Homemade Hot Dog Buns

I make my own hot dog buns.

I’ve had a couple friends tell me -in the most loving way possible- that I’m off my nut for making hot dog buns. “You can get them anywhere! You’re certifiable!”

Why in heaven’s name would I make hot dog buns when there are so many available to buy? The short answer is because I have never been able to buy a hot dog bun that holds a candle to these*.

*Every hot dog bun I’ve ever purchased has one or more of three massive problems; too soft, too stale, too crumbly. More often than not, that’s compounded with funky, nasty preservatives and ingredients that I try to avoid giving my family. (Hellooooo, High Fructose Corn Syrup. I’m looking at you.)

These buns are the be-all-and-end-all, the ne plus ultra, the Hot-Diggity-Dog of hot dog buns. They’re buttery. They have real flavour! They’re soft on the inside with a fine textured crumb, but they have a little chew to them. Unlike their styrofoam store-shelf cousins, my buns hold up to whatever toppings you want to load onto your hot dog. Wanna Matlock dog*? These are the buns for the job.

*Does referencing Matlock age me? I feel my hair turning blue just saying it. Seriously, though, Matlock knew how to eat a hot dog. Because he was a real man, right? Just as real as Opie Cunningham.

Just look at this. Can you imagine a store bought roll that comes close to being able to do this?

I promise you that this held all of those toppings when I hoisted this chili dog to my mouth. It held on clear through the ritual sopping up of the chili from the plate.

For the record: Those friends who thought I was bonkers do so no longer because they’ve all eaten my hot dog buns now. They are convinced.

So yeah. It takes a little longer to make your own buns than to buy them. I’m not a nincompoop, though. I use my time and effort where it makes the biggest difference.  And here? It makes a world of difference here.

While it does take a little time, it’s not a difficult process. Before I get to the recipe, I want to show you how to form the rolls. If you already know how to do this, scroll to the bottom for the recipe. The key to making the best hot dog buns is to try to cut your dough into (roughly) equal-sized pieces before you begin forming it.

Each batch of dough makes fifteen standard sized buns or twelve large hoagie or Italian sausage style buns. I have a double batch here. You start by dividing each batch of dough into 3 pieces of equal size or weight. I’m partial to using my kitchen scale to ensure I’m breaking the dough down into close-to-equal sized  pieces. Is this necessary? Not strictly, but it makes my little inner Obsessive Compulsive Chef sing for joy. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, or refuse to use one on moral grounds, just eyeball it and do your best to break them down equally. Gently form each piece into an oblong log.

Cut each of the logs into 5 equal pieces for standard sized hot dog buns or 4 equal pieces for Italian sausage or hoagie rolls.  Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into an oval. (You can see inches marked on the bottom of the dough mat I used.)

Use the edge of your hand to indent the dough down the length of the center of the dough.

Roll the dough around the indentation you created.

Lightly pinch together the seam.

Turn the dough seam side down and use the flats of your hands to roll it back and forth until it reaches about 6-inches in length. Tuck any funky shaped ends under so you have a tube of dough with flat ends.

After rising and before baking, brush the rolls generously with buttermilk. (Remember how easy it is to make your own?)

