Pretzel Dogs

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Tonight, I made Pretzel dogs, again, for dinner.  It’s become a favorite in the family and originally, I was actually going to make them for our neighbor’s, whom we have dinner with every Friday.  They had to cancel tonight, but why change the menu, right?  I decided to write this post with the recipe and directions on how to make them, as I have some friends that have been asking.

First, what is a pretzel dog?  It’s a hot dog, wrapped in cheese, wrapped in a soft pretzel, brushed with butter, and baked.  There are many variations you can do, for example, the kids don’t like the cheese, so theirs has no cheese in it.  There also Italian sausage ones, that have pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese.  Play with it, see what you like.

Second, where I got the recipe… Food Network.  I took the soft pretzel recipe, and adapted it to what I needed.

Third, by adaption, what do I mean?  I’ll explain.

1) I’ve found that I truly love my bread machine and it’s dough setting.  I put the ingredients  for the dough in the bread machine.  That would be:

1 1/2 cups warm (110F to 115F) water
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted (4 tablespoons)
22 ounces flour, approx. 4 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast, approximately 1 tablespoon

Vegetable oil, for pan (I did not oil the pan because I used the dough setting on my bread machine.)

I added the ingredients, in that order, to the pan for the bread machine, put it in the machine, set it to the dough setting, and let it go.  If you do not use a bread machine, follow the instructions on the website that Alton Brown gives, as it has you proof the yeast first.

2) After the bread machine was done and the dough had doubled in size, I turned on the oven to 450F, and set up my big pot with the 10 cups of water and 2/3 cup of baking soda, as stated in the recipe.

3) I then turned out the dough on a lightly greased cutting board.  The recipe calls for vegetable oil, I can’t use vegetable oil because it has soy.  I have used olive oil and peanut oil, both work just fine.  If you are doing soft pretzels, cut the dough into 8 pieces.  For pretzel dogs, I have found that cutting it into 12 pieces makes a nice bread to dog ratio.

Take a piece of the dough and roll it out flat, big enough for the dog to fit fully inside, with any additional ingredients.  For the cheese filled, lay down 2 pieces of cheese.  Make sure you use a cheese that melts nicely.  I’ve been using American cheese, but I don’t see why shredded cheese might not work, just don’t put so much that it won’t melt.  The key is to use cheese that melts nicely.  Then put the dog on the cheese and pull the part of the dough on the long side up and over the dog, and roll it up.  Wrap the ends over and pinch the seams so they don’t separate.  This is the hardest part for me, I lose patience and don’t pinch the seams well enough.

Once this part is done, and the water is boiling, set a dog in the boiling water for approximately 30 seconds.  Take out with a flat spatula and put on a baking tray with parchment paper or silpat.  I find that 4-5 per baking sheet seems to work well.  Once you have 4-5 on the baking sheet, you can either brush with egg wash (as in Alton Brown’s recipe) OR brush with melted butter, which is what I do.  Tonight, I actually brushed with melted garlic butter.  Then sprinkle some pretzel salt, or I used Kosher salt.

4) Bake at 450F for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown and YUMMY!  

You’ll want to let them cool for at least 5 minutes before eating them, but it is worth it.

So, there you go.  If you have questions, let me know.   

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