Hot dog bun shaping techniques


PJH & company, could you please do a blog on shaping hot dog buns? If there is already one showing how to shape something other than the New England style, I know there is at least one other person than myself who could use some pointers. I can make the bread dough, it is the shaping I am having issues with. Mine look more like subs after they rise so I think maybe I might be using too much dough and not shaping it tight enough.



badge posted by: toffee on January 03, 2011 at 5:25 pm in General discussions
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reply by: Mike Nolan on January 03, 2011 at 6:33 pm
Mike Nolan

Some of us roll the dough out and use a specially shaped cookie cutter (take a circular one and flatten it on two sides.)

I just weight out the right amount of dough (2 ounces, usually), roll into a log that is about a half inch longer than a hot dog, flatten it so that it is about twice the width of a hot dog and place it on the baking sheet. I space them about an inch apart, maybe a bit less.

If I'm having brats, I use a bit more dough, more like 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 ounces, and make them a bit longer to match the size of the brat. They'll wind up being a bit wider, too, since a brat is thicker than a hot dog.

reply by: toffee on January 03, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Mike, is it a regular donut or is it a biscuit cutter? I assume isn't any difference except the ring on the middle for the donut hole. I will try your idea when I get something to squeeze into the oval. I also will try and flatten the dough first. I also weigh all my buns and rolls.


reply by: Naughtysquirrel on January 03, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I just roll mine into little logs and put a stip of parch. paper between them - works for me...NS

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 03, 2011 at 7:19 pm
Mike Nolan

I think it was Randy who did that, and if I remember correctly, it was just a cheap round cookie cutter. (He described it over on the old BC, but I have always found searching there too painful.)

I don't cut them, I just weigh them, roll them into a log, and flatten them. Are all of my hot dog buns exactly the same size? No. Does anybody care? Not here!

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 03, 2011 at 7:20 pm
Mike Nolan

I don't even bother with the parchment. The buns usually rise to the point where they touch along the edge, but that produces a nice soft edge that's easy to cut open.

reply by: kittykat3308 on January 03, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I agree with toffee that a blog on shaping hot dog buns would be nice. Better yet, maybe King Arthur could sell us a hot dog roll cutter similar to a cookie cutter; but it would need to be reasonable in price. I have nerve damage to my left shoulder, arm and hand, so I can't squeeze a circle cutter into an oval.

Mike - you are correct, it's Randy who made a 3 or 4' circle cutter into an oval. He rolls his dough out and cuts it just like you would a biscuit or cookie, etc.


reply by: swirth on January 04, 2011 at 4:54 pm
reply by: toffee on January 04, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thanks swirth! I lurk on Feeder watch but I need to be on the other computer to post. Maybe you could ask the moderator to add the alternate format along with Flash. I cannot post on my iPad right now because they just support Flash and Apple doesn't have it on the iPad. Always appreciate your finding stuff and making sure everyone can get to it. I will try Randy's cutout approach and see how it works.


reply by: lennycubfan on January 07, 2011 at 2:25 am

I'd like to see a hot dog baking pan.

reply by: Cindy Leigh on January 07, 2011 at 8:35 pm
Cindy Leigh

I have the hot dog bun pan and love it.

reply by: lennycubfan on January 08, 2011 at 1:17 am

Who makes it and where can I get one?

reply by: Cindy Leigh on January 08, 2011 at 11:27 pm
Cindy Leigh

I got it from KAF! I use the recipe that you refer to as moomie, I believe.

reply by: kittykat3308 on January 11, 2011 at 12:58 am


The recipe is called Beautiful Burger Buns and the pan is for the New England Style Hot Dog buns.


reply by: Mike Nolan on January 11, 2011 at 2:00 am
Mike Nolan

Over the years King Arthur has had two different types of 'hot dog' pans.

One is the New England Hot Dog Pan, also sometimes called a Lobster Roll pan:

The other is a much more flat pan with shallow indentations in it the size of a hot dog bun.

I don't think they've had that one in the catalog for a while, here's a picture of a commercial sized version of that type of pan:

reply by: lennycubfan on January 13, 2011 at 1:23 am

Thanks all for the replies about the bun pan. I'm interested in the traditional style hot dog buns not the New England buns. I don't have any trouble at all making hamburger buns, in fact I'm quite good at those but I've never been able to make a decent hot dog bun. Luckily I don't have hot dogs often.

reply by: breadbkr on March 05, 2012 at 12:41 pm

I have it too but but lost the directins. Only used it once and didn't have good results. Do you use 2 oz per for that and how do you roll it?

reply by: KAF_Keri on March 05, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi Lenny,

There are a couple of manufacturers who make the traditional style hot dog bun pans. They basically just have a shallow, oval-shaped well that you lay the shaped dough on. I've always wondered if the special pan actually makes a difference or if you could get the same end result by baking them on a cookie sheet. Here's an examples of the pan:

I've never used one of these myself. Has anyone ever tried one of these pans before?

