Chinese Hot Dog Buns

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I’ve found that Chinese hot dog buns are great travel foods – you can pack them for a long car ride or plane flight.  They’re also good for lunch in general.  Of course you can find them in any Chinese bakery, but if you don’t live near one, now you can make them yourself.  The advantage to that is picking your favorite type of hot dog.  I prefer Hebrew International’s 97% Fat-Free Beef Franks…because they seem a little healthier.

Original recipe

Chinese Hot Dog Buns
Adapted from Woks of Life

For the bread:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 cup+1 tablespoon milk, at room temperature or slightly warm
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose OR cake flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour, tap measuring cup to avoid air pockets
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

For the filling:

  • 12 hot dogs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon water

For the simple syrup (optional):

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons hot water

 

  1. Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook.  In the bowl of the mixer, add heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, all-purpose OR cake flour, bread flour, yeast, and salt, in that order.
  2. Stir them together with a wooden spoon until all the flour is moistened.  This way flour won’t fly everywhere when you turn on the mixer.
  3. Set mixer on “stir” for 15 minutes, occasionally stopping the mixer to push the dough together.  It will feel somewhat sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough grows to 1.5 times its original size.
  5. While the dough proofs, heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add hot dogs and allow them to crisp slightly.  (I found out the hard way that this step seals juices inside the hot dogs so they don’t make the surrounding dough soggy.)
  6. Line a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil and put hot dogs on it to cool.
  7. After dough finishes proofing, return it to the mixer and stir for another 5 minutes to get rid of air bubbles.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or with aluminum foil.  If using foil, spray it with cooking spray.
  9. Flour a work surface, turn dough onto it, and cut it into 12 equal pieces.
  10. Roll each piece into a 12-14 inch rope, keeping the middle thicker than the ends.
  11. Roll each rope around a hot dog, tucking in the ends. Repeat until you have 12 hot dog buns.
  12. Place buns on baking sheet, spacing 2-3 inches apart.  Cover lightly with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  13. Let buns proof in a warm spot for 1 hour, until they almost double in size.  After 45 minutes of proofing, position racks to divide the oven in thirds and preheat to 350ºF.
  14. Whisk egg with water to make egg wash.
  15. When buns finish rising, remove kitchen or paper towel and brush buns with egg wash.
  16. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown in color.  Rotate pans halfway through baking.
  17. If desired, dissolve sugar in hot water to make simple syrup.
  18. Remove pans from oven.  If using the simple syrup, brush buns with it to make them shiny and sweet.  (I skipped this part and the bread tasted good anyway.)  The buns taste best the first day.  If they last any longer, you can store them in the freezer in a Ziploc bag.  Defrost overnight and toast briefly.