Hot DOG! This bun pan does double duty.

What does this…

Have in common with this?

Stumped?

They’re both baked in this interesting pan.

Our New England hotdog bun pan bakes those classic “whitewall” buns – you know, the kind Howard Johnson’s used to spread with butter, slap on the grill, and fill with fried clams or a grilled hotdog.

But that’s not all this pan does. As we discovered this week, it also makes cake buns – perfect for filling with fruit and whipped cream, or ice cream and sauce, or… name your favorite sweet indulgence.

OK, we can’t have dessert till after supper. So let’s hop right into a recipe for New England Hotdog Buns.

Put the following in a mixing bowl:

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar or non-diastatic malt powder
1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup (1 1/2 ounces) potato flour or 2/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
2 tablespoons King Arthur Cake Enhancer, optional, for enhanced freshness
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

So what’s that white powder in the picture? Our new Cake Enhancer, which we’ve recently discovered not only makes cakes moist and tender – it does the same thing for soft buns and breads.

Add the following to the dry ingredients:

2 tablespoons soft butter
1 large egg
7/8 cup to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*

*Use the greater amount in winter or in a dry climate; the lesser amount in summer or a humid climate. At this time of year (early summer), you’d probably want to start with 7/8 cup, increasing to 1 cup if the dough seems too stiff and dry.

Beat till the ingredients come together to form a rough dough.

Then knead to make a soft, smooth dough.

I used 1 cup of water here; in retrospect, I should have used 7/8 cup.

But that’s OK; I’ll just scrape the sticky dough off the sides of the bowl, knead it a bit more…

And Bob’s your uncle! A nice, smooth dough.

(But I still should have gone with the 7/8 cup water, at this time of the year…)

Into my handy-dandy measuring cup, so I can track the dough as it rises…

…and 90 minutes later, shazam! Look at that dough go!

Next, grease your hotdog bun pan.

Gently deflate the dough, and press it into the pan. You probably won’t be able to press it all the way to the ends; that’s OK.

Cover the pan, and walk away.

Fifteen minutes later, come back. You’ll be able to press the dough right to the ends easily.

How come? Because you’ve given the gluten a chance to relax.

Now, how much are we going to let this dough rise, to ensure the buns fill the pan, yet don’t overflow?

Our goal is to let the dough rise till it’s about 1/2” from the rim of the pan.

Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes.

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Whoops – let it go a bit too long. Well, let’s see what happens.

Grease a baking sheet, one that’s large enough to cover the hotdog bun pan. A half-sheet pan works well.

Put the pan over the hotdog bun pan, to provide a roof for the rising buns. Weigh it down with something oven-safe and heavy – like the cast-iron skillet I’ve used here.

Bake the buns for 18 minutes.

Remove the weight and pan. Nice! Notice on the right, how the buns have risen a tiny bit over the rim of the pan. Better they should have stayed level, but this isn’t a deal-breaker…

Test the interior of the buns with an instant-read thermometer; they should be at least 190°F. If not, bake a bit longer.

Remove the buns from the oven…

…and turn them out onto a rack.

Allow them to cool completely.

Now, pay attention, class. You’re going to slice each bun down the center, but not all the way.

Leave a “hinge” at the bottom.

Next, slice into individual buns. See how this works? You’re getting the picture here, right?

Buns, ready to butter and grill!

Like this. Perfect for hotdogs, chicken salad… or our New England favorite, lobster salad.

So, why didn’t I photograph lobster salad in the bun? King Arthur is an employee-owned company; we watch our spending VERY carefully, and prop lobster was too expensive. Use your imagination, OK?

Next up: cake buns!

So, I’m thinking I should choose a cake recipe that’s good for a 9” x 13” pan – but not one that’s going to fill the pan too full.

I measure the hotdog bun pan – 5 cups of cake batter would be perfect.

I make the batter for my favorite fudge cake, and measure it – holy mackerel, 5 cups exactly!

Pour it into the greased pan. Put it in a preheated 350°F oven.

Bake for 33 minutes.

Ah, perfect!

Cool; slice into “buns.”

Add a sliced banana, whipped cream, jimmies, and a cherry (of course).

Trust me, I had to fend off my test kitchen colleagues, customer service reps, and anyone who catches a glimpse of these “portable banana splits” on their way to being photographed!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for New England Hotdog Buns.

