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5 from 11 votes

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.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time1 hr 5 mins
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dessert
Cuisine: American
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