~Keri @ KAF

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 05, 2012 at 1:05 pm
Mike Nolan

I take two ounces of dough, roll it out to a log a bit longer than the length of a hot dog, and flatten it.

Allow a half inch or more between buns on the pan.

reply by: KAF_MaryJane on March 05, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I wonder if a creme canoe (aka Twinkie) pan would work?

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 05, 2012 at 2:04 pm
Mike Nolan

The creme canoe pans I've seen don't appear to be long enough to hold a hot dog.

reply by: swirth on March 05, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Here's how RandyD does his hotdog buns using a cutter he bends to the proper shape:

reply by: frick on March 05, 2012 at 8:03 pm

The original ring Randy used is an english muffin ring.

reply by: lennycubfan on March 06, 2012 at 12:25 am

Hi Keri,
Yes, I have seen that pan before. One of the things that keeps me from it is that it's for more buns than I want to make. And I agree, I think you could get the same result from a cookie sheet since it doesn't really have any sides that will contain the buns. You still have to shape the buns. It's funny that this thread has been brought to life again, I was just looking at it last week. I think I'm going to try to make hot dog buns tomorrow. After re-reading Mike Nolan's posts I'm feeling more confident.

reply by: swirth on March 06, 2012 at 8:18 am

Here are a couple more threads on how RandyD does his hot dog bun cutters from a cheap pastry or cookie cutter he bends to shape:

reply by: KAF_Keri on March 06, 2012 at 9:28 am


I actually just made some hot dog buns Saturday night using the KAF beautiful burger buns recipe. They were delicious and turned out pretty well. I cut the dough into eight chunks and shaped them kind of like mini baguettes.

And then I did a really boneheaded thing – for whatever reason I decided to cook them on a preheated pizza stone. They were beautiful on top, with a soft crust that I brushed with butter. And they had a wonderful, thick crust on the bottom… which would have been perfect for pizza, but not so great for hot dog buns!

Live and learn!

~Keri @ KAF

reply by: Mrs Cindy on March 06, 2012 at 9:45 am
Mrs Cindy

:-)) Yes, Keri, you do live and learn! And may I say, you have been learning with giant strides forward!


reply by: Mike Nolan on March 06, 2012 at 9:59 am
Mike Nolan

I often do hamburger and hot dog buns on an airbake pan, it helps to keep the bottom from getting overbaked.

reply by: judyreed on March 06, 2012 at 11:10 am

I'm all for easy solutions. My dough is rolled out in one long log, pressed to desired width, and use a ruler and dough scraper to cut the buns to appropriate length. They are then baked on a cookie sheet. Another hint: I use a drafting table as a bakers table. The height can be adjusted and the surface is virtually non stick. Table also is my grandchildren's favorite spot to eat or just talk.

reply by: lennycubfan on March 07, 2012 at 2:30 am

I made a batch of oat wheat bread and used half to make 4 kaiser rolls and half to make 5 hot dog buns. The hot dog buns weighed in at just under 3 ounces (83 grams) each pre-bake. They don't look picture perfect but I think they'll be ok. Forming them really wasn't hard. Thinking about chili dogs tomorrow.


reply by: lennycubfan on March 07, 2012 at 11:43 am

I forgot to say, I am familiar with the beautiful burger bun recipe. It's a good recipe, it was the first recipe I used to make buns. These days I usually make buns out of my favorite at the moment bread recipe.

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 07, 2012 at 11:51 am
Mike Nolan

I sometimes use my bench scraper or a straight edge to get somewhat cleaner edges.

Most of the time I use Moomies recipe, with 1/4 cup or more of whole wheat flour.

I keep looking for a really good Chicago style hot dog bun recipe, haven't found one yet.

reply by: KAF_Keri on March 07, 2012 at 12:19 pm


I was doing a bit of research the other day when I was getting ready to make hot dog buns myself. I read somewhere that the way they get the buns to hold together well when steaming is to par-bake them and then to let them finish cooking in the steamer. I can't really picture how it would work or make them any less mushy than steaming fully baked buns, but it would make for an interesting experiment!

~Keri @ KAF

reply by: lardude on March 07, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I am looking for a recipe and shaping instructions to make hot dog buns like those served in the now defunct(?)Howard Johnson restaurants. They had no crust on the sides and were cut off square on the ends (no crust). Howard Johnson's buttered the sides and grilled them on a flat grill before assembly. They also used a delicious proprietary beef hot dog which was cut open end to end and grilled flat under a weight.

I saw Jacques Pepin on one of his shows use the identical bun to make lobster rolls. He called it a "Philadelphia roll". I have followed him on TV for years and heard him say that he had worked for Howard Johnson's in research and development. I suspect he had something to do with their hot dog. I have searched on several cooking sites for this roll to no avail.

