Friday, April 1, 2011

Pretzel Dogs

This has to be the ultimate in bar food.  If you love big salty pretzels, then these will really hit the spot.

You don't see these served in Texas much, but they are really popular along the east coast.  They are considered so good and popular, it has the staying power to remain on the menu at pubs and restaurants-no matter how many times the ownership changes.

Also, these dogs are great for kids parties or at casual parties such as sports watching or poker.  After baking, they can be kept warm in the oven until your guests are ready to eat.  Just make sure that you use a spatula to remove them from the pan after baking and transfer to another pan to keep warm. This recipe makes 12 dogs. 

Pretzel Dogs
courtesy of Food Mayhem

1 tsp kosher coarse salt (plus extra for sprinkling)
1/2 tsp table salt
4 tbs melted butter
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp sugar
4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water (for dipping)
12 hot dogs or sausages (any type as long as already fully cooked)

Mix together 1 tsp sugar, 1 1/4 cup warm water and yeast in a small bowl.  Set aside for 10 minutes, it will turn into a creamy consistency.

In a large stand mixer bowl, sift together 3 1/2 cups flour, both salts and 1/2 cup sugar.  Add yeast and vegetable oil, stirring with a wooden spoon until moistened.

Then put the dough hook in your mixer and turn on low to knead the dough. Set timer for 5 minutes.  Add the last cup of flour and turn on machine to knead.  If after a few minutes of kneading the dough seems too dry, add one or two tablespoons of water.

Once the dough has been kneaded for 5 minutes, remove and round it into a ball.  Put it in a well oiled bowl, cover and place bowl in a warm place for dough to rise.  Set timer for 1 hour for the rising cycle. Dough should double in size during this time.

Prepare baking sheets by coating heavily with oil or non stick spray and preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

After the rising cycle is complete, mix together the hot water and baking soda in a bowl. This will be the bath that the pretzel dogs are dipped in prior to baking.  Set bowl aside. Then take out the oiled bowl and remove the dough. Divide it into 12 equal pieces. Take each piece and roll into a long thin rope that is about 2 or 2 1/2 times the length of the hot dog.

Now the dough will need to be twisted around the hot dog.  Take the bottom part of the dog and spiral the dough around the dog, overlapping the dough around the first rope end and tucking the last end under the dough..  I rolled the dog over the dough on the counter top, but you can use two hands to hold the dog and twist the dough around.  Whichever method is easiest.

After each dog has the dough twist, dip entirely into the baking soda bath.  Then place on baking sheet. Continue with the process, stirring the bath occasionally, until all dogs are on the baking sheet. Bake in oven for about 8-12 minutes.  Dogs are done when dough has browned on all sides and there is a small gap between bread and dog. Remove, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt.