One of the most difficult things about living with a food allergy (aside from the allergic reactions themselves) is not being able to eat a lot of the foods that other people take for granted. For example, what about a cookout, where everybody is eating grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. If you’re lucky enough to have found (or made) wheat meat hot dogs or hot dogs without added soy, what happens when… because of the soy allergy… you can’t eat the hot dog bun? A hot dog or a hamburger eaten alone or on a slice of bread just doesn’t seem like cookout food.
And that’s why I really appreciate being able to make my own hot dog and hamburger buns. They’re completely soy-free, of course, but they’re extra delicious too… I have it on very good authority (everyone who has tasted them) that these buns are much, much tastier than commercially made buns. Wheat meat hot dogs are only an occasional “indulgence” for us, but I do make these buns a lot because they’re also wonderful for subs or other “fancy” sandwiches.
2 cups milk
6 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour
more butter (melted) for brushing the rolls
Warm the milk. Add the salt, butter, and two tablespoons of the brown sugar and stir until the butter has melted. Let cool to 110°F. Combine the warm water and yeast and the remaining one tablespoon of the sugar. Stir well and let stand until foamy (about ten minutes). Using a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer, beat the egg, then beat in the yeast and milk/butter mixture. Add about four cups of the flour (a bit at a time) while the mixer is running and beat until the batter is thick and elastic. At this point knead in as much more flour by hand as necessary. Continue kneading the dough until it is very elastic. Form the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (forty-five minutes to one hour). Punch down the dough and let the dough rise until it has doubled again (about thirty minutes this time). Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead for several minutes. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest for about ten minutes. Or… you can let your bread machine do the work up until this point… just be sure to let the dough rise twice.
Cut the ball of dough in half and refrigerate one half to prevent it from rising while you are shaping the rolls. For hot dog buns, I divide each ball of dough into twelve pieces and roll each piece into a shape about five inches long and nearly two inches wide. After rising and baking, this is a good size for most hot dogs. Place the rolls one-half inch apart in rows on a greased baking sheet with an inch between each row. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375°F for approximately twenty minutes and brush the tops with melted butter.
For hamburger buns, roll the dough one-half inch thick and cut into rounds. For medium-sized buns, a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter or a canning jar lid is a good size. Place the rounds of dough on a lightly greased baking sheet about one inch apart. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. Preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for approximately twenty minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with melted butter and cover with a towel.
I often cut this recipe in half if I want to make only a few buns… or I make the full recipe and freeze the extras… these buns freeze wonderfully. Yield: full recipe, about twenty-four buns.