Mini Pretzel Dogs

Mini Pretzel Dogs-5These Mini Pretzel Dogs are not healthy. Or easy.

But they are so delicious, adorable, and fun to make (and eat) that their shortcomings are way outweighed.

I stumbled on a recipe for mini cheesy pretzel dogs when it was next to one of my photos on Foodgawker. What an amazing idea, and the picture was awe-inspiring – I had never made hot pretzels at home. And wrapped around a cocktail hot dog? No way would that work out.

Mini Pretzel Dogs-4Oh, but it did.

This recipe requires a number of steps, and if you’re in to simple recipes, the list of steps will not please you: making the dough and letting it rise, slitting and stuffing the hot dogs with cheese (optional but fun), rolling the dough in to ropes, coiling the dough around the dogs, boiling them briefly and blotting dry, brushing with egg wash and sprinkling with salt, and baking. Phew! I am sure I have turned you off by now, but need I remind you…

Mini Pretzel Dogs-3You can make this in your kitchen.

Delicious. Piping hot with a great crust texture; doughy, salty and savory. Cheesy if you wish. This is a fun recipe for a rainy day. I would venture that kids would like it, and there are many steps they could help with.

These would be fun to serve if you have a small group over to watch football, for an after-school snack, or maybe even as an accompaniment to a bottle of wine for a casual dinner. {There are very few things that don’t go with a bottle of wine, if you ask me.}

Serve with mustard, honey mustard, ketchup, or any other hot dog accompaniment.

I am going to try just boiling the dough and making pretzel bites next – with me luck, and look forward to that!

Mini Pretzel Dogs
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • ¾ c very warm water {if you have a thermometer on hand, about 105 - 115 degrees}
  • 1.5 t sugar
  • 1.5 t active dry yeast {note: this is less than one package}
  • 3 c flour {you won't use it all}
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 20 cocktail hotdogs
  • small pieces of cheese {optional}
  • 8 c water
  • ½ c baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water
  • kosher salt {for sprinkling}
Instructions
To make the dough:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit until foamy (5-10 min)
  2. Add 2 cups of flour, and the salt and melted butter.
  3. Using the dough hook, stir until a dough forms. Add flour, a few tablespoons at a time, until a soft, pliable dough forms around the hook. It should not be sticky to the touch {this took only a few minutes for me, and you may not need all of the flour}.
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, and place the ball of dough inside; coat the top lightly with more cooking spray.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 60 - 90 minutes.
If you are going to stuff the hotdogs with cheese {optional}:
  1. Make a slit in each hotdog and stuff it with small pieces of cheese.
The above can all be done in advance.
When you are ready to cook:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  2. Punch down the dough, and divide in half. Divide each half into half again. Each of the four resulting pieces will make the crust for 5 of the hotdogs.
  3. Roll each piece of dough between your hands to make long thin strands of dough - as long as you can make them!
  4. Coil the dough around a hotdog, and seal the hotdog in by pinching and squeezing the dough together.
  5. They don't have to be pretty! They will still be delicious.
  6. Set the wrapped dogs aside.
  7. In a large pot, bring water and baking soda to a boil, and cover a plate with a few paper towels. Carefully drop a few wrapped hotdogs into the boiling water. They will puff up a bit. Remove them after 30 seconds with a slotted spoon.
  8. Lay them on the paper towel just to dry them off a bit.
  9. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and leave a bit of room for them to puff up more during baking.
  10. Beat the egg with the tablespoon of water, and brush the tops of the dogs with the egg wash {I just used my fingertips, to make sure I got in the crevices}, and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. You are finally ready to bake!
  11. Bake 15 minutes or until the pretzel crust is a deep golden brown.
Notes
A few tips, in no particular order...
- I wrapped the coils of dough from the middle to both ends, and then pinched and smoothed the dough out.
- It is completely acceptable if they aren't pretty. I mean, look at the models in these pictures - some of them are not stunners, but don't they look amazing?
- The dough will last a few days in the refrigerator. This is good news, because you can break up the prep work into shifts. You can make the dough in advance and boil and bake the pretzel dogs at a later time, or make a few at a time "to order" in shifts over a day or two. I found the dough easy to work with out of the fridge, and recommend either of these methods.
- I am not a microwaver, but could not wait to reheat a few and eat them the day after I made them, so I tried it out. They were great with 15-20 seconds in the microwave. The pretzel didn't get chewy at all.

Adapted from: http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/2014/06/mini-cheesy-pretzel-dogs/

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