I saw this great recipe and fun pictures on Food Mayhem for pretzel dogs, and I knew immediately that I would have to try it out since the recipe had simple ingredients and didn’t seem too time consuming. My only reservation was that I suck at baking. I don’t know why, but I have very little success when it comes to baking, even though it is the only time I follow recipes to the letter. Even my attempts at no-knead bread have failed miserably. Oh well, practice makes perfect, right?
I had all the ingredients on hand and figured there’s no better time to make hot dogs than July 4. I used my often-neglected Kitchen Aid stand mixer to do all the hard work, then set the dough in an oil bowl to rise.
I was surprised that the dough actually did double in size, and my hopes for a successful completion of a baking recipe rose.
Next came the fun part – shaping the pretzels and pretzel dogs. I pulled the dough from the bowl and quickly shaped it into a rectangle, taking care not to handle the dough too much. Using a wide flat blade, I cut the dough into 12 pieces, setting aside seven pieces for the number of Hebrew National hot dogs that come in a package (why seven?).
The dough was soft and springy so I just pulled it a bit to stretch it out into long strips; there was no need to roll it into a snake. It took me a little while but I eventually figured out how to form a pretzel without manhandling the dough too much. Then I dipped them into the baking soda water and placed them on the cookie sheet.
For the pretzel dogs, I patted each hot dog dry with a paper towel then twisted the dough around it. I had a few scraps leftover from each that I quickly kneaded together, let rest for a bit, then made into regular pretzels. These turned out to be a bit denser than the other pretzels, but still tasty. Baking took longer than the eight minutes stated in the recipe – it was actually closer to 10-12 minutes. I also found that eating the pretzels right away made them taste too fluffy and bready.
Once I let them sit and cool down for a bit, they shrank a little and became crispier on the outside and chewier in the middle. The pretzels were also a little too sweet for me (they reminded me of the honey wheat pretzels), so I might cut back on the sugar next time (hopefully that won’t affect the rest of the recipe! Like I said, I suck at baking, and I have no idea how baking works).
The pretzel dogs were my favorite. The salty hot dog and the sweet pretzel, plus a dipping sauce of ketchup and mustard, really hit the spot.
Overall, this is really a great recipe to make, and I even I managed not to mess it up too badly. I actually found that they tasted better reheated. I don’t know if the it’s because of the butter and salt you brush on when they first come out of the oven, but the texture was much crunchier on the outside and chewier on the inside after a quick reheat in a 375 degree oven. I can’t wait to make them for our next cocktail party!