Asian Hot Dog Buns




This is a recipe that is loved by my family and is great for a simple and tasty lunch or snack. The soft and fluffy dough is slightly sweet which greatly complements the savory bite of the hot dog.  It is very similar to a pastry you may find at your local Asian bread store, but made fresh to order and can save you quite a penny.

You may find that the dough is pretty big when it proofs to yield 6 buns. I personally think the volume of bread versus hot dog is perfect, but you can possibly split the dough to yield more than 6 buns. Baking time will differ, of course, so keep a close eye on the bread. From my experience though, this dough is very forgiving.

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Step 1: Create the Tang Zhong

This water-roux starter is the secret ingredient to creating super soft bread that lasts for days without adding any unhealthy additives or conditioners.  To create this, do the following:

1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water

The ingredients will always have a weight ratio of 1:5. I like using the designated amounts above because it is easy to remember. Mix the ingredients in a pot and heat up. Keep mixing the lumps away. Once the mixture reaches 65 deg C, it will quickly get the the point where the mixture thickens up and you should be able to create indentations that will stay as shown in the image. You can eye-ball this or use a cooking thermometer to check.  Take the pot off the heat and let it cool.  Store it in the fridge overnight with a piece of saran wrap directly on top to avoid drying out. The tang zhong will be good for about 3 days, but make a new batch if it turns grey.

This method was first published by Yvonne Chen's in Bread Doctor. For more information, check out the book here.

Step 2: Ingredients

You will need the following ingredients:

2 ½ cups bread flour
3 tbsp and 2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120 g tang zhong
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces at room temperature)

6 hot dogs
1 egg used for egg wash

(You will need the top list for the dough kneading, and the last two ingredients for the final steps of this recipe. Hence, the hot dog and egg wash isn't shown in the image here. ^^;)

Step 3: Kneading

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. I strongly recommend using a bread machine or dough mixer to knead the dough because it will be a very wet dough and will make kneading by hand difficult. You can still do it by hand, but will of course take more effort.  Some people like this to get stress out.  (I used to do this but got lazy. :) )

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in the milk, egg and tang zhong. Mix and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue the kneading process.  Kneading will take approximately 20 minutes by bread machine and 30 minutes by hand.

Step 4: Checking the Dough

To test your dough to see if it has been kneaded properly, gently stretch a portion of dough out.  If it breaks with a clean and round hole, it is ready for the next step: proofing.

Step 5: Proof the Dough

Move the dough into a oiled bowl and cover with a saran wrap. Let it proof for approximately 50 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

Step 6: Prepare to Shape Dough

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and knead each piece briefly to punch out the gas.  Then stretch the dough into a long shape, cover in wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Twist Dough Around Hot Dog

With each dough piece, stretch it to about 2.5x the length of the hot dog and twist it around the hot dog.  Let it proof for a second time for approximately 50 minutes again or until it has doubled in size.  Lightly brush an egg wash over the top of the dough and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Step 8: Enjoy!

Please enjoy!  These are best eaten fresh from the oven while the bread is at its softest.

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    33 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    I have this problem of the sausage shrunk during cooling? It rose so nicely during baking and after I took it out from the oven to cool, it shrunk and the sausage doesn't stick to the dough like yours. Can advise me on this?


    1 answer

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Genevieve, I frequently use Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Do you use something different? Perhaps you can experiment with different types of hot dogs/sausages to see if they keep their shape.


    4 years ago on Introduction


    I'm from Singapore and tried your bread recipes 1st time and turn out well! Thanks! But can I confirmed with you that in total we need to rest the dough 3 times? Bcos i overlook your instruction and only rest the dough 2 times but it turn well too!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Glad it came out good! There is a short intermediate step to rest the dough after splitting it into six long pieces which should help make it more elastic to spiral around the hot dog. So yes, it is recommended to rest 3 times, but 2 would not be bad as well.


    5 years ago on Step 3

    What is 'tang zhong' as in the ingredient?

