Homemade Hot Dog Buns

It finally happened.  I’ve been thinking about trying homemade hot dog buns for yearsWhen we all decided that hot dogs were what was for dinner, I had the chance.  Hot dog buns are not something I keep on hand.  So, I hit up Pinterest, looked over a few recipes, picked one, modified it, and hoped for the best.  The results?  Delicious!

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They are fluffy and chewy with great texture.  The bit of whole wheat makes them more filling than your average $1/bag buns from the store. I made mine as directed, going with 3oz of dough per bun for 16 buns.  That proportion made fairly large buns which were a tad big for our turkey dogs. I think next time, I would make smaller buns and greater quantity.  This recipe also lends itself well to hamburger buns with the addition of an egg wash and sesame seeds.

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You can crunch the time of the second rise by warming up your oven a bit and then turning it off and putting the dough in.  I have a “keep warm” setting on my oven that heats it to 170º.  I turned that on while I was portioning the dough out and then turned it off and let the dough rise with the door closed.  They were perfect size in less than 30 minutes.  I also used the dough setting on my bread machine to do the work of the mixing and first rise.  If you don’t have a bread machine, just use a stand mixer and follow basic bread dough procedure through the first rise.

Homemade Hot Dog Buns

Adapted from this recipe at Baking Obsession.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups half & half, warmed slightly
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Directions

For Hot Dog Buns:

Add all ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer and set for dough cycle.  After the dough cycle is complete, portion your dough out into 20 equal portions (roughly 2.5oz each) and shape into logs.  (I shaped mine like rolls (folding all the edges under and pinching them together) before rolling into logs.)  

Place on a greased 9×13″ sheet pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled and dough is touching.  Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes.  Buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool before slicing.

For Hamburger Buns:

Follow same procedure as hot dog buns until shaping, portioning into 16 equal pieces (approx. 3oz each).  Shape into rounds and flatten slightly.  Place on a greased 9×13 sheet pan and allow to rise about 30 minutes in a warm place.  Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1tbsp water or milk) and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Bake at 375º for 25-30 minutes.  Buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool before slicing.

Both types of buns are best eaten the same day and will last shorter than store-bought buns.  They freeze nicely, warming up in the microwave in 15-30 seconds.

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Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spring, you’re such a tease!  You show us beautiful, sunny days so we start putting long-sleeved shirts into boxes and digging out flip flops.  Then, the sun stops. The rain shows up and douses us with enough to flood the streets and make everything decidedly soggy.  You drown the new plants that went out during those sunny days and crush all hope that summer will ever come.

I’m so over your craziness, Spring.

Despite the lack of sunshine, I’m still craving salads.  That bag of spinach in my fridge calls out to me, begging to be wrapped in a fruity vinaigrette and maybe sprinkled with a bit of cheese or some toasted nuts.  But I never have salad dressing in the fridge.  On the rare occasion that I buy salad dressing, it is always over priced and never used before it goes bad.  And it never tastes quite the way I want it to.

But then, I made this and everything changed.

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I sort of inhaled the first salad with this dressing without thinking to take a picture until it was too late.  Rex was begging to eat it by the spoonful.

A vinaigrette that’s not over done. It’s light and mild and sweet.  It is the promise of summer in a jar.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

Adapted from Keeper of the Home’s Raspberry Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed for 30-45 seconds in the microwave
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Store in the refrigerator.

Makes approximately 1 pint (2 cups).

Winning Pins

Today, I’m sharing some winning pins that are now on permanent rotation in our house.  I’ve had a streak of good luck trying recipes and DIY food things from Pinterest and I’m hoping you like them as much as we do.

Homemade Freezer Biscuits

These are ridiculously easy and really tasty!  I’ve always been afraid of making biscuits because of the cold butter thing and the rolling.  Turns out, it’s not that hard.  Or at least, this version isn’t.  These biscuits are a huge hit with both the adults and kids and really do cook up nicely from the freezer.  I let them thaw about 30 minutes or so before putting them in to bake and they turn out nice and fluffy.  The entire recipe takes 5 ingredients, and you can pronounce them all.  I usually make up a batch when I need them, and have the time, and freeze the other half for when I need them, but don’t have the time.

Whole Wheat Waffles

These are a recent addition to the Tried and Awesome board.  We were recently graced with a visit from the Shunn Clan (minus Puck and Tucker) and they braved my first attempt at these waffles.  The verdict?  We are whole wheat waffle converts!  The addition of cinnamon and honey really takes this waffle recipe to the next level.  The use of whole wheat flour gives the waffles a more complex flavor and makes them cook up just a bit denser.  I think the next batch I make will be doubled so I can have freezer waffles on hand for easy toasting.

Condensed Cream of Whatever Soup

I hate canned condensed cream of (insert flavor here) soup.  There. I said it.  It is so salty and tastes like chemicals.  No longer do I have to bring that crap into my house.  This homemade version takes 5 minutes in the microwave and can be made into whatever flavor you need.  I left mine plain and it still worked beautifully. My only piece of advice is to make this soup right before you need it.  Otherwise, it sets up a bit and you have to warm it and whisk it back to the right consistency.

Homemade Spreadable Butter

This is another one of those foods that you think, “Oh, I couldn’t make that.  It’s a specialized thing.”  I now say, “PFFFFFT!”

Seriously.  Spreadable butter is ridiculously easy.  My 2 sticks of rock hard butter transformed into a beautiful, spreadable whipped butter.  I ended up with around 14oz of olive oil infused butter with a cost of $1.25 vs. $4 for 15oz of questionable canola infused butter.  Add to that the convenience* of making it at home and I’m sold on the homemade version.

*Yes, making it at home is more convenient for me than pre-packaged because I don’t have to cart the baby to the store.

Baked Ravioli

Oh. My. YUM! This dish is so easy and so delicious.  Frozen ravioli (we used the spinach and cheese kind from Costco), spaghetti sauce (in our case, leftover marinara), and cheese (a block of shredded mozzarella). Layers of pasta and sauce and cheese, all baked together to form a gooey dish of awesome for your tummy.  This dish makes great leftovers and reheats well.  We served it with steamed mixed veggies.

Bread Machine Cornbread

A month or two ago, I scored a Breadman TR800 on Craigslist for $20.  Since then, I haven’t bought a single loaf of bread.  This cornbread is simple and goes great with chili.  On my machine, I use the cake setting and it turns out fluffy and golden.  Whenever I make this cornbread, the kids wolf it down.  I like mine with butter and honey.

So there you have it.  We have been trying very hard to cook from home and be frugal and these recipes have allowed me to put my grocery budget to better use.  Hopefully some of these great recipes will make their way into your kitchen rotation.  Happy cooking!