Out of all the cooking I’ve shared on IG stories, I was surprised that this simple but savory one has been such a runaway hit! I loved getting these at Chinese bakeries since I were a kid, and it’s clear this treat hit nostalgic notes for many others, too. I visited home last year and was so delighted to see my mom making them – after having these freshly baked out of my own oven, I can’t go back to the bakery ones anymore!
Homemade Dough vs Shortcut Pillsbury Dough
My mom always makes her own dough, and we experimented with doing our own dairy-free dough so Nori could enjoy it too (see recipe below). While the homemade dough route is very tasty, it’s definitely more time consuming, so using store bought options like Pillsbury Crescent Dough is an ideal shortcut. The dough texture won’t be the same since the bakery / homemade version is more pillowy rather than flakier dough, but trust me – these buns will still disappear quickly from your kitchen regardless!
Instead of using hot dogs, one of you had the awesome idea (thanks, Tania!) of subbing in asparagus stalks and following the same flower bun shaping method. You can layer 2 to 3 asparagus stalks cut to about 6 inches long, and add some shredded cheese too before rolling the stalks up in Step # 3 below to make it melty. Makes me curious what other delicious fillings this might work with!
DAIRY-FREE DOUGH RECIPE
If you’re up to the task of making these from scratch, Nick has been using this Anpan dough recipe in our new Kitchenaid Mixer, substituting non-dairy milk for the cream/milk (we use Oat milk) with tasty results. Homemade dough requires several rises, so this is not for the impatient cook ; ) He then makes simple round tuna salad or red bean filled buns (using canned sweet red bean from the Asian grocery) with any remaining dough – Nori goes nuts over the red bean ones!
- 1 can store bought crescent dough (I prefer Pillsbury, but my grocery store didn’t have it this time) or a batch of homemade dough
- 1 – 2 stalks scallions
- 4 hot dogs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- Black and / or white pepper
- Optional toppings:
- Sesame seeds or TJ Everything But The Bagel seasoning, but FYI that also adds saltiness
- Shredded cheese
- Corn kernels – a traditional topping at some Asian bakeries
Check my Instagram story highlights (peach-colored circle titled “Cooking # 4) for a short video of the rolling, cutting & twisting process!
1. Slice scallions and mix with 1 tsp olive oil. Set aside.
2. Open and separate dough into 4 rectangles (standard crescent dough comes in triangles, so keep two triangles together)
3. Wrap hot dog in a rectangle of dough.
4. Cut into approximately 7 equal pieces. Key is to cut through the hot dog but do not cut all the way through the dough on the bottom. You want to leave the dough semi-connected so you can make a flower shape. No worries if you end up cutting all the way through since you can just stick the dough pieces back together on the baking sheet!
5. Bend the ends together, forming a circle with the dough wrapped hot dog.
6. Twist the end piece down so it’s flat, into the middle of the circle as the “flower center,” then twist all of the other “petals” a quarter turn downward in the same direction to form the rest of the flower.
7. Pat the scallion oil mixture on top of each bun, sprinkle with pepper and your desired toppings (sesame seed, shredded cheese, etc), then transfer to a baking sheet.
8. Bake according to the instructions on the dough canister or until the tops of the buns are golden brown.
To make mini buns half hot dogs and less dough:
- Slice the the hot dog in half lengthwise as pictured below.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten each rectangle (2 triangles) of croissant dough, making it big enough to wrap 2 hot dog halves.
- Also note store-bought dough usually has some salt in it, so if possible try to get lower sodium hot dogs or sausages.
So many have you been reposting and sending me your delicious renditions – please keep them coming! Do you have any favorite “non-traditional” bakery treats from childhood?
And for more easy cooking at home, check out our previous Extra (Ap)Petite recipe posts!