There is an occasion where I crave an all natural beef hot dog. Truth be told, it is not often but when I want one, I want one. I typically get the craving in summer with the smell of charcoal lingering through the air.
And since July is National Hot Dog Month, it is fitting that I have been getting the itch for a hot dog. But I didn’t want a normal hot dog piled high with slaw and mustard (my typical favorite way to eat a dog), I wanted to try something new. Something that I when I am out at the mall and see those wonderful pretzel stands and the picture of a dog wrapped in a pretzel, I drool. I have never purchased one, because I am unsure of the quality of products, but I knew they would taste amazing!!
So onto my own recipe for a hot dog wrapped in a soft pretzel–and while we are at it, let’s add cheese–oh yum!!!
First, I always buy organic nitrate free hot dogs. With the quality of meat found in my favorite brand, Applegate, I wouldn’t feel at all bad to eat a hot dog once a week–not that we do!! Like I said, it is rare I get the craving for a hot dog. My husband on the other hand…well, that it another story.
This hot dog creation turned into a fun cooking project for my kids. They helped me make the pretzel dough, roll the pretzels around the dogs and of course they enjoyed eating them 🙂
First we started with the dough. Whole wheat flour, salt, yeast, and water–easy peasy!
After the dough rose, we divided it into 8 equal balls and rolled the dough out to about an 8 inch oval to fit the hot dog and cheese slice in the dough.
Once the hot dogs and cheese were placed on the dough, we pulled the dough securely around the filling to close. Then we cut small diagonal slits across the dough to allow steam to escape during the cooking process.
Next we brought water to a boil, added some baking soda (that is what gives pretzels there fabulous taste) and quickly gave the pretzel dogs a quick dip in the mixture. I used a spider spoon to place the pretzel dogs gently in the bath and then placed them back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkled them with a bit of kosher salt. It was now time to bake them.
Once baked, we were left with soft pretzels filled with salty, savory beef and ooey, gooey, cheese. Dipped into spicy mustard, these babies were out of this world!! We ate them right off the baking sheet!! My craving for a hot dog was satisfied. But these were so good, I may be indulging more than once a summer:)
So celebrate the National Hot Dog month with one of these bad boys–you won’t be disappointed!!
- 2½ cups whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ teaspoons yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- Water for boiling (4 cups)
- ¼ cup baking soda
- kosher salt
- 8 organic, nitrate-free hot dogs
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 8 5 inch sticks
- Start with the pretzel dough. Combine the flour, salt and yeast with a dough hook on a kitchen stand mixer. Add the water in and allow the dough to come together, scraping the sides if necessary. Let the dough knead in the mixer on low for about 8 minutes, until smooth and shiny.
- Place dough in greased large mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough had rose, preheat the oven to 450. Also bring 4 cups of water to a boil on the stove.
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into about an 8 inch oval--to fit the hot dog. Place the hot dog and the cheese slice in the middle of each oval and bring the dough over the sides, securing the dough over the hot dog and cheese. Flip the dog, seam side down and cut about 4-5 small slits evenly spaced across the hot dog to allow steam to escape.
- Once the water has come to a boil, turn the stove off and stir in ¼ cup baking soda into the water. Gently place each pretzel dog into the water bath, one at a time, just until coated with the mixture.
- Place the pretzel dogs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or well greased. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until dough is nicely golden brown.
- Dip into mustard if desired!!
*My family only ate 4 pretzel dogs. We prepared the full 8, but once the 4 we didn’t eat had cooled, we sealed them in a freezer ziploc bag for storage in the freezer. When I served them again, I popped them out of freezer and baked for about 10 minutes at 375 to warm through.