Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Pretzel Dogs

As I described to the boy working at my local grocery store's checkout line, this week is "epic dinner week" in our household. You are seeing the results of Day 1.

I tried taking a shortcut on the pretzel dough, which was a total disaster. My bread machine came with a recipe for pretzel dough, but it turned out extremely dry and looked like a science experiment gone horribly wrong.

I went back to the drawing board and used a more traditional dough recipe as suggested in the blog What Megan's Making. Thanks to my stand mixer, it was a lot less work than I anticipated and the dough came out perfectly.

I recommend making these the day you are planning on eating them, although the dough could be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge in a Ziploc bag.

Ingredients (this can easily be made vegetarian)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 - 115 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (all-purpose flour would work if you don't have bread flour)
  • package of 10 all-beef franks (regular sized, not the longer bun-length style) (for vegetarian alternative, use vegetarian hot dogs!)
  • vegetable oil spray (not needed if you have a Silpat baking mat)
  • water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda OR 2 Tbsp malt diastatic powder
  • 1 egg white, whisked until bubbly/foamy
  • more kosher salt, for topping

Directions (if using stand mixer)
  1. Set up your stand mixer with the dough hook.
  2. In the bowl for your stand mixer, combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 3-5 minutes until mixture begins to foam.
  3. Add salt, melted butter, and 3 cups of the flour. Mix on medium speed, adding the 4th cup of flour slowly and letting the flour incorporate into the mixture. If needed, add the final 1/2 cup of flour. You are looking for the dough to be a little sticky but not wet and gooey. Another indication that you have a good ratio of flour to moisture is that the dough has collected around the dough hook in a cohesive ball. 
  4. Place dough in a new, clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour.
Once dough has risen...
  1. Place a large stockpot of water, about 2/3 full, on the stove. Add baking soda (or, if using, malt diastatic powder) to water and bring to a boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Prepare cookie sheet by either spraying with vegetable oil OR placing a Silpat baking mat on the cookie sheet.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pretzel dough until it is a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into 10 thin strips. (If you have extra dough, you can use them to make regular pretzels)
  5. Wrap each strip around a hot dog, pinching at both beginning and end to seal them. I like them with the ends showing, but you can completely encase the hot dog with dough if you desire.
  6. Once water is boiling, turn down to medium heat. Drop 5 of the pretzel dogs in and let them cook for about 30 seconds - they should be floating.
  7. Remove pretzel dogs with slotted spoon and place on baking sheet. Repeat with the final 5 pretzel dogs.
  8. Brush each one with egg white and sprinkle salt on top.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes (checking frequently starting at the 12 minute mark) until golden brown. Remove and let cool about 10 minutes.
  10. Enjoy with mustard, cheese sauce, or any other desired toppings.


  1. Oh my god, those look AMAZING! My wife would love me forever if I made her those (more than she's already supposed to love me forever, I guess). :)

    1. Thanks neighbor! They really are super easy. I'm pretty sure you could freeze them and have them handy anytime, for a lazy fun lunch/dinner too!