Even the humble hot dog deserves a good bun!
- 10 oz. water, lukewarm (110–115°)
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1⁄4 oz. (2 1⁄4 tsp.) instant dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 8 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup baking soda
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp. water, for the egg wash
- Pretzel salt or coarse sea salt
Place the water in a mixer bowl. Add the sugar and kosher salt; whisk to combine. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture evenly and let stand 5–10 minutes until foamy.
Add the flour and butter to the water mixture, stirring by hand with a rubber scraper, until most of the flour is incorporated.
Mix on low, using your mixer’s dough hook, until just combined, then increase the speed to medium for about 5 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out the dough into a bowl greased with canola oil and cover. Place in a warm spot and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 450°; lightly oil parchment paper for 2 baking sheets and set aside.
Turn the dough out onto a counter — do not sprinkle flour on the surface — and deflate — gently, please! We don’t want to hurt the dough’s feelings.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, cover, and let rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten. Using your hands, roll each of the 8 pieces into 7‑inch logs. Place them on the baking sheets, cover, and let rest 30 minutes.
Place the water in an 8‑quart pot and bring to a boil.
Boil That Dust Speck!
This is the perfect time to pretend you’re Professor Snape: Wave a spoon over the boiling water, say “Quadrantem Anui!” and add the baking soda. Smugly pat yourself on the back as the water gets all fizzy and magical.
Reduce the heat slightly and add the pretzels, only a few at a time, and boil 30 seconds per side. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon or spatula, and place back on the baking sheets.
Repeat with the remaining pretzels, then brush each one lightly with egg wash and cut 3 diagonal slits with a serrated knife in each one, being careful not to cut down more than about a quarter inch. Sprinkle with pretzel or coarse sea salt and bake in the middle and upper third of the oven for 10–13 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. When the pretzels are a deep brown color, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Slice the buns and serve with your favorite hot dogs. Enjoy!
Hot Doggin’ Like a Boss!
Here’s just one of the many reasons these buns are better than store-bought: You can slice them on top!
Take a gander at the picture up there. You can buy top-sliced buns, but they’re really hard to find.
Once you’ve enjoyed a hot dog or brat in a top-sliced bun you’ll never go back.
Check out Flavor the Moments for this and other great recipes!