Pretzel Dogs are so fun to make and the love for them transcends generations in my house. Tonight when I served them for dinner I got ooooo’s and ahhhhh’s from grandkid to grandparent and everyone in between. Dipped in honey mustard or garlic cheese sauce, these things can’t be beat. Oh, and yes, they are even better (much better) than the ones you can buy at the mall!
Tonight we walked all of the pigs at the house, preparing them for the Iowa State Fair show which is coming up soon. I’m excited for the Fair because it is my favorite time of year but I’m dreading it in the same breath (only this year) because it is the last of the days that I’ll spend at home with my daughter before she heads to Kindergarten.
I resigned from my job at WHO Radio 5 1/2 years ago when she was born and have been with her every day since. She’s been to preschool but that was a couple of mornings a week the past two years. I will miss her when she is at school, but I’ll get some quality time in with her feisty little brother. (I have a feeling we’ll be spending the entire fall in a tractor or combine with Grandpa. He’ll be happy, I’ll be happy and we’ll get more work done.)
This recipe uses my “Ballpark Style Soft Pretzel” dough. Read all about that and see the step by step process by clicking here. (I will put the recipe at the end of this post as well, but if you want the photos, click the previous links.)
Once your dough is mixed, kneaded, risen and punched down, you may begin making pretzel dogs.
PRETZEL DOG Step By Step Process:
Cut dough into 20-24 pieces. Roll each piece out into a 12″-15″ rope. Wrap around uncooked hot dog, securing the top of the dough piece by rolling over it and securing the end by pinching the seam so the pretzel dog doesn’t come unraveled during its baking soda bath!.
This is the perfect job for the little ones.
Aren’t they cute? If you want more of your hot dog sticking out at each end, don’t wrap them quite as much, the dough grows during the soda bath and baking.
Fill a large stock pot 1/2 way with water. Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 C baking soda. This makes the pretzels shiny and smooth on the exterior. Gently ease each pretzel dog (or 2 at a time) down in the boiling mixture for 30 seconds. Remove to a greased baking sheet or a silicone lined baking sheet.
You must egg wash a pretzel to get the golden brown finished baked product. The egg wash enhances browning (ever seen a pale pretzel? Ick!) and also promotes a sheen. (The yolk aids in browning, the white takes care of the shine and glossiness).
Now for the most important thing… SALT! I use French sea salt but any large flake salt will work. Smaller granules of salt will only melt during baking. After salt is applied, bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, every oven is different.
They should look like this (or a little darker if you wish.)
Serve after they’ve cooled just a bit.
Makes 20-24 pretzel dogs, you can always hold the rest of the pretzel dough in the fridge until the next day and make pretzel bites or large pretzels like you can see here.
Ballpark Style Soft Pretzels
by Cristen from www.foodandswine.com
Makes 8 large pretzels or 48 pretzel bites or 20 pretzel dogs
Time: 10 minutes dough, 1 hour rise, 15 minutes shaping and prepping, 15 minutes baking.
1 1/3 C warm tap water (115 degrees)
1 packet of instant or active dry yeast
1 TBSP sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
4 TBSP butter, melted and cooled a bit
4 C all purpose flour
Pretzel Water Bath:
1/2 C baking soda
10 C water
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp water, mixed well
Fleur De Sel, Kosher or regular salt for topping
Combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Swirl to incorporate and let stand for 5 minutes to proof. (*Proof means let your yeast show you it will work by foaming a bit.) Add salt, butter and flour. Stir to combine. Turn out onto a clean workspace and knead for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, spray top of dough with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 1 hour, until doubled. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Remove from bowl. Punch down, wait 5 minutes. Divide into 20 equal pieces. Roll into 12-15 inch ropes. Twist around hot dog, securing at both ends. Let rest on a sheet pan lined with parchment and sprayed with oil, or on a silicon lined sheet pan. Bring 10 C water to a rolling boil. Add baking soda. Submerge pretzel dogs in bath a couple at a time, keeping them covered in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove from water, return to sheet pan. Brush entire top of pretzel dogs with egg wash. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove, let cool a few minutes. Serve warm with ketchup, honey mustard or Garlic Cheese Dipping Sauce.