Pretzel Dogs

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Homemade pretzel dough gets wrapped around hot dogs, boiled then baked, making for a perfect summer meal! These pretzel dogs are fun to dip in mustard or a cheese sauce. I’ll show you how to make these step by step so you can make these for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or anytime the summer days call for it. 

three pretzel dogs stacked on a wire cooling rack


 

Ok I’m declaring it summer friend. We just got a new Weber grill and got that up and running. The deck furniture has been pulled out of the shed. And my brain has turned to all fun things to bake for summertime. 

Sure fruit desserts are great since berries are in season right now. Nothing like a strawberry shortcake or blackberry crumble with a bit scoop of ice-cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top to finish the meal. 

But what about the actual meal? Well I bring to you these super fun to eat, pretzel dogs. Anyone feel like a kid again just looking at these? 

I had so much fun making these cinnamon sugar pretzels recently, but I have to admit when it comes to pretzels my brain envisions savory and salty things. So since Memorial Day weekend is coming soon and that really marks the beginning of summer and days of grilling and barbeques I thought a fun savory pretzel option needed to happen here. 

And hot dogs = summer in my world. 

These pretzel dogs start with a simple yeast dough that’s made with beer. And after the dough rises, you will roll out the dough just like you would for pretzels but instead of giving the dough a twist you will wrap it around a hot dog instead. I used organic Applegate Natural chicken and beef hot dogs, because even though I love hot dogs, as an adult I try to steer clear now of whatever is in those franks I grew up on! Once they are all wrapped up you will give them a dunk in a baking soda bath and then bake. 

Then all they need is some seriously good mustard on standby. 

pretzel dog being dipped into a bowl of mustard

Why You Will Love These Dogs

  • Great Make Ahead Party Appetizer! -You can make these now, and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. You will just want to reheat them in a 350oF for about 10 minutes until warmed back up.
  • Freezer-Friendly – Even better make and freeze cooled pretzel dogs for up to 3 months. I’d thaw at room temperature and then reheat again in the oven until warmed.
  • Make Bite-Size– Instead of using full hot dogs, get cocktail weiners and make your own pretzel pigs in a blanket instead! You may just need to adjust the baking temperature.

Ingredients Needed

Ingredient Notes

  • Salt – There are two different salts in the recipe. I used kosher salt in the pretzel dough but sea salt or table salt would also work. And before the pretzel dogs are baked I also sprinkled on a coarse sea salt or you can use pretzel salt.
  • Yeast – I used Red Star Platinum instant yeast. It’s a great yeast with dough enhancers that make it perfect if you’re a beginner to baking with yeast. If you use active dry yeast the rising times would increase.
  • Milk – I recommend using whole milk for the added fat to help create a tender dough. I haven’t tested with a low-fat or plant-based milk.
  • Baking soda– This is not used in the actual dough, but is used in the boiling step. You will add baking soda to the boiling water to help create that chewy crust.

How To Make Pretzel Dogs

1. Make the pretzel dough

  1. Start by combining the brown sugar, salt, flour and yeast. Make sure you keep the yeast and salt separate as the salt can kill the yeast.
  2. In a medium saucepan, you want to heat the milk, water, and butter to a temperature between 120-130oF over medium heat.
  3. You want to add the milk mixture to the bowl of your flour mixture. The mixture will be a very loose mixture at this point.
  4. Then you want to add more flour to the mixture to create a sticky dough.
step by step photos of making pretzel dough

2. Bulk rise

  1. You want to knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes until it’s a smooth dough. You can add the rest of the additional flour if it’s very sticky.
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter. I bring the edges of the dough up and fold into the center and then flip it over.
  3. Shape into a round. I smooth the dough into a round with my hands and rotate into a circle. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be perfect!
  4. Place in an oiled bowl and flip it once to coat the dough.
pretzel dough being shaped and in a bowl

5. Once the dough is in your bowl cover with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place (about 75oF) for about 30-45 minutes.

