Friday, 1 September 2017

Pull-Apart Cute Hotdog Buns

Sometimes inspiration comes from nowhere and gets me all excited thinking about it. This is one of those ;)

I am sure you have seen cute hotdog buns whereby the sausage is in the doggie's mouth. I was really excited when I envisioned making mini hotdog buns with the doggies hugging the sausage and appear a little like they are chewing on one end of the sausage! So even though my schedule was full and I had extra personal stuff to handle at home, I just had to try this out. This was an optional bake for a cute doggie's birthday party as I was really busy and not too familiar with pull-apart buns at the moment. But I am really glad that it turned out fairly well although there's room for improvement. Keep a lookout for more bakes for this lucky canine!

The recipe for pull-apart buns is adapted from Victoria's killer toast recipe. I have used it for my first pull-apart buns for sale that were very well received and I am told, still stayed yummy despite some of them being frozen for a few weeks and steamed before consuming.

Recipe for cute mini hotdog pull-apart buns
Ingredients (makes 12 buns in 7" or 8" square tray):
260g bread flour
3/4 tsp instant dry yeast
1tsp (2g) salt
20g caster sugar (more if you prefer sweeter bun)
180g one egg plus top up the rest with milk
30g unsalted butter
12 mini sausages, rinsed and pat dry with paper towel

20g White compound chocolate
5g Vegetable shortening or butter
1/8 tsp Charcoal powder

1. Combine all ingredients for the dough together except butter. Cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes. This is to help the flour absorb more moisture but it is optional. Knead until the dough is smooth. About 5-8 minutes. Add butter and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test (another 15 minutes or so).

2. Place the kneaded dough in a bowl loosely covered with cling wrap. Let the dough proof for about 25 minutes at room temperature (27-28℃ in hot Singapore).

3. Punch down the dough to release trapped air bubbles. Divide the dough into 33g portions for the body of the dogs and plain hotdog bun designs. You will have extra dough which is used for forming the ears and limbs of the dogs.

4. Form an oval shape for each ball of dough that is slightly larger than the sausage. Use a pair of scissors to make a vertical slit to insert the sausage into the dough. For the dogs, make the slit nearer the lower portion of the dough as you want to leave some space for dogs' face. For plain buns, make the slit in the middle. Place the buns with sausages into the baking tray lined with baking paper.

5. Form the ears and limbs using the extra dough. Use a toothpick to help to attach the parts firmly to the body. I apologise for not taking photos of this step as I was in a hurry to complete assembly. You may refer to this post on how to use toothpick to secure the parts.

6. Loosely cover the assembled buns with cling wrap and proof until double in size, about 45min to 1.5h depending on temperature conditions.

Assembled buns!

7. Towards end of proofing time, set oven rack to second lowest position and preheat at 170℃. Bake the buns for 30-35 min or until they sound hollow when tapped. Cool in the tray for 5 min before taking the buns out and cool on cooling rack.

8. Melt compound white chocolate with shortening using double boiling method or microwave oven. Be careful not to overheat. Pipe on the snout of the dogs. Add charcoal to the white chocolate and pipe the eyes and nose. If you would like to toast or steam the buns before eating, please remove the chocolate portions as they will melt and become runny...Unless you don't mind seeing a Halloween version of the doggies after reheating :p

If you happen to consume the buns within a few hours after decorating, you can consider using sliced cheese for the snout instead. Use an oval cookie cutter to cut out ovals for the snout and then add on the nose and eyes using cocoa powder or charcoal dissolved in a little water to make a paint. I was concerned about food safety so I used white chocolate instead.

These buns can stay soft for a few days. Enjoy!

With love,
Phay Shing


  1. This is so cute! I can't achieve it. Ears start dropping out during proofing stage :(

    1. Hi Wendy,
      It is important to use toothpick to press the seams of the small parts onto the main body during assembly or the parts will fall off during proofing stage. I was trying to assemble quickly so didn't take photos but you may refer to my previous bear and tiger pull-apart bun post for photo of it.