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New England Style Hot Dog Buns

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Makes 8 to 10.
By Dennis W. Viau; an original recipe.

The hot dog buns in New England are different from those in most of the USA. They have white sides and a browned top. When separated, the buns can be buttered on the sides and toasted. The hot dog fits into a cut along the top of the bun rather than along the side, which makes holding condiments neater.


For the dough:
½ cup (113g) water, slightly warmed (100°F/38°C)
1 tablespoon active dry or instant yeast
Pinch of sugar
¾ cup (175ml/175g) whole milk, warmed slightly (100°F/38°C)
4 cups (567g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (12g) dry (powdered) milk
2 tablespoons (23g) sugar
2 large eggs (94g), room temperature
1½ teaspoons salt
6 tablespoons (85g) butter
Optional egg wash:
1 egg
1 tablespoon whole milk


Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Stir in the pinch of sugar and let the mixture rest for several minutes to activate the yeast. It will foam. Stir in the milk.

Add about half the flour along with the milk powder, sugar, and eggs. Mix to form a batter. Add the remaining flour a little at a time with all the salt and mix until a moist and slightly sticky dough forms. You might need to adjust the flour or add a little more water to get the desired consistency. Knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Kneading can be done with a dough hook in a stand mixer. Add the butter, about 2 tablespoons at a time and work into the dough until thoroughly combined. The dough will separate each time the butter is added, but continue kneading until the dough comes together again.

Place the dough in a large buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Rising time might take longer if your kitchen is cold.

Punch the dough down and divide into 8 to 10 evenly-sized pieces (the size and number will depend on your hot dogs). Roll each piece into a long roll slightly longer than the size of your hot dogs and arrange in your baking pan. You can use a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking pan or a 6x15-inch (15x38cm) hot dog bun pan. Alternatively, you could place the rolls side-by-side on a baking sheet.

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Optional: Combine the egg and milk to make an egg wash and lightly brush the rolls just before baking.

Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden on top. Carefully remove from the pan and allow to cool on a rack. Slit each roll down the middle, about ¾ of the way toward the bottom.