To me, nothing says New England and summertime better than a New England−style hot dog roll. When buttered and toasted, its warm temp and crusty exterior is the perfect bed for refreshing, lobster salad. Moving inland, buttered rolls nestle up next to dogs on the grill, blowing what the rest of the nation uses to cradle a dog out of the water.
These are strong words, but I am after all a mid-Westerner transplanted to New England. I grew up on slide-sliced hot dog buns, but once I experienced top-sliced rolls, I fell for them hook, line, and sinker.
As a non-native New Englander, I do not take these superior rolls for granted. What if I should once again live in another part of the country, which, though surely rich in its own regional food traditions, would not give me easy access to ready-made New England−style hot dog rolls? The only solution is to learn to make them at home.
Even if you’re not living in fear of one day doing without, there are other reasons to DIY the New England−style hot dog roll: You’ll have a fresher and better tasting roll, and you’ll be in control of the ingredients. (All of the commercial brands of New England−style hot dog rolls are made with a long list of ingredients not typically found in the home kitchen—such as preservatives, dough conditioners, and high-fructose corn syrup.)
To read my story about the New England−style hot dog roll, published in the Boston Globe, click here. You will learn about the little known origins of the roll (secret hint: it owes its existence to a clam roll, not a lobster roll), and find perfected recipes to make your own rolls at home using a special hot dog bun pan. (If you can’t read the story online—I believe BG may be subscription only—I will be adding this story to the Publications page of my website, hollyjennings.com, before too long.)
Normally, I stay pretty close to the cookbook club theme of this blog, but every so often I deviate when I’ve got something really fun to share, and this is it.
Plus it gives me an excuse to share one of my favorite Jonathan Richmond songs with you, captured in the live video recording, below.
To paraphrase Jonathan Richmond, “Dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-da-dum-day. I love New England.” And especially New England−style rolls.