Ah, the simple hot dog bun. A staple for the summer barbecue season, and the perfect receptacle for the wide variety of condiments you can enjoy with your dog. After all, what’s a hot dog without the bun? A mere sausage in search of a cozy bed of relish, mustard, sliced tomato and onion, sauerkraut or whatever you prefer with your ideal hot dog.
The problem with many store-bought buns is that they’re notoriously wimpy, and either cannot hold the bevy of condiments — or if they do, they get soggy and fall apart.
What’s the history of the hot dog bun? That depends on who you ask. Some people believe that it was originally invented by the fourth earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, in 1762. Some think that the hot dog bun was created as a natural extension to the hot dog sausage, a staple for German immigrants in the 1800s.
Many historians believe the hot dog bun was invented to keep people’s hands and fingers safe, and began with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. At the 1904 exposition, the story goes, a Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwange, was handing out gloves to his customers so they could enjoy his sausages without burning their hands. When too many of the gloves he loaned out were not being returned, Feuchtwange asked his brother, a baker, to invent a solution. The invention? The hot dog bun!
There are two kinds of hot dog buns: the top-loading, or New England–style, and the more prevalent side-loading or American-style, which is preferred by most.
At the Model Bakery we make a potato version that can be sliced either way — creating a delicious and sturdy bun that can handle whatever condiment assortment you throw in.
Just in time for Memorial Day weekend and the start of the summer barbecue season, we have included the recipe for our Model Bakery Hot Dog Potato Buns. Make a batch, grab your favorite hot dog or sausage and get ready for a long, warm summer of tasty, grilled treats.
Model Bakery Hot Dog Potato Bun
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup warm water (105 degrees)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 medium-sized cooked, smashed potato
1 whole egg
1 package active dry yeast
2 tsp. salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine yeast and warm water. Stir to dissolve and let set until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add in buttermilk, melted butter, egg and salt. With the mixer on a low speed and the dough hook attached, gradually add the flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Add smashed potato and mix until fully incorporated.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until smooth and supple. The dough should be soft but not too sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To shape, divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a shape 5 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide. It’s OK for them not to be perfectly sized. A first bite of hot dog is always welcomed. After its rise, it should be a nice size for most hot dogs.
Place the rolls 1/2-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 20 minutes and brush the tops with melted butter. If not finished after 20 minutes, bake until you have your desired color.
Load up with your favorite hot dog or sausage and condiments — and enjoy!