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