Grill up those hot dogs and hamburgers this weekend because these gluten free hamburger and hot dog buns are the best you’ll ever have!!
One of my favorite things to eat on Memorial Day Weekend are hamburgers and hot dogs. But for years I’ve eaten those either wrapped in lettuce (which is actually great) or on their own with a knife and fork. I’ve tried so many store bought buns over the years and they’re either too hard or too bread-y.
I like a bun, especially a hamburger bun, that I can squish down like a proper hamburger bun should. Know what I mean? And you’d think with all my gluten free bread recipes one of those would be the perfect bun for this task, right?
Well, I finally solved my own problem! Just the right combination of one of my longtime favorite recipes (hello, Hawaiian rolls!) and a new ingredient was the solution!! 🍔🌭
What is This Mystery Ingredient?
Some of my readers have asked if they can substitute the xanthan gum in my bread flour blend with psyllium husks. I told them I honestly didn’t know as I had never worked with psyllium husk before.
So I quickly got to work researching anything I could about this mystery ingredient and how it works in gluten free baking. I decided to order some online (here) to have on hand when I was ready to start experimenting.
Once I received my shipment, I began tinkering around with adding it to some of my recipes. I found out a few things in the process. It works well with enriched breads (breads with added fats and/or sugars). And it makes those enriched breads really, really soft and extensible. Much more so than xanthan gum alone.
I’ve tried it with my artisan bread, though, and I personally didn’t like the results. Artisan bread is considered a lean bread with little to no additional fats or sugars. But when I added it to my Hawaiian roll dough, as Sheldon would say, BAZINGA!!!! A new bread was formed and lemme tell ya, it’s outstanding!!
Shaping Gluten Free Hamburger Buns
First, cut the dough in half with a bench scraper to make both hamburger and hot dog buns. Put aside one half of the dough while you shape the other half.
Portion out the dough into about 3-ounce pieces. I use my scale to measure each so they’ll all be roughly the same size. Roll them into balls (see my video for Hawaiian rolls for how to do this). Place them about 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Take your hand and press down on them to flatten them to about 1/2-inch thick. This just ensures that they all rise up and not out. Cover the rolls while you work on shaping the hot dog buns.
Shaping Gluten Free Hot Dog Buns
Shaping hot dogs buns is just as easy. You can roll them into individual ropes, but I wanted a split top bun and I was lazy. So I found my method a little easier.
Begin by rolling out the second half of your dough into a rectangle that’s about 1/2-inch thick. I had enough of my dough left to make 7 3-ounce-sized hot dog buns. Begin cutting the dough into strips that are roughly equal in size. You could steal some of your hamburger bun dough to make an even 8, but that’s up to you.
Lay them on their side (cut side up) on the other half of your baking sheet. Press down lightly to make an evenly sized roll that’s about one inch high. Do this with the rest of the rolls, spacing about 1/2 inch apart. These will end up touching when they’re fully risen and baked, but that’s what we want for nice, soft sides.
Proofing the Buns
Cover the rolls with plastic wrap that’s been loosely placed on top so it doesn’t restrict the rolls from rising. I’ve found a tea towel to be too porous for gluten free baking and the rolls eventually develop a skin and don’t rise any further.
Allow the rolls to rise until doubled in size, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more. This depends on the temperature of your proofing area. I always turn my oven on to the “warm” function, which is about 170 degrees. I only let it heat up very briefly (like 10-20 seconds) and quickly turn it off. The temperature won’t have reached 170 in that short amount of time. But it will be nice and toasty for the perfect rising environment (about 80 degrees).
Baking Gluten Free Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
Once the rolls have almost doubled in size, take them out of the oven (if that’s where you’re proofing them). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Make an egg wash, consisting of one egg beaten with a splash or two of water. Carefully brush this onto each roll.
Bake the rolls for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and they spring back when lightly touched. Remove them from the oven and brush them with a generous amount of melted butter. Allow them to cool on a wire rack (still on the baking sheet) before slicing open.
