Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels (and Pretzel Dogs)

I've already made pretzel hot dog buns, and even though they were a success, they did come out way bigger than intended (so the hot dog to bun ratio was way off). That's why I couldn't resist wrapping the pretzel directly around the hot dog, eliminating any guess work. It was fun, tasty and cute, but unless it's a special occasion and the kid requests it, I probably won't take the time to do it again (considering I can open a package of hot dog buns in about two seconds).

Yield: 8 large pretzels or 16 pretzel dogs
(or 4 large pretzels + 8 pretzel dogs)

2 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 cup warm water (use less in summer, more in winter—enough for soft dough)

1 cup boiling water (for pretzel dogs, increase to 4 cups)
2 tablespoons baking soda (for pretzel dogs, increase to ½ cup)
coarse, kosher or pretzel salt, optional
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

8 or 16 hot dogs (if making pretzel dogs), preferably uncured, organic

1.      To make dough by hand, or with a mixer: Place all of the dough ingredients into a bowl, and beat until well-combined. Knead the dough, by hand or machine, for about 5 minutes, until it's soft, smooth, and quite slack. Cover and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
To make dough with a bread machine: Place all of the dough ingredients into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for dough or manual, and press start. Allow the dough to proceed through its kneading cycle (no need to let it rise), then cancel the machine, flour the dough, and let it rest in a covered bowl or plastic bag (close the bag loosely, leaving room for the dough to expand) for 30 minutes.
To make dough with a food processor: Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the work bowl of a food processor equipped with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the water, and process for 7 to 10 seconds, until the dough starts to clear the sides of the bowl. Process a further 45 seconds. Place a handful of flour in a bowl, scoop the slack dough into the bowl, and shape the dough into a ball, coating it with the flour. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2.      While dough is resting, combine the boiling water and baking soda, stirring until the soda is totally (or almost totally) dissolved. Set aside to cool to lukewarm (or cooler).
3.      Preheat oven to 475° F. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with vegetable oil spray, or lining with parchment paper.
4.      Transfer dough to a lightly greased work surface, and divide it into 8 equal pieces (about 70g or 2 1/2 oz. each).
5.      Allow the pieces to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
6.      Pour the baking soda/water into a 9" square pan.
7.      Roll each piece of dough into a long, thin rope (about 28" to 30" long), and twist each rope into a pretzel shape. *For pretzel dogs, cut each dough rope in half, so it’s only about 10” long. Roll the dough tightly around each hot dog in a spiral (pinch the edges to seal and leave the ends open). About ½-inch of hot dog should peek out each end of the dough.
8.      Working with 4 pretzels at a time, place them in the pan with the baking soda/water, spooning the water over their tops; leave them in the water for 2 minutes before placing them on the baking sheet. This will give the pretzels a nice, golden-brown color.
9.      Transfer the pretzels to the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with coarse, kosher, or pretzel salt, if desired (I recommend skipping the salt for pretzel dogs). Allow them to rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
10.  Bake pretzels for 8 to 9 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
11.  Remove pretzels from the oven, and brush thoroughly with the melted butter. Keep brushing the butter on until you've used it all up (it may seem like a lot, but that's what gives these pretzels their ethereal taste). Eat pretzels warm or reheat in an oven or microwave.

adapted from
flour, salt, sugar and yeast
water added
dough resting in a bowl
dough separated into 8 pieces (one pieced rolled)
dough formed into a pretzel shape
dough wrapped around hot dogs
pretzel soaking in a baking soda/water bath
hot dogs soaking in a baking soda/water bath
soaked hot dogs
brushing baked pretzel with butter
brushing baked hot dogs with butter

Next time I would skip salting the hot dogs (the
dogs are salty enough and it's kind of overkill).
pretzel dogs

No comments:

Post a Comment