If you have never had the pleasure of eating a Chinese hot dog bun from an authentic Chinese bakery you might be thinking, “aren’t these just pigs in a blanket”? And technically yes, they are hot dogs baked inside a doughy roll. But you know how someone will direct the phrase “oh, honey” while making a frowny face at you when they want to make you feel small and insignificant and stupid and naive all at once? Well, if you call these Chinese hot dog buns “pigs in a blanket”, you just oh honey-ed all over them. Chinese hot dog buns are works of art. They are succulent beef franks that have been lightly pan-seared before being rolled inside milk-bread dough which will bake into the most melt in your mouth roll you have ever eaten.
Now, if you have had the pleasure of eating a Chinese hot dog bun from an authentic Chinese bakery, you might also know the pain of showing up to said bakery and finding out that the hot dog buns are all sold out. Or, biting into a fresh hot dog bun and finding a sub-par mystery meat hot dog within. Or, worst of all, buying approximately fifteen hot dog buns and finding them soggy and sad due to the styrofoam container they were forced to live in during the trip home. Well, cast your fears aside, dear reader. I am here to show you how to make Chinese hot dog buns right in your own home.
Making the Chinese hot dog buns will take a few hours of your time, as any yeast-based bread recipe will, but the general practice is very easy and you will be so impressed with yourself by the end that the few hours of time spent on these buns will be more than worth it. The first time I made these I literally walked around my kitchen repeating, “OMG, I am sooooo awesome” while stuffing my face with hot dog goodness.
The recipe should give you all the info you need to make some amazing Chinese Hot Dog Buns, but here are a few instructional photos for clarity on the rolling and shaping of the dough.
To shape these bad boys, you’ll want to roll out one of your balls of dough into a long strip, about two and a half times longer than your hot dogs. You’ll also want to leave a little bit of thickness in the middle of your dough strand like so:
Once you’ve rolled your dough, place a hot dog at the end of the strip at a slight angle and roll the dough around the hot dog. You’ll also want to slightly overlap the dough as you roll.
Now these will neest a rest until you have a light and puffy bun. Here’s a before and after of the same three buns to give you an idea of what you’ll be looking for. You can literally see the bread dough engulfing the hot dog as it reaches the end of the rise. You can’t even see the hot dog in the first and third bun anymore. Let’s not discuss how inappropriate that middle bun looks mkay? While all bread-baking recipes will give you an idea of rise time, sometimes it will take a longer or shorter amount of time depending on the environment in your kitchen. This is why most good bread recipes will give you an estimation of time and also an idea of how much the dough should rise. I usually check mine around the rise time specified and then add on time as needed to get the volume recommended.
These buns are my favorite recipe I’ve shared so far on the blog. There is just so much satisfaction to making a great yeast based bread and the added treat of a perfectly cooked, all beef hot dog makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Kids will love these but the high-quality ingredients appeal to a more adult palate as well.
- 1 C milk (any fat %)
- 1 T active dry yeast
- ⅔ C heavy cream (at room temperature)
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ⅓ C sugar
- ½ C all purpose flour, 1T removed
- 1 T cornstarch
- 3½ C bread flour
- 1½ t salt
- 1 T oil
- 12 all-beef hot dogs
- Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1t water, whisked
- Sugar wash: 1T sugar dissolved into 1T water
- Warm milk to ~110 degrees.
- Add yeast and milk to the bowl of a mixer, stir with a fork, allow to sit in milk for one minute, then stir until yeast is dissolved. Set aside for 10 minutes or until mixture has foamed and doubled.
- Add heavy cream, egg, sugar, all-purpose flour, cornstarch, bread flour, and salt to mixer bowl.
- Using the dough hook attachment, set the mixer to "stir" and allow to mix for about 10 minutes, periodically scraping dough down off the hook. If dough does not come together or looks too wet, sprinkle in extra all purpose flour 1T at a time.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a damp towel. Allow to proof in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until doubled.
- In the meantime, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and partially cook hot dogs until the outside skin has crisped and darkened in color. Set aside to cool.
- When the dough has proved, punch dough down to remove air. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into twelve equal portions.
- Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 2.5 times longer than the hot dogs, leaving the middle thicker than the ends.
- Roll one piece of dough around one hot dog, tucking in the ends. Repeat until all buns are assembled.
- Place the buns on Silpat or parchment paper covered baking sheet, leaving a few inches between each bun. Leave the buns in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Gently brush buns with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, rotating once.
- Remove buns from oven and brush immediately with syrup wash for shine.
- Buns are delicious hot out of the oven, at room temperature, or warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds.
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