Monday, May 2, 2011

Pretzel Dogs!

Sports game nights in our household usually entails beer, snacks, and pretzel dogs. The Caps game was on tonight, so I thought the perfect dinner would be this. Unfortunately the Caps lost, but I won in making these. Don't get intimidated by the name and I know it seems easier to go buy these at the store but you guys won't be disappointed!

Makes 8 bun size pretzel dogs
Adapted from A Dash of Sass
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package dry active yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda (this is what makes the pretzel crisp)
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (or kosher salt), for topping

  • Combine the warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy and begins to smell of yeast.
  • Add the flour and butter to the yeast mixture. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and, on medium-low speed, combine the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and appears shiny, roughly 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray (or lightly grease with vegetable oil) and place dough in greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Place bowl in a warm area (near the oven, perhaps) and let dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring the 3 cups of water and the baking soda to a roiling boil.
  • Place the dough on a greased surface, and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, roughly 12 inches long. Carefully wrap each piece around a half hot dog. Pinch the ends together to seal the dough. 
    • Alternatively, to make regular pretzels, shape the rope into a U shape, cross the ends over each other and fold the twisted ends back onto the bottom of the U. Again, pinch the dough together to form a seal. Place each shaped pretzel on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Boil the shaped pretzels and pretzel dogs, one at a time, in the baking soda water for 30 seconds each. Using a flat spatula, remove each pretzel dog from the water and place it on a drying rack to allow any extra baking soda mixture to drip off.
  • Place the boiled pretzel dogs back on the parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt.
  • Bake until golden brown, roughly 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer pretzel dogs to a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a variety of mustards.

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