Ridiculously easy, these are the perfect combination – a juicy hot dog wrapped in a soft & chewy pretzel.
I’m always looking for quick and easy meals, especially during the summer when it’s hot and no one really feels like cooking or grilling. These pretzel dogs will rival any grilled burger and can be made a head of time. You can even freeze them for a quick meal or snack later.
Basically, these are the pigs in a blanket we grew up with, however, with a couple of extra steps, magic happens!
Ok. Ok. In this case the magic is really science, but it is pretty magical!
Oh! Speaking about food science, there is another reason I wanted to make these – Food Network is rebooting one of my favorite series, Good Eats, hosted by food-science guru, Alton Brown and the recipe below was inspired by him!
Back to the magic of pretzel making, by dropping the dough into boiling water treated with Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) for about 30 seconds, the inside of the pretzel puffs up and starts forming a crust, however, it’s the addition of the baking soda that gives pretzels their brown and shiny crust and their distinctive flavor.
Traditional pretzels are dropped into pots of lye water to accomplish this. Yep… THAT lye – Sodium Hydroxide. The food grade version of the lye I make my soap with (and use to clean drains). And, just like when you make soap, you need to wear goggles and gloves. I love cooking and am fascinated by the chemistry of it all, however, I prefer to to keep lye strictly for soap making.
Eliminating the boiling baking soda/lye water step will give you a pig in a blanket, but why would you deny yourself such deliciousness?
You can also use this recipe to make regular pretzels! Once the dough has raised, cut it into 8 equal pieces, roll it in to 12 inch ropes and rather than wrapping your hot dog with them, you can twist them into pretzels and follow the rest of the directions.
- 3/4 cup Warm Water (Should be about 110ºF)
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast (Or one package)
- 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Melted Butter
- 10 cups Water
- 2/3 cup Baking Soda
- 1 Beaten Egg York + 1 Tbsp Water
- Pretzel Salt or Course Grain Salt or
- 8 Hot Dogs
- Combine the warm water and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (you can also use a bread machine if it’s programmable to “knead” and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for about 5 minutes to low the the yeast to “bloom”. The mixture will begin to look foamy.
- In another bowl, mix the flour and salt.
- Add the flour and salt mixture and melted butter to the mixer bowl and using the dough hook attachment mix on low speed until well combined. Once combined, increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and the dough is smooth. This takes about 5 minutes.
- Oil a large, clean bowl and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit in a warm spot for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Using parchment paper or a Silpat-type mat, line a baking sheet.
- Add the baking soda and 10 cups of water to a deep pot and bring to a boil.
- Take the dough and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll and stretch each piece into a 12 inch long rope.
- Create your pretzel dog by wrapping each hotdog, pinching the ends of the dough together so they don’t unravel. Only a little bit of the hotdog ends should be showing.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before placing the pretzel dogs, one at a time, into the boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove each pretzel dog from the after and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with the beaten egg yoke mixture and sprinkle with pretzel salt OR use our favorite – Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel Seasoning.
- Bake at 450ºF for about 15 minutes or until they are golden brown in color. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with you favorite mustard, ketchup or ranch dressing!
Rather than using pretzel salt, we really enjoy Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend.
Last weekend I made these for the end of Summer potluck we hosted for a bunch of our friends and neighbors. I cut the dough in to 16 pieces and cut each hot dog in half before wrapping them. They were a hit with both the kids and the adults.
You can eat them plain, dip them in mustard, ranch dressing, bbq sauce or you can try our favorite dipping sause – honey mustard. I don’t know how, but honey mustard really takes the whole flavor experience up a notch!
If you make them, we’d love to hear about it!
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