It’s that time of year again- BASEBALL SEASON! It is my most favorite sport and I grew up going to the ballpark to root on my Texas Rangers! We usually packed up our own snacks and drinks because the concessions are SO expensive but on dollar dog night, dad let us get HOT DOGS! Why is a ballpark dog SO MUCH BETTER than a hot dog at home?
With baseball season being back in full swing, I decided to combine two of my favorite ballpark snacks- hot dogs and pretzels- to create PRETZEL DOGS. Don’t be intimidated by homemade pretzels. The dough requires about two minutes of effort and when it comes time to wrap the hot dogs, get the family involved!
Boil the dogs in a water/baking soda solution for 30 seconds, pop them in the oven, and voila!
Let’s get real for a second. These dogs are NO JOKE, HANDS DOWN the best thing I have eaten in a long time! If you can’t get to the ballpark, stay at home, cook some dogs, and turn on the game! GO RANGERS!!
|Pretzel Dogs (with Nacho dipping sauce)|
- 1 ½ cups warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 22 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
- about 14 cups of water
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg, beaten, with a splash of water
- salt and pepper for topping
- FOR CHEESE SAUCE:
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 1 T. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 c. milk (whole works best)
- 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 T. freshly grated pecorino cheese
- salt & pepper
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to foam and froth. If it doesn’t, throw the mixture away and start again with new yeast.
- Once the yeast and water is frothy, add the flour, salt, and melted butter. Using the dough hook, mix on low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, creating a ball of dough around the dough hook. Beat on medium speed for approximately 4 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. The dough will be soft, pliable, and just a bit sticky. That’s perfect. Scrape any residue out of the bowl and coat the bowl with a bit of vegetable oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, sprinkle with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and store in a warm place to rise. Allow dough to rise, until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Place baking racks in the center and upper third of the oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly brush the paper with oil. It’s important to brush the parchment paper or the pretzels will stick!
- Combine water and baking soda in a large pan (8 quart is fine) saucepan and bring to a boil.
- While the water comes to a boil, turn the dough out onto a clean, slightly oiled work surface. Divide dough into 8 or 16 pieces, depending on how large you’d like your pretzel dogs. 8 pieces of dough for whole hot dogs. 16 pieces of dough if you’re doing to slice the hot dogs in half.
- Start with the fingers of both hands in the center of the dough, and roll, moving your hands outward as you roll. Roll the dough along the oiled surface until you have about a 24-inch or 12-inch piece of rope (depending on how large your piece of dough was… the more dough the longer the rope).
- Wrap pretzel around a hot dog, making sure to seal the ends.
- When water has come to a boil, gently lower a few pretzel dogs into the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds. Remove carefully, using a flat, slotted spatula. Place on prepared baking sheet. Brush boiled pretzels with beaten egg, and add coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Bake until deeply golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving warm.
- For CHEESE SAUCE:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook over moderate heat for 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until smooth and thickened, 5 minutes. Stir in the jack cheese until melted, then stir in the pecorino; season with salt and pepper.
Soft pretzels are best enjoyed the day they are made.
If you’re not going to enjoy all your pretzel dogs, double wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. When ready to serve, transfer out of plastic and into a piece of foil. Wrap well and bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes, or until heated through.
Recipe Sources: Pretzel Dogs from Joy the Baker (recipe by Alton Brown), Nacho Cheese Sauce by Bobby Flay