P.S. Can you bake these buns without this pan? No, not exactly. But you can certainly divide the dough into 10 pieces, shape them into logs, let rise, and bake, for traditional side-split hotdog buns. OR – try in a 9” x 13” pan, with a weighted pan on top.

Hey, this just in: MJ tested our gluten-free bread mix in the hotdog bun pan (photo above). Score! Betting our GF sandwich bread recipe would work, too…

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Alas, yeast doughs (like these Hot Dog Buns) are a particularly tough nut to crack in the gluten-free world. Gluten happens to be uniquely good at supporting the rise and structure of yeast bread and buns, and subbing in a gluten-free flour won’t provide quite the love needed to make it fly. Rather than attempting to convert this existing yeast recipe to be gluten-free, we recommend using a recipe developed for gluten-free buns. While we don’t have a version that’s specifically for hot dog buns, our Gluten-Free Dinner Roll recipe would make a fantastic choice. Simply shape the dough into logs rather than buns, and split them longways once they’re cooled. Happy GF baking! Kye@KAF

  1. sylvia

    The recipe says ‘beat the dough’ … At what speed? and is that with the Paddle attachment?
    When the recipe says ‘knead the dough’… do I switch from the paddle to the Hook? About how long?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sylvia, the exact speed will vary based on what kid of mixer you’re using, but shoot for a medium-low speed. Here is some additional information from the recipe that may help: “Mix and knead together all of the ingredients (using 1 cup of the water) to make a shiny, elastic dough, about 10 minutes by hand, 5 or more by mixer. Add the additional water if necessary to make a smooth, soft dough.” Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  2. Erin

    About 7 years ago, I tried baking a gluten-free sandwich bread recipe in this New England hot dog bun pan. I don’t remember exactly how it came out other than inedible and didn’t try again until yesterday. Upon your recommendation, I clicked on the link at the end of this blog post and made your GF sandwich bread recipe in the same pan. Out of fear :), I weighed everything and included cake enhancer, using the upper limit per cup stated on the back of the box. The bread was so dry and crumbly and couldn’t be used as buns. It is worse than the typical gluten-free bread texture. Everyone agreed it was more like a dry cornbread. We sliced them in half and spread dairy-free butter on them and ate it on the side. The remainder will make great breadcrumbs.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Erin, we love your positive attitude despite the less-than-fantastic results you experienced with your hot dog pan. In the article about Gluten-Free Cookout Recipes, author and gluten-free guru recommends using this recipe to make Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns. You might find that this recipe also works to make lighter, less crumbly gluten-free hot dog buns too. If all else fails, you might want to try using our Gluten-Free Bread Mix to prepare the dough and then shape it as buns in the hot dog pan. It makes a delicious product every time. Kye@KAF

  3. hihotdogo

    Hi there,

    I’m actually attempting to make hot dog buns that fit over a 1″ spike (think European hot dogs) and they need to be appx 2″H x 2″W (5-7″ L is fine).

    will this pan do the trick?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the motivation to investigate European hot dogs! This pan is only 1.5″ tall, and each individual well is just 1.5″ wide as well, so it may not be able to make buns that are large enough for your purposes. We assume there’s a reason you’re looking to use a pan, rather than free-forming the buns, but that would be another way to get to your ideal size. Best of luck in this endeavor! Mollie@KAF

  4. Alexis R.

    Hello,

    I made your hamburger bun recipe and it turned out amazing. Thank you. I will never buy hamburger bun again.

    And in regards to the recipe of this New England Hot dog bun, can you please give me the appropriate measurement if I am not to include the potato flour / potato flakes (or how much mash potato can I use to replace the potato flour / flakes)
    and the dry milk (or how much liquid milk should I use to replace the dry milk).

    By the way my hubby is from Mass and he loves the idea of me baking this New England hot dog bun because he said this is what his use to eating when he was a little boy and not the fancy hot dog buns 🙂

    Thank you, excited to hear from you!!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re happy to help, Alexis! For a standard yeasted recipe like this one, 1/4 cup of room temp mashed potatoes should function much the same as the potato flour or flakes do. To replace the instant dry milk, simply use lukewarm liquid milk in place of the water. Hope this helps and happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  5. Lynda Lyle

    I just tried the gluten free bread and pizza mix to make the New England hot dog buns and it was a great success! I followed the instructions on the box as well as the tips in the blog and they turned out perfectly. They are soft and hold up without crumbling when condiments are added. Yea! I will be making a lot of these this summer! Finally, we have a great gluten free hot dog bun.

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *