I always planned to share recipes on a regular basis at some point in the future when my audience increased. Well, my audience hasn't increased but I do seem to have a few devoted readers. I don't think it's fair to hold out on those people who are kind enough to visit my blog more than once. I do hope that if someone does make any of my recipes that they will tell me how it turned out.
First up, I'd like to revisit Pretzel Dogs.
Because of my aversion to store bough breads, I have to include hot dog buns in that list of things I no longer buy premade. I haven't tried my hand at hot dog buns because a) a hot dog bun pan has not magically shown up on my doorstep and I've no desire to free form them and b) pretzel wrapped dogs are so much better. They are easy too!
Don't be afraid that you will need lots of time to prepare these because they have yeast in them. I guarantee you can have these on the table in less than an hour.
--11 ounces all purpose flour
--2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (that's 1 packet)
--1 teaspoon sugar
--1/2 teaspoon salt
--7-8 ounces of warm water
--1/2 cup warm water
--2 teaspoons sugar
--8 hot dogs of your choice
--2 tablespoons melted butter
--Pretzel salt, kosher salt or other coarse salt
In a bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Beat in the water slowly until it forms a rough ball. You'll want to go slow because you'll find in the winter you'll probably need the greater amount of water, in the summer the lesser, etc.
Knead for about 5 minutes by hand or mixer until it's a soft ball. If you are mixing by hand, do NOT add additional flour. Spray your counter top lightly with spray oil if you find the dough sticking. Otherwise, simply knead with sure quick movements. When properly kneaded it shouldn't be sticky to the touch but instead will be quite smooth and relaxed. It should pass the windowpane test.
Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn once to coat and cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Let it rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500. Make a slit lengthwise down each hot dog allowing the knife to slice about a third of the way through.
On a lightly greased surface, turn out the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes, uncovered. Then, roll out each piece into a long rope about 25 inches or so and wrap around a hot dog. The dough will cover the dog from end to end. Quickly dip the entire thing in the 1/2 cup water mixed with sugar, place the dog on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Be sure your ends of dough are tucked under the dog. Repeat for remaining 7 dogs. Let all the dogs rest for 10 minutes.
Bake the dogs for about 8-10 minutes or until they are golden brown. Brush the dogs with the butter. It will seem like a lot of butter but really it's not a lot at all and it IS all needed to keep your pretzel delicious and soft. Serve immediately.