Saturday, March 8, 2014
One of the popular items on Auntie Anne's menu is their pretzel dog, a hot dog all wrapped up in a pretzel. Like the pigs in a blanket we used to eat as kids. Only with a pretzel crust, these are WAYYYY better. But at $4 a hot dog, it's a little too pricy for my budget. I already have a pretzel bread recipe, so I just decided to halve that recipe for the pretzel crust.
I learned a couple of things in making these for my family. One, do not leave both ends of the crust open. Your hot dogs will become a little slippery as they bake and the dough won't stick well. And your hot dogs just might slip out of their pretzel-y shell and land on the floor, where your real-life furry dog is waiting for just such an occurrence. While he or she might be thrilled by such a turn of events, you will not be. You will be disappointed and offer to eat the empty hot-dog flavored pretzel shell.
Second, don't use bun length hot dogs. You won't have enough dough to wrap the dog completely AND enclose one end. I don't think I need to explain why you want one side enclosed again, do I?
So, here's what you need:
3/4 cup warm water
1 and 1/8 teas yeast
1 teas sugar
2 to 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour
2 TBSP melted butter or olive oil
1 teas sea salt
1/4 cup baking soda
1 egg white
coarse salt for sprinkling
Pkg of 8 hot dogs
In a mixing bowl, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the flour, melted butter, and salt. Start with two cups of flour, then add more (up to 1/4 cup) if the dough is too sticky. I use my stand mixer for this but you can do it by hand too. Cover and let rise for about an hour until doubled.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll or twist each piece of dough into a long rope about 12 inches long. Wrap the dough around a hot dog, making sure one end is enclosed. Alternately, you can roll out each piece into a circle, then wrap it completely around the hot dog, enclosing both ends. It's up to you!
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, then add the baking soda. It will foam up at first, but that's okay. Drop two wrapped hot dogs into the water and allow to simmer for 30 seconds. Remove to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I use a slotted spoon and spatula to do this.
Brush each pretzel dog with egg white, then sprinkle on some coarse salt. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned.