Sourdough Hot Dog Buns

Wondering how to make your own hot dog buns that are every bit as soft and moist as the packaged ones from the grocery store? The answer is sourdough. Using a ripe starter and a little bit of yeast gives lift and flavor to your buns, while our hot dog bun pan guarantees they’ll come out consistently beautiful each and every time.

20 mins
20 to 23 mins
3 hrs 20 mins
10 buns
Sourdough Hot Dog Buns


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  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. 

  2. Combine all the ingredients, and mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine set to the dough cycle — adding more flour or water if necessary to make a soft, smooth dough.

  3. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise at warm room temperature until it's nearly doubled in bulk, 60 to 90 minutes.

  4. While the dough is rising, lightly grease a hot dog bun pan.

  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface, gently deflate it, and stretch it until it's about 15" long and 6" wide. Place the dough into the pan, stretching it to the edges.

  6. Let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes, until it comes to within 1/2" of the top of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  7. Grease a baking sheet, and place it on top of the risen buns.

  8. Put the covered buns into the oven, weighing the baking sheet down with something heavy and oven-safe; a cast iron skillet works well.

  9. Bake the buns for 18 minutes, remove the weighted baking sheet, and bake for 2 to 5 minutes longer, if necessary to brown the buns.

  10. Remove the pan from the oven, and cool the buns in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn them out onto a rack, rounded side up, to cool completely.

  11. Slice each bun down the middle vertically, without cutting through the bottom; then cut between the buns to separate them.

  12. Store buns wrapped in plastic for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Don’t have any starter? Here’s a recipe for homemade sourdough starter. If you're making it from scratch, you'll need to feed it for 5 to 7 days before it’s ready for baking. Want a head start? Purchase our classic fresh sourdough starter — it’ll be ready for baking soon after it arrives at your door. Looking for tips, techniques, and all kinds of great information about sourdough baking? Find what you need in our sourdough baking guide.

  • To make regular (not New England-style) hot dog buns without a pan, divide the dough into 10 equal pieces (if you have a scale, each piece will weigh about 2 3/4 ounces), and form each piece into a cylinder 6" in length. Transfer buns to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the buns slightly (dough rises more in the center, so this will give them gently rounded tops), then allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until puffy. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of one bun reads at least 190°F. Note that buns baked without a hot dog bun pan will have a more uneven texture, with smaller and larger gas bubbles on the inside. The buns may have a speckled appearance due to those gas bubbles under the surface.