Life can be so hectic. It’s why there’s a whole slathering of services and apps created, marketed and sold to make things easier. But I’d like to make a suggestion. Maybe easier is not the way to make life less hectic. Maybe doing too many easy things can actually make things worse. Take hotdog buns, for example. I know, it’s a stretch, but work with me here. It’s so easy to pop into the store and buy a bag of ten…even though hotdogs are usually sold in packages of eight (what’s up with that anyway?). But then one day you’ve been vegan for six years and by chance you notice vegan hotdogs in the healthfood section of the store and realize that a blast from your past sounds soooo good so you scurry your way to the bread aisle, tackling at least five other people in the process, one of which was using a cane, only to realize that as you frantically read the back of every single package of hotdog buns in the store, all of them have dairy in them. Wha???? This is where Vegan Hotdog Buns comes to the rescue.
The easy answer to the hotdog bun dilemma, and yes, it is of dilemmatic proportions, is to simply make your own. Is the solution better than the quandary? It’s a question worth asking.
Because even though you head into the kitchen with a resounding sigh — you can’t believe you’re about to make homemade hotdog buns. Is it not the 21st century? Isn’t there an app for that by now? But somehow, simply by stepping one foot in front of the other, measuring out ingredients into bowls, you find yourself slowly engaging with the process.
A little warm soymilk in a bowl, the smell of the yeast, the feel of the flour in your hands — it’s all kind of unnerving. Could you dare say, relaxing? The kitchen has a rhythm of it’s own and when you lean into it, you know you’re there. Like Martha Stewart jammin’ on Bob Marley. That’s who you are. And the kitchen now feels like a refuge from the hustling, hectic world outside your door.
And soon the whole house knows what you’ve been up to because the smell of freshly baked hotdog buns fills every crack and cranny from floor to rafters. And you’re surrounded by loving and appreciative family who want to share with you in this moment of reverie for hotdog summer days gone by.
Today is something different – a vegan hotdog summer day on homemade rolls — and that’s when you know, deep in the place that no one else sees, that easy doesn’t have to mean a little plastic bag with ten buns inside. Easy can mean Homemade Hotdog Buns made with love and time in your very own kitchen.
Vegan Hotdog Buns
- ½ cup warm water
- 1½ tablespoons instant potatoes (or potato starch)
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 2½ teaspoons yeast
- 2 cups warm soy milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon flax seed
- ¼ cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 5 – 6 cups flour
- Vegan Egg Wash: ¼ cup soy milk combined with 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and pinch of sea salt)
- Sesame Seeds
- Stir together the warm water, instant potatoes (or potato starch), sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and set aside to allow the yeast to proof.
- Add 2 cups of warm milk and olive oil. Stir again.
- Combine 3 cups of flour with the salt, flax seed, and wheat bran. Stir to combine before adding this to the yeast mixture. Stir or use a mixer to vigorously mix the dough for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour to the dough and stir. Then add flour ½ cup at a time until the dough begins to firm up to a consistency that you can knead it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a well-floured surface. Knead for approximately 5 minutes, until you can press a finger in the dough and the impression you left fills back up quickly. That will let you know the dough is ready.
- Rinse out the bowl you used for mixing the dough and either spray with vegetable spray or coat with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl, cover with a wet dish towel, and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled, about an hour.
- When you’re ready, heat your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or spray with vegetable spray.
- When you’re ready to shape the buns, put the dough on an oiled surface and divide into thirds. Take one of those thirds and divide it in half, then take those halves and divide them each into 3 balls. Repeat this step with the other thirds.
- Roll the dough balls into hotdog shaped elongated buns. Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly flatten them to keep them from rising too much in the middle. Place the buns about 2 – 3 inches apart on the pans. Cover the pans with dish towels and set aside to rise, about 30 – 40 minutes.
- When you’re ready to bake the buns, heat your oven to 400F.
- Gently brush the top of each bun with your prepared Vegan Egg Wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool complete.
- When the buns are cool, place in an airtight container and either use immediately or keep refrigerated.