The timing for the first rise is very flexible. Thirty minutes is enough, but if you have more time - or if you get delayed - you can let it rest for up to 90 minutes. The flavor will be better with the longer rest, but c'mon, these are hot dog buns. They'll be better than anything you can buy, even with the short rest.
While I'm calling these hot dog buns, they're sturdy enough and they've got enough personality to stand up to something with a little more heft, like a bratwurst, or something a little wet and goopy like a chili dog.
Poppy Seed Hot Dog Buns
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 ounce) potato flakes
2 1/2 cups (11 3/4 ounces) bread flour (divided)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Egg wash (1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Combine the water, yeast, sugar, potato flakes, and about 2/3 of the bread flour in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk to combine. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes or up to 90 minutes, at which point it should be very bubbly. The buns will taste better after the longer rise, but they'll be just fine if you don't have that much time to let the dough rest.
Add the remaining flour, the salt, and the butter. Knead with your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the mixture is smooth and elastic.
Flour your work surface, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and sprinkle some cornmeal on a baking sheet (or line it with parchment paper, if you prefer. Knead the dough by hand briefly, then divide the dough into 8 pieces. Form each piece of dough into a log about the same size as the hot dogs you've got. Place the logs onto your prepared baking sheet, leaving room between them.
Cover the buns with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 40 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake at 350 degrees until nicely browned, about 25 minutes.
Let the buns cool on a rack. If you prefer a softer crust, cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel while they're cooling.
This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.