But Wait! There’s a Whole Cup of Sugar in the Dough!! Are you serious?
First and foremost, my mission is to try to make gluten free recipes that are just as good (or better) than those things we remember eating before going gluten free. That rarely means healthier. This is not a blog for healthy gluten free recipes.
I know one cup of sugar sounds like a lot. But you have to remember we’re trying to make something the same texture that we remember it being back in our BC (before Celiac) days. I’ve found that sometimes it requires more drastic measures.
Take a look at the amount of yeast in this recipe. It’s more than double the amount that is usually in a bread recipe of any kind (regular OR gluten free). A cup of sugar does add a little sweetness to the dough, but more importantly it feeds the yeast. This is crucial in order to create the texture we really want–light, fluffy, soft–all those qualities of gluten-filled bread that we miss so much.
Also look at the amount of servings made from this one recipe. Using my 3-ounce starting point, we can make 15-16 gluten free hamburger and hot dog buns. In just ONE recipe!! That’s a whole lotta buns if you ask me! Are you gonna sit and eat all of those at once? Most likely you’ll have a bun with your burger or dog and then freeze the rest individually. They’ll be resting peacefully awaiting the next time you have a burger or dog.
I have tried numerous times to reduce the sugar in this dough and every single time the texture has been compromised. Sure, they might come out “okay” and we’ll have buns that are “decent.” I don’t know about you, but “decent” isn’t a word I want to describe something I’m eating. I want it to “heavenly” or “amazing” or “I can’t tell they’re gluten free.” My best test is to feed my gluten-eating family, especially my husband, with my gluten-free creations. If they pass the husband test and he can’t tell they’re gluten free, I know I’ve done well 🙂
Get your grill on this weekend and have that hamburger with a bun that squishes down just like we want. Or have a hot dog without needing a knife and fork. Or just eat one of each and call it a day!!
Gluten Free Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
- 1 recipe IMPROVED °sweet roll dough (recipe follows)
- 1 large egg, for brushing
- 2-3 tbsp salted butter, melted, for brushing
- 3½ cups (495 g) Kim's gluten free bread flour blend
- 2 tbsp whole psyllium husks or 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp psyllium husk powder
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar*** (see notes)
- 1¾ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp plus 1½ tsp (24 g) instant, fast-acting yeast (not active dry yeast)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk (non-dairy milk can be substituted)
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks or 169 g) butter, melted or very soft
- 2 large eggs
- Blend the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk or the paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the milk, followed by the eggs and the butter.
- Turn the mixer up to high and beat for about 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and somewhat stretchy, but still pretty fluid and not at all like bread dough should be. More like a slightly thinned out cookie batter.
- Remove the paddle attachment and scrape the dough together into a rough ball or mound using a bowl scraper or spatula. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area for about 2 hours, or until at least doubled or even tripled in volume. It should be fluffy and almost look like frosting.
- Chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
SHAPING HAMBURGER BUNS:
- Divide the dough in half and put one half to the side while working with the other half. Divide the dough into approximately 3-ounce sized portions and roll each portion into a tight ball (see my video for shaping Hawaiian rolls here).
- Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. Flatten each to about 1/2-inch thick so they'll rise up and not out. Cover while making the hot dog buns.
SHAPING HOT DOG BUNS:
- With the second half of dough, roll it out to a rectangle that's about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into strips with a bench scraper or sharp knife. Place each strip on its side (cut side up) on the other half of the baking sheet and press down lightly until they are about one-inch thick.
PROOFING AND BAKING THE BUNS:
- Cover the buns with plastic wrap loosely and allow to rise until about doubled in size, which can take anywhere from a half an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the temperature of your proofing area. When buns are just about finished rising, preheat oven to 375° F.
- Make an egg wash by whisking one egg with a splash of water. Brush this onto each roll.
- Bake rolls for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and they spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Allow to cool before slicing and toasting or grilling for your hamburgers and/or hot dogs.