Please allow me a moment to nom vigorously on these.
Ok, now that I've wiped the crumbs, I can share how amazing this hot dog wrapped in a perfect soft pretzel sprinkled with salt is: AMAZING. Last month I went to two football games and both times I ordered a soft pretzel to enjoy with the game. so the idea of stuffing a hot dog into that pretzel to enjoy while cheering on my team won me over in a heartbeat. I whipped these up as a football lunch for Dave and I (he did help a lot) and we devoured them. I packed the leftovers away in the freezer in two-packs so we could enjoy them later. The pretzel has a perfect soft and chewy inside with a crusty, golden brown outside that is the perfect "bun" for a hot dog. I eat my hot dogs with ketchup only, but if you're a mustard aficionado, you will be hard pressed to find something better to pair with your favorite spread.
I've made pretzels before (although I still own you those adventures), but when I saw Michelle post these pretzel dogs, they went into the recipe-lust category and I patiently waited for football season to whip up these guys. And I've made them twice since. I mixed the dough after breakfast, let it rise, then Dave and I wrapped the dogs, boiled them up (to get that beautiful color and crust). Finally a quick bake and they were ready by kick-off. Don't let the yeast scare you--it's nothing to be afraid of. Only one rise and the dough is nice and elastic, eager to curl up around a hot dog and bake up into tasty deliciousness. These are some serious hot dogs. Or some serious pretzels. Either way you look at it, they belong together and I'll bet you'll have some happy campers in your kitchen when you whip up this combination.
1 1/2 cups warm water (between 110-115 degrees)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet active dry yeast of 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons butter, melted and divided
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
8 hot dogs
Kosher or sea salt for sprinkling
Combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. If using active dry yeast, sprinkle on top and allow to sit five minutes or until foamy. If using instant yeast (as I did), mix into flour.
Using the dough hook attachment on the mixer, gradually add flour (and instant yeast if using) and 1/4 cup melted butter to the water mixture, mixing on low speed until well-combined.
Increase to medium speed and knead until a smooth dough forms and pulls away from the sides.
Transfer dough to a clean bowl sprayed with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area for about an hour or until dough has doubled.
Bring remaining water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface (or a dough mat) and cut into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope of about 24 inches in length.
Starting at the end of a hot dog, spiral wrap the dough around the hot dog, ensuring to pinch the ends to seal. Place on a parchment lined pan or stoneware pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray until all hot dogs are wrapped.
Two at a time, gently drop wrapped hot dogs into boiling water for about 30 seconds before returning to parchment lined pan or stoneware with a slotted spatula.
Brush tops of pretzels with remaining 2 Tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 450 degrees F for 12-14 minutes or until dark golden. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 pretzel dogs.
The Cookie Princess
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