4.9 from 11 reviews
Homemade Hot Dog Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade Hot Dog Buns elevate an ordinary hot dog meal into an extraordinary experience. Soft, buttery, flavourful, and able to hold up to infinite toppings, these buns put all supermarket rolls to shame.
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 12-15
  • 1¼ cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups bread flour (You can substitute all-purpose flour if necessary.)
  • 3 tablespoons instant potato flakes
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional, but it improves the final texture.)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup of cultured buttermilk, for brushing
To mix dough in a bread machine:
  1. Put all ingredients except for the buttermilk in the pan. Program bread machine for the dough cycle and hit start.
To mix dough in a stand mixer:
  1. Put all ingredients except the buttermilk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 10 minutes, or until a smooth, elastic dough is formed. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.
To mix dough by hand:
  1. Add all ingredients except for the buttermilk to a large mixing bowl. Use a sturdy wooden spoon or your hand to stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 15 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1-2 hours.
To form rolls:
  1. Lightly grease an 11-inch by 13-inch baking sheet or line with a silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Divide dough into 3 equally sized pieces and form into logs.
  3. Divide each log into 5 equal pieces for standard sized rolls or 4 equal pieces for larger Italian sausage or hoagie rolls.
  4. Working with one piece at a time, pat each piece out into an oval.
  5. Press an indentation down the length of the center of the oval with the side of your hand.
  6. Roll the dough up around the indentation.
  7. Pinch the seam together lightly.
  8. Roll the pieces gently seam side down until about 6-inches in length.
  9. Transfer to the lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between the pieces, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until puffy, about 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  11. Brush the puffy dough generously with buttermilk.
  12. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until deep golden brown.
  13. Cool the rolls on a rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
To serve as a hot dog or sausage roll:
  1. Make a slice down the center of the top of the roll nearly through to the bottom. Gently pry open with your fingers to hold the hot dog or sausage.
To serve as a hoagie or sandwich roll:
  1. Lay the roll on its side and slice it in half about midway up the roll.
To store leftovers:
  1. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to two days. They can be wrapped tightly and frozen for storage up to a month.



    • gary balkam says

      because…. it stretches the outside of the dough to make a smooth finish, if you just rolled it, it would be rough and tacky. Much the same as when you make bread or any other roll by hand, you fold the dough under, until the top looks smooth. Basically, it makes it look pretty, and easier to grease (if you grease before raising the 2nd time as I do with breads)

  1. says

    Well, I’ll be accompanying you to the looney bin. I make my own hamburger buns. There’s just no comparison. And maybe this year, I’ll finally get around to making my own catsup.

    • says

      @Debbie Oh for sure! Homemade hamburger buns are the bees-knees, too… Maybe I should do my burger bun recipe, too!
      @Kim Good question. The reason I do it is because you eliminate trapped air pockets by flattening it then rolling it into a cylinder. It is mainly about the end product, in my case. If you don’t mind irregular air pockets (in other words, a more irregular crumb) then you can skip this step.
      @Megan Thank you!
      @Sara The looney bin has better food, don’t you think? :-)
      @Mom24 Funny you should mention that… Here you go: Cincinnati Chili

      • Jeff says

        Obviously these would be best served the day they were made, but how far in advance can they be made before they get too crusty?

        • Monna Walters says

          I have frozen mine for up to 3 months and they taste just like fresh. I just wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Then I toast them for a few minutes. My family sometimes just eats the buns and forget about the hotdogs. I make hamburger buns from this same recipe and sprinkle sesame seeds on them prior to baking.

  2. says

    When I hit you up on chat, I didn’t realize Kim had already asked my question. Way to read the comments, Melissa.

    You know you will be the first to know how these come out. Can’t wait!

  3. Peggy says

    YES please post hamburger bun recipe too. These look awesome. I made my first hoagie rolls last week (after being inspired by you:)) My family loved them and were very sad when they were gone. I am wondering because I know on crunch days I will not take the time (although I was pleasantly surprised at how fast they were to make)… so my question is… do you freeze the dough portions or freeze rolls baked? I want to have them available. Thanks.

  4. Elle Hyson says

    I’m thinking these should be great for lobster rolls as I am unable to find any at the markets – would there be anything different to making them with the opening at the top instead of the side?

  5. Kim in MD says

    Rebecca- I am new to your blog, and it is just amazing! Your tutorials are awesome! I really want to make these rolls, and I would love to use a dough mat like yours. It looks like it would make rolling out dough, etc., so much easier! Would you mind sharing where you purchased it? Thanks so much!

  6. John Rogers says

    Thanks for posting up how to form the hotdog buns.

    I’ve got a similar recipe I’ve used that is stellar, but I could not for the life of me figure out how to form the dough to get great buns!

  7. Heather says

    Thank You for posting this recipe. I tried it with dinner tonight and they turned out wonderfully. They taste great, are easy to make, and can really hold up to anything you put in them. We usually put chili on our hot dogs and it usually ends up making the bun soggy and then it falls all over the place causing a huge mess, but these turned out perfectly and for once I didn’t have to clean up a mess caused by a soggy bun. I also wanted to say I loved that you put the procedure to make these by hand, by bread machine, and by using a mixer. Thank you so much for this!

