When I was testing recipes for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, I tried the USA Pans hot dog bun pan (link below in recipe). But since you already needed some special ingredients to join the Gluten Free Bread Revolution, I decided on another method for making proper hot dog buns using the Soft Hamburger Bun dough recipefrom page 139 of the book—no special pan needed.
But I started getting questions (from you!) about gluten free New England Hot Dog Buns, and, well, I still have that special pan. So I got to work. And you know what? I’m really into them–and you can make the buns with any properly-sized rectangular pan!
The pans can be purchased on amazon.com (link below), but King Arthur Flour also sells it. And I think I’ve even seen it at Kohl’s. What makes the pan special is the molded wells along the bottom. But they do more than separate out 10 rolls (and yes, I tried shaping 10 rolls and then having them rise side-by-side—it wasn’t anything so special). I believe the highest and best use of the wells is to bake a rectangular-shaped bread in the pan and then use the valleys between each well to create a natural middle for each bun. Just read through the directions, and study the step-by-step photos. It’ll all come together.
You do have to be sure to bake the flat top as directed, too, or when you slice halfway through each bun, there won’t be enough structure on the bottom and the bun will split straight through (been there, unfortunately, done that!).
And be smart, like I wasn’t always (learn from my mistakes!)—serve these with the standard-size hot dogs. They fit perfectly in the center of the bun!
9 cooked standard-size hot dogs, for serving (the extra-thick hot dogs are too thick for these buns)
Prepare the bread dough according to the recipe instructions. Whether you decide to work with the dough the same day as you make it or not, be sure to chill the dough before shaping.
On baking day, grease the baking pan well and set it aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking, scraping the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then folding it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly.
Shaping the buns + the final rise. Place a lightly oiled piece of unbleached parchment paper on top of a large portable cutting board, and place the dough on top of the paper. Sprinkle the top lightly with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle a bit smaller than the baking pan you are using (ideally, 14-inches x 5-inches). It should be about 3/4-inch thick. Invert the prepared baking pan on top of the dough to cover it, and quickly turn over the cutting board and baking pan together to invert the dough into the pan. Shake the pan back and forth a bit to distribute it evenly in the pan. Cover the baking pan with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free location until nearly doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours). It should nearly reach the top of the baking pan.
Baking the buns. About 25 minutes before the buns have finished rising, preheat your oven to 350°F. Once the dough has finished rising, remove the plastic wrap, place the baking pan in the preheated oven, and bake for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325°F, and remove the buns from the oven. The top of the dough will be relatively pale. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and invert the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the internal temperature of the buns reaches about 185° (another 3 to 5 minutes).
Slicing and serving the buns. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the bread is cool, place it on a cutting board, flat side down. With a bread knife, slice the bread into buns in the following manner. If using the USA Pans hot dog bun pan, the there will be 9 valleys in the dough. Each of these valleys will be the center of a bun. Slice the dough widthwise in 9 places, each halfway between two valleys (see photo). Then, slice off the ends that are making the two end buns too large on one side and slice each bun in the center about halfway down to create a space for a hot dog. If not using the USA Pans hot dog bun pan, slice the rectangle into 10 equal-sized buns. Then, slice each bun in the center about halfway down to create a space for a hot dog. Place a cooked hot dog in each bun, and serve.
P.S. Do you have your copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? Thank you thank you thank you for playing such an important part in this, the Gluten Free Bread Revolution! Tell everyone about it!!