6. The dough should double in size. To test the dough, push into the dough with a lightly floured finger. If the dough bounces back quickly it needs more time. If it rises back slowly, it’s ready.

pretzel dough in a bowl that's doubled in size

3. Roll Out The Pretzel Portions

  1. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I like to weigh mine so they are equal but you can eyeball if you want. For me the dough was about 78g per portion.
  2. Roll each portion of dough into a smooth round ball. Again I like to bring up the edges of the dough and pinch to form like a little purse, flip over, and then roll the dough around on the counter with a clawed hand until smooth. I like to give the dough about 5 minutes to rest before I start rolling out the dough into long ropes.
  3. Roll out each portion of dough. Keep the others covered while you are rolling out each portion. You will need to do this segments. Roll each one several inches then let it rest and work on another. I find it better to roll out the dough directly on the counter (make sure it’s not too floured or it will be harder to roll out).
  4. Continue to roll each one to a 20″ long rope.

BAKING 101: The protein in the wheat flour is called gluten and it provides a stretchy network where the gasses from the yeast get trapped. If you try to roll out each portion of dough to 20″ all at once you will find it’s very difficult! The dough needs time to relax, to let the gluten relax, in order to allow the dough to be easily rolled out to such great lengths.

pretzel dough being cut into portions, shaped into a round, and rolled out to a long rope

4. Second Rise

  1. Wrap one rope around each hot dog. Make sure you press the ends of each dough so they don’t unravel.
  2. Cover and let the pretzel dogs for rise for 20 minutes.

HEATHER’S BAKING TIP: If the ends of the pretzel are not securing to the pretzel, just brush the pretzel with a little water and press down slightly.

Boil The Pretzel Dogs

  1. Boil a large pot of water with baking soda. Then boil pretzels for 30 seconds on each side.
  2. Remove the pretzel dogs with a slotted spoon or strainer and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  3. Brush each dog with an egg wash.
  4. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Then bake for about 14-16 minutes until a deep golden brown.

Troubleshooting The Pretzel Dogs

If your pretzel dough unravels a little during the boiling process, don’t worry! Let them cool and then you can wrap the dough back onto the dough!

Recipe Tips

  • Room Temperature Is Key! – How cold or warm your kitchen will always play a role in how fast your dough rises. Ideally dough should rise in a warm environment, about 75-78oF. If your kitchen is cold like mine I like to move my dough to warmer spot. The top of your fridge is a good spot. Or in your oven with the light on but the oven is OFF for the FIRST RISE ONLY.
  • Rolling Out The Pretzel Dough – You have to roll each portion of dough out to about a 20 inch rope. The gluten in the dough will prevent you from accomplishing this all at once. I like to roll each portion out a few inches, then I let it rest and move onto the next one, and then circle back to the beginning to repeat. If you don’t the dough will fight you and keep shrinking back taking even longer to roll them out.
  • Don’t Use Too Much Flour! – Too much flour will result in dry, tough pretzels. It’s best to WEIGH your flour, rather than use cups. If you don’t have a kitchen scale yet, then be sure to spoon and level your flour into your cup. You most likely won’t use all of your flour. I like to err on the side of a slightly sticky than too dry and adding too much. Also be careful when dusting your countertops, a little goes a long way.
  • Keep The Dough Covered As You Roll Them Out – Because it will take several minutes to roll out each dough into the long rope and you will be stopping and starting with each portion I like to keep the other portions I’m not working on covered so they don’t dry out. I either cover with the same towel I used to cover my bowl of dough when it was rising.
  • Set A Timer When Boiling – You don’t want to boil each pretzel dog for too long. Each pretzel should boil for 30 seconds on each side. I set myself a timer so I know when to flip them and take them out of the water.
  • Boil Only A Few At A Time – You don’t want to overcrowd the pot otherwise it can be hard to flip them over. I boiled 3 at a time.
pretzel dogs on a wire cooling rack

Recipe FAQ’s

Can I make these ahead of time?

Baked: These pretzel dogs should be good for up to 2 days, covered at room temperature.
Unbaked: Once the pretzel dogs are shaped you can wrap up the cookie sheet and let rise overnight and then boil and bake the next day.

Can I skip the boiling step and bake these instead?

Yes, after the second rise you can bake these without the boiling step. But be aware the boiling in baking soda step is what gives the pretzels their distinct flavor and chew.

Can I freeze these pretzels once they are baked?

Yes these will be good frozen for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature and then you can warm them back up in the oven or microwave.

More Recipes To Try

Pretzel Dogs

These homemade pretzel dogs are a fun summer treat! Hot dogs get wrapped around a homemade pretzel dog. Made with yeast, boiled in a baking soda bath and then baked.
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 pretzel dogs
Calories: 330kcal

Ingredients

For the pretzel dough

  • 4 1/2 cups (562 g) all-purpose flour divided
  • 2 Tablespoons (28 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (7 g) instant yeast
  • 1 cup (240 g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) water
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 hot dogs

For the baking soda bath

  • 8 cups (1,920 mL) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) baking soda

For the egg wash

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions

To make the pretzel dough

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 2 cups (250 g) flour, brown sugar, salt, and yeast. I keep my yeast separate from the salt, as salt can kill the yeast.
  • In a small saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted and instant-read thermometer reads 120-130oF (54oC).
  • Add warm milk mixture to the flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) flour beating until just combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed
  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes. Stop and scrape down the dough hook as needed.
  • Add up to remaining 1/4 cup (31 g) flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. I found I didn't need it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a round.
  • Lightly oil a medium bowl. Place the dough in and turn once to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75-78oF) until doubled in size.

Shape the pretzels

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lightly dust with flour (I like to use a cookie sheet so I can move the pretzels closer to my stovetop after they are done rolling!). Set aside.
  • On a very lightly floured surface, divide dough into 12 portions (mine were about 78 g each). Shape each into a ball. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll each portion into a 20-inch rope, tapering ends. I keep the other portions of dough covered while I work on rolling one out with plastic wrap or a towel. I roll each portion out several inches, then stop, and then work on rolling out the next portion – otherwise I find it difficult to roll out all at once.
  • Roll a pretzel dough rope around a hot dog. Pinch the end to the dough to seal. If the ends aren't sticking, lightly brush the dough with water to seal the ends to the pretzel.
  • Place each pretzel dog onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover the dogs and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75oF/24oC) for about 20 minutes.

Boil the pretzels

  • Preheat the oven to 375oF (190oC). Prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large stockpot (about 4-quarts) boil 8 cups water and baking soda to a gentle boil.
  • Carefully drop 3 pretzel dogs into the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Carefully flip over and continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the pretzel dogs carefully using a spider strainer, and let the excess water drain off. Place each pretzel onto a baking sheet. (once I have a baking sheet of the first 6 pretzel dogs I get them egg washed and bake them off before starting on the second batch). If the dough unravels, let them cool slightly and then just shape the pretzels back around the hot dog.

Bake the pretzel dogs

  • In a small mixing bowl, make the egg wash by whisking together the egg yolk and water. Brush egg wash onto the top of each pretzel dog. Top with coarse salt.
  • Bake in the center of the oven, until deep golden brown, for about 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack to continue cooling.

Notes

  • Make ahead:
    • Baked: These pretzel dogs should be good for up to 2 days, covered at room temperature. Or you can store in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered.
    • Unbaked: Once the pretzel dogs are shaped you can wrap up the cookie sheet and let rise overnight and then boil and bake the next day.
  • Boiling step: You can skip the boiling step. But be aware the boiling in baking soda step is what gives the pretzels their distinct flavor and chew.
  • Freezing:  These will be good frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature, reheat in the microwave or oven once thawed.
  • Yeast: I used Red Star platinum instant yeast. If you use active dry yeast the rising times will take longer.
  • Room Temperature Is Key! – How cold or warm your kitchen will always play a role in how fast your dough rises. Ideally dough should rise in a warm environment, about 75-78oF. If your kitchen is cold like mine I like to move my dough to warmer spot. The top of your fridge is a good spot. Or in your oven with the light on but the oven is OFF for the FIRST RISE ONLY.
  • Rolling Out The Pretzels – You have to roll each portion of dough out to about a 20 inch rope. The gluten in the dough will prevent you from accomplishing this all at once. I like to roll each portion out a few inches, then I let it rest and move onto the next one, and then circle back to the beginning to repeat. If you don’t the dough will fight you and keep shrinking back taking even longer to roll them out.
  • Don’t Use Too Much Flour! – Too much flour will result in dry, tough pretzels. It’s best to WEIGH your flour, rather than use cups. If you don’t have a kitchen scale yet, then be sure to spoon and level your flour into your cup. You most likely won’t use all of your flour. I like to err on the side of a slightly sticky than too dry and adding too much. Also be careful when dusting your countertops, a little goes a long way.
  • Keep The Dough Covered As You Roll Them Out – Because it will take several minutes to roll out each dough into the long rope and you will be stopping and starting with each portion I like to keep the other portions I’m not working on covered so they don’t dry out. I either cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or the same towel I used to cover my bowl of dough when it was rising.
  • Set A Timer When Boiling – You don’t want to boil each pretzel for too long. Each pretzel should boil for 30 seconds on each side. I set myself a timer so I know when to flip them and take them out of the water.
  • Boil Only A Few At A Time – You don’t want to overcrowd the pot otherwise it can be hard to flip them over. I boiled 3 at a time. 

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1594mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 112IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @BostonGirlBakes or tag #BostonGirlBakes!


 

22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These pretzel dogs will be so fun for parties! I can’t wait to give you recipe a try.

    1. Thanks Amy..enjoy making them!

  2. 5 stars
    I just pinned this post to have it handy! I see myself making these pretzel-dogs a lot! Thank you for a great tutorial and a great idea.

    1. Thanks Enriqueta for pinning 🙂 have fun making them!

  3. 5 stars
    Woohoo – these pretzel dogs bring back so many great memories. Can’t wait to make a big batch of these ASAP! 🙂

    1. Thanks Elaine! Enjoy 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    These homemade pretzel dogs look like something my kids would enjoy. I will have to make a batch for them and their friends this week. Thanks for the great instructions! They will come in handy when I made these. Have a great day.

    1. Thanks Heidy! I know your kids and friends will enjoy these dogs!

  5. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe, and I just had to come back to comment. My family loves these. I make them a few times a year, and my husband has requested them on his birthday.
    They freeze beautifully. Otherwise, we’d eat them all in a weekend! This one goes into our recipe collection. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    1. Aw that’s great Jenny! I’m so glad you and your family enjoy this recipe so much!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m so impressed that you make pretzel dough for your hot dogs, it really elevates the lowly pig in a blanket. And we also love those Applegate hot dogs for the same reasons you give.

    1. Thanks Beth! Yes a little more time consuming but worth it. And the applegate ones are the best 🙂

  7. Farrukh Aziz says:

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! I had never heard of this, so i wanted to try it out. It turned out to be delicious! My kids especially liked it! I’m making this again soon!

    1. Aw that’s great thanks Farrukh!

  8. 5 stars
    I still haven’t gotten around making pretzel dough from scratch and the addition of a wurst in it just makes it more interesting! I guess this was the motivation I needed. How can you say no to a pretzel dog for dinner?

    1. Thanks Eva! And I agree 🙂 the dog makes it way better!

  9. 5 stars
    Perfect idea for my family’s lunch boxes. The only problem after I made this recipe is, that I have already eaten 4 pieces. So so good.

    1. That’s awesome Zuzana! 🙂 Glad you loved the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Yum! This looks really appetizing! I am so excited to make this at home. I’m sure this will be a knockout.

    1. Thanks Dennis! You’re going to love them 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    I grew up eating pigs in a blanket but your pretzel version is beyond anything I’ve ever had. I’m putting these on the ‘to do’ list because I’ve been on a pretzel kick lately.

    1. Thanks Bernice! Yes I ended up cutting up the pretzel dogs into bite-sized pieces (basically pigs in a blanket) and these were devoured!

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