Hot Dog Buns To Relish on National Hot Dog Day
Happy National Hot Dog Day! Yes, July 23rd is National Hot Dog Day because summer is the peak hot dog eating season, with an amazing 818 hot dogs eaten every second between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
To help you celebrate National Hot Dog Day correctly, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council provides details on hot dog eating etiquette.
Here are some key do’s and don’ts:
Don't: Put hot dog toppings between the hot dog and the bun. Always "dress the dog," not the bun.
Do: Eat hot dogs on buns with your hands. Utensils should not touch hot dogs on buns.
Don't: Take more than five bites to finish a hot dog. For foot-long wiener, seven bites is acceptable.
Do: Serve sesame seed, poppy seed and plain buns with hot dogs. Sun-dried tomato buns or basil buns are considered gauche with franks.
Plus there are apparently some strict condiment rules:
Condiments should be applied in the following order: wet condiments like mustard and chili are applied first, followed by chunky condiments like relish, onions and sauerkraut, followed by shredded cheese, followed by spices, like celery salt or pepper.
And they definitely have an opinion on ketchup:
Don’t: use ketchup on your hot dog after the age of 18. Mustard, relish, onions, cheese and chili are acceptable.
Apparently ketchup on a hot dog is a huge controversy! What are your thoughts – ketchup or no ketchup?
However you like your hot dog, you’ll definitely need a bun that can handle whatever toppings you love. So here’s a great recipe for you to try.
What you need
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (227g) lukewarm water
3 cups (360g) all-purpose/plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons (35g) sugar
6 tablespoons (85g) soft unsalted butter
¼ cup (35g) nonfat dry milk powder *
¼ cup (45g) potato flour, or instant mashed potato flakes *
* See the “Anything else I should know?” section below for more details on dry milk powder and potato flour.
What to do
Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix them together. Once you’ve got a shaggy dough (see photo #2 below) you can begin to knead it until you have a smooth dough (photo #3 below).
Cover the dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let it rise until it has doubled in size; about 1-2 hours depending on the temperature.
Gently press down on the dough to deflate it. Then divide it into 10 pieces (see photo #4). Shape each piece into a cylinder about 6” (15 cm) in length and flatten them slightly.
Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let them rise for about 90 minutes.
Bake the buns in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes until they are a light golden brown.
How much time?
These buns took 45 minutes of effort, but, with rising and baking time it was 3 hours and 35 minutes in total:
Hands-on time = 45 minutes.
Rising time = 2 ½ hours.
Baking time = 20 minutes.
Here’s the breakdown of time by steps:
Initial mixing and kneading (by hand) = 30 minutes. If I had used my mixer, it would have only taken 10 – 15 minutes.
First rise = 1 hour.
Shaping the hot dog buns = 15 minutes.
Second rise = 90 minutes.
Baking = 20 minutes.
Therefore, you’ll need to allow at least 4 hours to make the buns before eating.
You could also make them ahead of time and freeze them - see the “Anything else I should know?” section below for more details.
I can buy 8 hot dog buns for about $1.99. Using this recipe I can make 10 hot dog buns for $1.78 which would be a cost of $1.42 for 8 homemade hot dog buns: a 29% saving.
If I use milk instead of milk powder, then the cost is even cheaper: $1.26 for 8 buns, a 37% saving.
Is it worth it?
Although the cost of homemade hot dog buns is less than those from the store and they are delicious, it does take time and planning to make them. Plus, this recipe does have some ingredients that you may not have lying around the house. So overall, homemade hot dog buns get a 3-pig rating: something you may want to do once or twice, but not on a regular basis.
Anything else I should know?
How can I celebrate National Hot Dog Day if I am vegetarian or vegan?
If you don't eat meat, or don't like the amount of additives that are in hot dogs, there is an alternative: carrots!
I was skeptical, but I made some carrot hot dogs and, in a hot dog bun with toppings, they do taste surprisingly like hot dogs! Don't believe me? Try it yourself and let me know what you think!
I don’t have any dry milk powder what should I do?
Dry milk powder gives the buns a good crust color and helps the buns retain moisture. If you don’t have dry milk powder then you can use milk. Instead of the 1 cup of water in the recipe above, use 1 cup of milk.
I don’t have any potato flour or mashed potato flakes what should I do?
Potato flour or mashed potato flakes increase the moisture content of the buns, gives them a creamy color and some flavor.
If you don’t have potato flour or instant mashed potatoes flakes, then you can substitute it for ¼ cup (45 g) of all-purpose flour or cornstarch. If you use all-purpose flour, you may need to decrease the amount of water as all-purpose flour absorbs less water than potato flour. Try decreasing the amount of water by about 1-2 tablespoons or, if the dough is too sticky, try adding a little more all-purpose flour until you get a smooth dough.
Do not use potato starch. Potato flour is made from the whole potato (including starch), potato starch is just the starch so won’t work well.
Can I freeze hot dog buns?
Yes you can, just put them in a freezer bag or other sealed container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to use them, defrost them completely and rewarm them in a 350°F (177°C) oven for about 8 - 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy National Hot Dog Day, but if you can’t celebrate it today, don’t worry because the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has one last tip for you: