Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pretzel Dogs

Have you ever had a pretzel dog?  The first one I ever had was from Einstein Brothers Bagels.  It was super greasy and salty and I was totally hooked.  A). soft pretzels are awesome and B). hot dogs are awesome.

On a side note, I really hate it when people say they hate hot dogs.  NO YOU DON'T!  NO ONE HATES HOT DOGS!  You just think you are better than everyone else.  People who hate hotdogs say condescending things like, "I try to take care about my body, so I don't eat things like that" or "don't you know how they make hotdogs?" Yes, thank you, I know how they make hot dogs and I don't care.  Hot dogs are awesome. Get over yourself, you sudo hotdog haters.

Now that we have come to the conclusion that everyone loves hot dogs, it is safe to say that everyone will love these pretzel dogs.  I took these to our weekly Game of Thrones party and people went nuts over them.  I got more compliments for these than for anything I've ever taken over there.  Including homemade cinnamon rolls.  And I make awesome cinnamon rolls!  Yeah.  These dawgs are dope.

Also, this is really easy.  I realize that, these days, homemade doughs are out-of-bounds for most home cooks, but they aren't hard.  The trick is making sure the yeast foams.  If your yeast gets foamy, your dough will rise.  If not, throw it out and try again.  Yeast can be a little fickle, but if it foams up, you're good to go.  Then you just wrap the dough around your dogs, boil them, and bake them.  That's it.

Confession: recipes like this are how I fool people into thinking I'm a good cook.  I'm not a very good cook.  I'm just not afraid to fail.  But when I show up to a party with homemade pretzel dogs, I look like an Iron Chef (ok, that might be a little extreme, but you know what I mean).  As my mother-in-law says, "if you can't convince them, confuse them."  I'm not really sure why she says this all the time, but it seems applicable to this conversation.

So next time you have a little time, try these pretzel dogs.  A homemade soft pretzel is a million times better than those ones that you get in the food courts in malls.  Who knows how long those things have been spinning in that little case.  Days, weeks even?  I don't want to know.

On another side note, I love food blogs.  I get this recipe via Cupcakes and Cashmere, who got it via Joy the Baker, who got it via Alton Brown.  And now I am bringing it to you.

Pretzel Dogs (via all of those wonderful people)

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
1 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup baking soda
1 large egg, beaten
Kosher salt
hot dogs

In the bottom of a stand mixer (a.k.a. a KitchenAid mixer), mix your warm water, sugar, and yeast.  If you don't have a KitchenAid mixer, that's ok.  You can mix all your dough in a bowl and then knead it by hand.  

Let the yeast mixture stand for 5 minutes.  Your yeast should get foamy.  If it doesn't, throw it out and try again.  

Add flour, salt, and butter to the yeast mixture.  Using the dough hook, mix ingredients together on a low speed.  Once they are combined, turn the mixture to a medium speed and let it run for about 4 minutes.  Your dough should pull away from the bowl and be a little bit sticky.  

Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a turned-off oven for 1 hour.  After an hour, your dough should look like this:
Now that your dough is all beautiful and fluffy and wonderful, turn it out onto a cutting board and cut into 8 equal pieces (for full size pretzel dogs) or 16 pieces (for half size pretzel dogs).  I cut mine into 16, like so:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add baking soda to the water.  While the water comes to a boil, get your dogs all wrapped up.  First, roll pieces of dough into 12 inch strips.  
Wrap individual hot dogs in long strips of dough.  Pinch the ends of the dough so that your hot dogs don't poke out.  Hot dogs should be fully encased in your pretzel dough.  
Drop your pretzel dogs into the boiling water.  Boil for about thirty seconds.  Pull out of the water with a slotted spoon or a slotted spatula and place on a greased sheet pan.

Brush with your egg and top with Kosher salt.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-14 minutes.  
And there you have it!  Pretzel dogs!  These are so yummy.  They don't even need mustard.  But some mustard wouldn't hurt.

1 comment:

  1. I just have so much to say.

    A. I agree about the hot dog nay-sayers. Everybody loves hot dogs. Good assessment.
    B. I want about 25 of these RIGHT NOW!!! These look so delish.
    C. Your mother-in-law is wisdom personified.