Name: USA Pan’s New England Hot Dog Bun Pan
Price: $27.00, available on Amazon
It looks like: A 15- by 6- by 1.5- inch baking pan with ridges on the bottom. It has space to bake up 10 buns at a time.
How we tested it: We made and shaped the dough according to the pan’s instructions (the recipe is available on the manufacturer’s website), which called for covering it with an inverted baking sheet weighted with a heavy cast-iron skillet.
How it actually works: As the buns baked, the dough expanded and flattened against the baking sheet, and the pan released all 10 evenly browned, flat-bottomed buns without a hitch. After we sliced them, the buns resembled the store-bought versions—but tasted even better.
Good to know: Buttered and toasted split-top hot dog buns are our preferred bread in New England Lobster Rolls (our recipe is free through July 29, 2013).
My favorite part: Freshly baked homemade hot dog buns are so amazingly good compared to those semi-stale buns you can get from the store.
Best for: Those who love New England-style split-top hot dog buns but can’t find them in local stores.
Overall: Why buy buns when you can make them yourself?