I've mentioned before that I love hot dogs. I don't care what they're made of; they taste awesome. That's all that matters to me.
When I saw this recipe for hot dogs wrapped in pretzels, I had to have them. Conveniently, the Super Bowl was coming up, and I decided it was the perfect occasion to test my pretzel-making skills.
I must admit that this was my first attempt at baking with yeast. (Well, besides using my bread maker, that is.) I was a little nervous about everything turning out, but my angst was unnecessary. Although it took some time and attention, it was easy to follow the recipe step by step. And the delicious result was most certainly worth the effort.
One thing I'll point out, my pretzels weren't the deep brown hue of traditional pretzels. They were every bit as tasty, though. I think the pale color was because I over-crowded my oven. So, maybe consider baking your pretzel dogs in batches if you are after the official pretzel color.
From: Joy the Baker
1.5 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
2.25 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
4.5 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
8 hot dogs, cut into thirds*
Lots of water (about 14 cups)
1 cup baking soda
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon or so of water
Coarse salt, for topping
In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top of the water and let it stand for 5 minutes. The mixture will get frothy and foamy. If it doesn't, throw the mixture away and start from scratch with new yeast.
Attach the dough hook to your electric stand mixer. Add the flour, salt, and melted butter to the frothy yeast/water mixture. Mix on low speed until well combined.
Increase speed to medium and allow the dough hook to knead the dough for about 4 minutes. The dough should be smooth and pull away from the sides of the bowl, forming a ball around the dough hook.
Remove the dough from the dough hook and the bowl. Coat the bowl with a vegetable oil (I used a paper towel to spread it around). Place the dough back in the bowl and flip it around so all the surfaces are covered with the oil from the bowl. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise in a warm location for about an hour, until it is doubled in size.
Place baking racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and preheat it to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, then brush the parchment paper with oil. (Apparently, pretzels are sticky buggers!)
Combine water and baking soda in a very large pot (about 8 quarts) and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, lightly oil a work surface to start rolling out your pretzels. Divide the dough into 24 pieces.
Roll each piece of dough into a rope about 12" long. (Channel your inner toddler; this is just like playing with play-dough! Start in the center of the dough and roll out to the ends.)
Wrap each pretzel rope around a piece of hot dog, making sure to pinch the ends to seal them. (Your pretzel dogs will resemble little mummies. Speaking of which, I'm thinking this might make a fabulous Halloween party snack...)
When the water is boiling, gently place a few pretzel dogs into the water. Boil for 30 seconds.
Carefully remove pretzel dogs from the boiling water using a slotted spoon. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining pretzel dogs.
Brush the boiled pretzels with the beaten egg and sprinkle with plenty of salt.
Bake pretzel dogs for about 12-14 minutes until they're deep brown and shiny. Serve warm.
If you didn't manage to finish all of your pretzel dogs in one sitting, you can freeze the leftovers. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then place all the wrapped pretzel dogs in a freezer-safe storage bag. When you're ready to eat them, simply remove the dogs from the plastic, wrap individually in aluminum foil, and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
*You can certainly feel free to leave your hot dogs whole or cut them in half if you'd like your pretzel dogs to be larger. I thought the small size was fun, though.