This post comes with a free bonus!!
Of course, all my content is free but in this case you get a super secret look at my VERY FAVORITE hot dog toppings! As you most likely know, if you watch the news at all, Texas is having a massive heat wave that is causing one of the worst drought situations in out state’s history. I only think it fair, when we are being asked to conserve water, to try and find other liquids to bake and cook with. In this case I decided to substitute part of the water in my traditional hot dog/hamburger bun recipe with beer! See? I am SO doing my part!
Now, I would like the record to show that I disapprove of store bought, squishy, white bread buns of any kind. They are bland, sweet, and far too soft to stand up to hearty grilled meats. Last year I made my first batch of homemade hot dog buns and they were nothing short of a culinary miracle. Chewy on the outside, soft on the inside, yeasty, and aromatic, homemade buns have spoiled me for anything else. This recipe keeps pretty well for a day in an airtight bag on the counter. They will have a softer crust after a day, but they will still have a wonderful flavor. Freeze any extra buns for up to a month … if you have any left over!
Amber Ale Hot Dog Buns Yield 2-3 dozen buns
1 1/4 cup water, heated to 110 F
1 1/4 cup amber ale, heated to 110 F
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons honey
6 cups unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Toppings (my favorites!):
Grilled all-beef, nitrate free, hot dogs
Sriracha mayonnase (1/2 cup mayonnasie mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons sriracha)
Bread and butter pickle spears
Shredded cheddar cheese
Finely chopped shallots
In a medium bowl, or large measuring cup, combine the heated water and beer with the cream. Add the yeast and sugar and allow to stand for 10 minutes, or until very frothy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the honey, flour, salt, 1 egg, and the yeast mixture. With a dough hook mix for 3 minutes then test the dough’s hydration. The dough should be very sticky, and it should just be clumping around the dough hook. If the dough feels very wet, or looks soupy, add additional flour a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the correct hydration. Turn the mixer to medium speed and allow the bread to knead for 8 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form the dough into a smooth ball. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn the dough to coat with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to ferment for 1 1/2 hours, or until just over double in bulk.
Once the dough has fermented turn it out onto a floured work surface and press the dough flat with your hand. This will evenly distribute the air and yeast in the dough. Roll back into a ball, cover with plastic and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Once rested scale the dough out into 3 ounce pieces, about 6 dozen. (3 ounce pieces will create buns that are 8-inches plus after baking, good for bun-length hot dogs, or sausage. For smaller buns scale out the dough to 2 1/4 ounces, about 7 dozen) Flatten the dough into a 6-inch rectangle, then roll the top of the dough over and pinch the dough to form a seam. Continue to do this, tucking in the edges once you get close to the end, then pinch the seam closed. Place the formed buns seam side down on a baking sheet covered with greased parchment. Spray the buns with non-stick cooking spray and cover with plastic. Allow to rise for one hour.
Heat the oven to 375 F.
Once the rolls have risen beat the remaining egg with 2 teaspoons of water. Brush the egg wash over the buns then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the buns are deeply golden and sound hollow when thumped on the side. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dress your dogs as desired! Enjoy!