    I cant find it anywhere?
    What is it and where can i buy it?
    Any replies would be greatly appreciated!! :)

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 3

    Please see step 1 of this instructable for steps on how you can make it. ;-)


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! I like using the natural hot dogs without nitrates because it is a tad bit healthier than the normal ones. You can use whatever you like honesty. :) I recently tried out the Oscar Mayer Selects Angus and they are soo good and juicy.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Does the tang zong in the first step equal the 120g needed in the second step--or does it need to be doubled or something?

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    The first step produces more than enough for the 120g of tang zhong needed for this recipe. Sorry for the confusion.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I would recommend keeping it overnight because it lets the flour fully absorb the moisture of the water. Decreasing the time would probably still work, but results may not be the softest ( >u< )


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Well I put it in the freezer for about an hour (probably not the best thing I could have done) but it was still delicious!

    spark master

    8 years ago on Step 2

    when the weather is cool again I will try this method. I do make bread through most of the year, but not now in NYC area too hot.

    A simple method of making lighter bread is quite European and involves simple taking some of the water and flour and soaking the flour overnight (no heat) and making a "Mother" or 'Poolish" or yeast sponge with most of the rest of flour and water. You combine them like 2 part Epoxy and add the last little bit of flour and water (depending on how you hydrated things to start), you can rise them 1 time since they have had flavor developed by making the over night yeasted starter/sponge/mother/poolish. The soaked flour allows for best hydration and results in a finer loaf in general. Again you want a very soft dough which is hard to manage, but you could do in a stand mixer very easily

    BTW I thought I discovered this little method (ha), since I never could make a nice rye loaf. I made a saur/mother then added some water to the rye flour and kept some white out of recipe sat it over night. in morning I mixed saur and rye soak together and added a tad more white flour , ( water by the teaspoon, or mister squeeze) knead till mixed ,allow to sit 5 mins reknead 3 mins shape /rise/ bake. Many years after I reinvented the wheel I found out my "idea" was at least a few hundred years old. Done all over Europe from Italy to Denmark and Manchester to Minsk.

    I gotta try this one though actually cooking the stuff first sounds interesting kinda like Pate Choux......


    Finally This needs BACON, BACON BACON BACON. Two strips interwoven with the braid w/without a hotdog mmmmmm bacon

    thanks fer a gret post

    2 replies
    spark mastersauwen

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Give it a whirl, youcan't screw it up, divide the H2O add yeast to some with salt and half the flour mix in allow to sponge up, over night or for a few days. You can do it in fridge for several days, just gets more sour. As long as no black or off smells its good to go. take other half of water and flour and mix in allow to sit out for a while knead it few times to really mix in the water, then cover (fridge is fine), over night is good, next day cut up the unyeasted sponge and add to the yeasted one then mix by hand or machine.

    If you have a controlled sour dough , you will know the water % by weight, so you can easily scale (ounce or grams) the "mother" and know you need X more by weight, of flour water and salt. Other items like say nuts or poppy seeds are an extra added attraction.

    One thing pizzerias do is never use fresh dough. You make the dough cut/scale it to size and put in a retarder, which is a controlled cold box. (refrigerator under the counter), you want dough to age 8 hours (absolute minimum is 5 hours for most recipes).

    This does several things, 1) it makes taste as the yeast grows through the four water mixture, 2) it relaxes gluten in the dough enough to be very very stretchy util one can windowpane it, 3) allows the water and flour to thouroughly combine, which with the cold relaxing makes for a nice stretchier dough. For home bakers make pizza dough a day in advance, or if you cannot, make early in the morning before 6 knead 5 inutes rest 10, reknead 10 mins then rise an hour reknead a little 5 minutes, portion it, fridge it. 5 hours in cold fridge works wonders. Oil the balls or discs of dough before you fridge them, covered),

    When you use it flour as little as possible and work fast if you have a marble it is nicer, but not madatory. Use good quality firebricks or red clay brick to line an oven full thickness bricks take 20-30 minutes to preheat. For thin pie oven is set to 550 or highest youcan get the oven, (here in usa, gas ovens go to 550, 287.777... Celcius). Hot brick cold food, uncooked sauce (always), 8 minutes to carbo heaven. mmmmmm