I suspect the formed dough was placed in a rectangular pan with high sides with each of the formed buns touching. After baking and cooling, the ends were cut off square. The rolls were pulled apart for use.

Any ideas?

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 07, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Mike Nolan

Your Philadelphia roll sounds a bit like the New England Hot Dog, for which KAF sells a pan. (But I have to say that the photographs of the pan and the buns it makes in the KAF catalog don't do a good job explaining what they are.)

Keri, I'm pretty sure that the Vienna hot dog buns aren't par-baked, because I can buy them locally (frozen), and they steam just fine, but don't need to be steamed. Why they hold up well when steamed and Moomies doesn't is probably due to specific ingredients. I may do some more fiddling with this come summer and hot dog season.

I've found some purported 'Chicago hot dog bun' recipes that use potato starch in them, that doesn't really affect how well they steam, and I'm not fond of their taste (too potato-ish and definitely NOT authentic Chicago-style!)

reply by: KAF_Keri on March 07, 2012 at 4:14 pm


Here's a link to the pan Mike mentioned above:

Take a look at the thumbnail photos on that page - I think they'll show pictures of buns similar to what you're describing. There are also links to some hot dog recipes that can be used with the pan on that page. Hope this helps!

~Keri @ KAF

reply by: Mike Nolan on March 07, 2012 at 4:36 pm
Mike Nolan

The photos in this KAF blog article may do a better job of showing what the New England Hot Dog Buns pan does:

BTW, the blog article says that this is the kind of bun HOJO served.

reply by: KAF_Keri on June 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm


I'm not sure if you've seen the KAF email that just came out, but it's all about "Chacago Style Hotdogs". There's a new recipe for Chicago Poppy Seed Buns. I'm not a fan of poppy, but I may have to give it a try just for fun.

And the blog:

Let me know what you think if you decided to give it a try!


reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on June 27, 2012 at 10:51 am
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

I have the hot dog pan and frankly it's one of the few things I have that it turns out I have little actual use for. Turns out its easier to just roll up a log-shaped bun and bake them on a good heavy cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, spaced fairly closely together, like I do hamburger buns.

One of those "I don't know what I was thinking" moments, when I bought that pan, LOL!

reply by: frick on June 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

KitchenBarbie (what do you think about that for a nickname?), If it isn't too deep maybe you can use that bun pan for muffin tops? If it is, maybe you could use it for individual gift tea cakes.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on June 27, 2012 at 10:54 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen


*runs howling into the distance*

reply by: hickeyja on June 27, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Maybe we can just call her KBaZ?!?! ;p Jan

reply by: Mike Nolan on June 27, 2012 at 11:24 pm
Mike Nolan

Hadn't seen that one yet, I may give it a try over the weekend if it cools off. It was 100 here today, and when it gets that warm I generally only do baking in the late evening after it cools down.

As I write this (10PM) it is still 89 degrees outside.

I did give the recipe a read-through, it seems very promising. I generally don't use an egg wash to help the seeds stay on, but I don't see that as a major issue, because professional bakeries have other tricks up their sleeves for that.

PJ (and others): You can get several brands of Chicago style Italian beef in the freezer section, Charlie's is one of the brands (I can get it at Sams Club.)

There's also a very good recipe for making Italian beef on the Food Network site from their show The Sandwich King, it's pretty authentic, I've made it at least a half dozen times already. (The biggest challenge is slicing the beef uniformly thin without a deli slicer.)

For the buns, I use the hoagie buns recipe I have posted, which originally came from King Arthur with the sandwich loaf pan you used to sell. It's not quite as sturdy as the buns they use in Chicago, so when you do a dipped sandwich (drenching it in the au jus), it is a little more likely to fall apart. I suspect that's fixable, though possibly by adding ingredients as stabilizers that I would prefer not to use.

reply by: --jej on June 28, 2012 at 12:57 am

Bread pans work well for me to bake hot dog buns in. Two buns in an 8x4 pan is perfect, and the straight sides of the pan keep the edges nicely even, as well. Two buns are usually just right for the two of us, and the rest of the (moomie's Beautiful Burger Bun) recipe goes into the other 8x4 pan for a loaf of bread. Or sometimes I use two pans for a total of 4 hot dog buns and then make the rest in burger buns.

Like Mike Nolan, I weigh out the dough so the buns are just about the right size. (And no, they don't reach all the way from one end of the bread pan to the other. lol) Also, as with loaves of bread, the pan grease works just as well for the buns, and no parchment paper is necessary. --jej

reply by: Dirts on July 04, 2014 at 9:42 am

Use a butter stick dish cover to cut your hot dog buns. Roll out and cut like biscuits. Plastic is preferable because it has sharper edges. I use a really wide rim plastic glass to cut hamburger buns..