  8. Tina says

    Love Them! i just made these today in my bread machine. I couldn’t stop my family from eating before dinner! Thanks again for the great recipe.

  9. Maira says

    I love to make a variety of foods from scratch. However, I’m a bit intimidated about making my own bread but I have to try this one! My 4 year old daughter loves to help me out in the kitchen, especially when she gets to use her hands. She is going to love helping me out with this one. :)

  10. Keri Lyn says

    Making your own bread of any kind has so many advantages to the store bought kind. You can have it the way you want it, when you want it and my personal favorite reason for making all my own breads is that they seem to last longer. When I want to make hot dogs, burgers or italian I have to do it within 2-3 days of buying the bread or it goes bad, I don’t like having to “run” to the store just for one or two items, gas is too high and the cost of making your own breads is not expensive so, I think more people should be loony. P.S. Making your own cheese is good also.

  11. says

    I made these tonight (subbing 1/2 cup of wheat flour for an equal amount of the bread flour) and they are AMAZING! Easiest dough I have ever worked with, and I will never buy hot dog rolls at the store again. Thanks for a great recipe and tutorial!

  12. says

    These were delicious, my new favorite rolls. For those who may be wondering about the potato flakes, I didn’t have them so I didn’t use them and they still tasted awesome.

    • Melissa says

      Great! I am excited to make these tomorrow, but I don’t want to travel to the store for potato flakes. I will make them without and perhaps next time I will buy some. Great looking recipe and tutorial on shaping the buns, Thanks, Rebecca

  13. Stephanie says

    I’m with you in the crazy house because i make my own hamburger buns and rolls and just bread in general. There’s no going back once you’ve had homemade bead. I just took these out of the oven and they came out wonderful and beautiful!! I didn’t have potato flakes or buttermilk so i did an egg wash instead of buttermilk and it turned out great. my new go-to recipe :-) thanks for sharing!

  14. jaye says

    I, too, am a baker of hamburger buns and breads in general. Never tried hot dog buns until last night. Wow. How can I ever purchase another nasty anemic store-bought bun after these?? They are really fabulous. Endearingly ugly, too.

  15. says

    Thank you for this recipe. Like you, I can stand to buy buns because the homemade ones are so delicious! I’d been looking for a hotdog bun recipe that held up without being too tough. This did the trick! Served them with brats to unanimous acclaim. I switched out 1 1/2 cups bread flour with Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (great stuff if you haven’t tried it). Didn’t have potato flakes so used an equal amount of instant milk powder. Used Dough Enhancer (love that stuff too) instead of wheat gluten. I served the brats with Rosemary Bacon Kraut and Hot and Sweet Whisky Mustard. I’ve included the links below to those recipes if you are interested. I have to hide the mustard when I can it or my kids steal it. Really! Thanks again for a great recipe!

  16. says

    I’m about to make these right now at home! I am so very excited to see how they turn out! Thank you for sharing your recipe, the pictures and the way you worded everything was wonderful.

    The little Stohr Family

  17. Novice Bread Baker says

    Made these exactly as the recipe said. Came out great, even for the first time making rolls. I made 4 hamburger and the rest hot dog, they are soooo good! I was very impressed with myself. The flavor is excellent! I even toasted them in the toaster on the bagel setting, works great! Thank you!

  18. Liz says

    Fun to make, yummy to eat! I’m giving a huge baby shower in my backyard in August, and did a test-run of some foods I was thinking of making. These buns were the best! Thank you for sharing!!! :)

  19. Ana says

    I didn’t have milk. Used cashew nut instead milk brushed with olive oil instead of buttermilk. Absolutely incredible pair with carrot vinegarette salad with fresh parsley and mint.

  20. Dawna says

    I laughed at the “Obsessive Compulsive Chef” description because I’m a bit the same way, which is how I ended up here, following a search for “Best Hot Dog Bun Recipe”. The dough is on its first rise right now. It looks fabulous so far! Silky and stretchy… I just can’t wait to see the finished product. But one silly little comment: I don’t know how you can STAND to make it into 15 buns! I must make 16! I’ll use my bench scraper to quarter the dough once, then quarter each again. So satisfying.


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