags for up to a month.
To Make Homemade Hot Dog Buns You Need
- Find all the tools you need in my Amazon Shop
- Baking Sheets
- Kitchen Scale
- Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer
- Spray Bottle
- Silicone Baking Mat
- Rolling Pin
- MORE BREAD RECIPES
- Blueberry Babka
- Hamburger Buns
- Simple Bread Pudding via New York Times
- Homemade Bread Crumbs via Jessica Gavin
- Preach Slab Bread
- Soft Pretzels
The recipe makes 9-10 medium to large hot dog buns.
Oven temperature 220C/425F.
Hot dog buns can be frozen.
- 500 grams bread flour/ about 3 1/2 to 4 cups (or good quality all purpose flour or 1:1 ratio Bread Flour : All Purpose Flour)
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 30 grams 2tbl soften butter or use lard, duck fat, vegan butter
- 300 ml 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tbsp flour
You will need a small spray bottle filled with room temperature water to spray the buns before and after baking. And a shallow oven-safe dish.
In a small dish whisk together warm water (1cup + 1/4 cup warm water, 300ml), honey (1 teaspoon), yeast (2 teaspoons+ 1/2 teaspoon), and flour (1tablespoon). Let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.
Tip: Don't use hot water. Hot water will kill the yeast.
In a bowl of your mixer whisk together flour(3 1/2 cups to 4 cups, 500grams) and salt (1 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon).
Pour the foamy yeast mixture and soften butter (2 tablespoons) into the bowl with the flour mix. Attach a hook attachment onto your stand mixer. Knead until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough appears too dry you can add 1 tablespoon of room temperature water. Alternatively, if it appears too wet add a little more flour, 1-2 tablespoons.
TIP: Don't a have a mixer with a hook attachment? You can make the dough by hand.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. Dump onto lightly floured work surface and knead with your hands till it comes to a ball, 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot, for 30 minutes.
Dump the risen dough onto a silicone mat. Weigh the dough and divide the dough into approximately the same portions. I use a scale to weigh them so they are about the same size around 90-100 grams each.
Shape each piece into a small ball. If smaller rolls are desired you can make them smaller, no problem. Cover balls of dough for 5-10 minutes. This helps to relax the dough and it's easier to roll out.
Tip: Don't use additional flour on your work surface, it makes it harder to shape the buns.
To shape the hot dog buns first you need to roll out each small piece of dough (one at a time) into a thin long oval shape.
With a rolling pin flatten each piece of dough on a silicone mat into a oval shape, about 1/8 inch (3mm) thick and thinner.
TIP: Silicone mat helps the dough to cling slightly to it so it doesn't retract as much and it's easier to shape the rolls.
To form the hot dog buns use both of your hands and shape a rolled-out oval piece of dough into a log. Start at the short side of the oval, having your hands close together. As you are rolling the dough into a log stretch the dough log using your hands going outwards, while putting a little bit of pressure on both ends of the log.
TIP: Place the shaped hot dot buns seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave about 3 inches between the rolls.
Cover rolls on a baking sheet with a damp paper towel or a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm, draft-free place.
About halfway thru the 2nd rise place a small shallow dish on the bottom rack of your oven and preheat the oven to 425F.
Remove the kitchen towel or damp paper towel from the risen buns. Spray them generously with room temperature water. Then immediately place the baking sheet with sprayed buns in the oven (2/3rack).
And then immediately pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of water on a shallow dish on the bottom rack. When water touches a hot dish it will produce steam. Quickly close the oven door, not letting the steam escape.
TIP: You can also use ice cubes in place of water, use about 4-5 medium-size ice cubes.
Bake hot dog buns for 12-13 minutes. Buns shouldn't be white, they should be light golden brown/yellow on the top. Take the buns out of the oven and immediately while still hot use a spray bottle and spray them the second time with water. Allow cooking completely before freezing or serving. Repeat the baking process.
- CAN I FREEZE HOT DOG BUNS? – Yes, absolutely. That’s what I do all the time. I let the buns cool completely and then freeze them. They freeze with no problem for up to 2-3 months. If you plan on freezing them for longer be sure to use a freezer paper. It protects the bread from freezer burns.
- HOW CAN I MAKE VEGAN HOT DOG BUNS? – Use vegan butter in place of dairy butter.
- I DON’T HAVE BREAD FLOUR, WHAT NOW? – Use can use good quality All Purpose Flour (King Arthur All-Purpose, Pillsbury, look for flour with 11 to 13 % protein content). I haven’t had good luck using generic grocery store brand all-purpose flours on their own. Instead, I’ve made my own mix using all-purpose and bread flour. That seems to be working well. You can use ratio 1:1, 1:2,2:1 (bread :all-purpose flour)
This post was originally published on April 2nd, 2018. On March 20th, 2020 I updated this post with step-by-step pictures, written text, and a video.
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