These sourdough hot dog buns are fun to make, super soft, full of flavor, and could easily be made into hamburger buns, sub sandwich buns, or dinner rolls if you prefer. I’ve included instructions for using active/ripe sourdough starter OR sourdough discard…either way works really well.
To make these with ripe/fed/active sourdough starter, (call it whatever you want, I just mean that the starter has been fed and allowed to ripen/bubble until doubled in size. Here’s a timelapse for the fun of it because watching it grow is so satisfying…
For active sourdough starter, the only yeast in this recipe is coming from the starter. Because there is milk and butter in this dough which can weigh down the dough, this dough take longer to rise. Don’t fret if it seems like it’s taking much longer than normal for your dough to rise. I found about 8 hours (overnight is great) at room temperature was needed. This nice slow rise is great for the resulting buns though, because the slow rise means added flavor development and a tremendously smooth, beautiful dough to work with.
If using sourdough discard, I recommend supplementing with a bit of instant or active dry yeast. This will help offset the lower activity level of the yeast in the discard starter, which also speeds up the rising process. This method takes only a couple of hours to rise compared to the starter-only method.
The use of milk as the liquid in this recipe helps to make for a more soft, velvety texture to the dough and also makes for a softer bun. It also helps keep the buns from drying out as quickly as water-based dough recipes due to the fat and sugars in the milk. (It’s worth noting that milk does not need to be scalded for use in yeast bread recipes anymore due to pasteurization processes. Before milk was pasteurized, there was a bacteria that din’t play nicely with yeast, so scalding was necessary. If your milk is not pasteurized, you may want to scald the milk just in case.)
Another trick to keeping these sourdough hot dog buns super soft is to brush them with a bit of melted butter immediately when they come out of the oven. Trust me on this one. It’s so worth it and you won’t regret making these buns. In fact, I made so many batches while testing this recipe that I even found a fantastic use for the leftover buns, so stay tuned for that recipe coming soon.Print
Sourdough Hot Dog Buns
These sourdough hot dog buns are super soft, flavorful, and can be made with either ripe sourdough starter or sourdough discard.
1 cup (220 grams) warm milk, between 100-110 degrees F.
3 tablespoons (37 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (150 grams) ripe or discard* sourdough starter (stirred down if measuring by volume, see notes below)
1 teaspoon instant yeast* (only if using discard)
3 cups (400 grams) unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons butter, very soft
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing finished buns
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the warm milk and sugar until dissolved. Add starter and yeast (if using). Stir to combine.
Add flour and turn mixer to low speed until a dough forms.
Add softened butter in pieces, then the salt.
Turn mixer to medium speed and let the dough hook “knead” the dough until very smooth, about 5 minutes.
Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled, (about 8-10 hours for starter-only, or 2-3 hours for discard + yeast…rise time will vary based on the level of yeast activity in your starter as well as the room temperature).
Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. This allows the gluten to relax, making it easier to shape the dough into buns.
Shape each portion of dough into a log, about 6-inches long (or into a smooth ball for hamburger buns). Arrange dough on a silpat-lined baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart so that the buns will touch when the dough has risen.
Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake 28-30 minutes or until golden, rotating halfway through if needed.
Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Let cool completely before pulling buns apart and slicing.
For best results, measure ingredients by weight. If measuring sourdough starter by volume, results will vary GREATLY based on the amount and size of bubbles in the starter. Stir down the starter to pop some bubbles before measuring with a volume measuring cup.
*If using discard sourdough starter, it is necessary to use additional yeast to account for the lack of yeast activity in the discard. Do not use the additional yeast if your starter is fed/ripe.
Store covered, at room temperature. Best when enjoyed within 3-4 days.
Keywords: sourdough hot dog buns, discard starter, homemade hot dog buns, sourdough hamburger buns
more sourdough please!
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