Yesterday I discovered the true purpose of the hot dog bun: It is bacon.
Since I would rather eat in the car than get up one second earlier than is absolutely necessary, I am always on the lookout for a handy mobile breakfast. Protein bars, smoothies, fruit, whatever can be consumed one-handed in the neighborhood part of the drive before I get on the freeway.
Recently, I learned how to make a massive amount of bacon all at once in the oven. I just place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet, cover that bad boy in an entire layer of bacon (I use turkey bacon because it's cheaper and has less fat), pop it in the middle of the oven while it's still cold, turn the oven up to 400 degrees and set the timer for 18 to 20 minutes. Voila, you have enough bacon to last you the week if you refrigerate it and heat a few pieces up each morning.
This is especially nice for me because I'm a writer, here a word meaning a person with poor impulse control when it comes to appropriate levels of alcohol. What does that have to do with bacon? Everything, because it turns out the best thing you can do for a hangover, besides drink lots of water and, you know, drink less, is have yourself a yummy bacon sandwich. No, really, science says so, at the same time proving the existence of a loving God.
It works like this...food doesn't "soak up" booze. That's an old myth, but the processing of it does speed up your metabolism. What you need is some good protein and carbohydrates to fuel your body's recovery, and a bacon sandwich fulfills those needs, all the while telling your mouth, "I love you." Plus, too much strong drink depletes the neurotransmitters, and the high level of amines in bacon tops off the mental tank, helping to clear the fog.
That's the case for my bread and bacon breakfast, but why the hot dog bun?
Well, I mistakenly ran out of regular bread after grossly misjudging the peanut butter-and-jelly-eating capacity of a four-year-old girl by a magnitude of "Holy Christ, the only way she's storing all of that is if she's a bloody TARDIS." This left a contented little girl, but also me with no edible bacon-holding facilities. Desperate, I grabbed the previous night's hot dog buns.
As I laid three piping hot pieces in the bun, I realized that this was what was meant to be all along. Think about it...even at Subway when you order a bacon sandwich, they have to fold the bacon, when theoretically it should be laid lengthwise. As for regular bread, forget it. You either burn your fingers getting the bacon to fit or allow the ends to stick out and drip fat off the sides.
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But when you nestle bacon in a hot dog bun, it fits together like the hands of an old married couple who are still in love. You have the perfect open-faced kolache to gnaw as you drive.
Lately, I've been experimenting with my bacon's adopted starchy homeland. If you want a sauce like mustard, it's best to line the sides beforehand rather than drizzle it on top like on a conventional dog. You can add shredded cheese if you like, but the better bet is to tear strips from cheese slices or put it in the bun first as a kind of mattress topper for your meat.
There's also ample room if you want to slide some shredded lettuce or sliced tomato alongside the bacon, creating the first near-spill-proof BLT. The possibilities are mind-blowing. Almost everything that you can combine with bread and bacon works infinitely better in a hot dog bun than in any other conventional bread, and makes for easy travel food to boot. The day of the bacon hot dog is upon us. Rejoice.