Mini Cheesy Pretzel Dogs
It’s day two in Paris of Ben and my month-long French adventure. We’ve settled in our French home-away-from home, a teeeeny tiny (but excellently located) apartment on the left bank. Though I’m occasionally prone to exaggeration (What? Moi?) I do not jest when I say this place is mini. In place of a bed, we have a futon which, when laid flat, extends the full width of the apartment. Our stove has two burners and our refrigerator is smaller than most throw pillows. Did I mention the location is excellent?
While I am away, some of my best blogging buds have generously agreed to guest post here on TLSW so that we all can continue to enjoy new and tasty recipes. Today, I am giddy to introduce you to my kindred spirit in all things carbs, Stephanie of Girl Versus Dough. (You may remember Steph from this baby shower post.) Steph’s bright, airy photos and drool-worthy recipes (Loaded Mashed Potato Stuffed Biscuits or Nutella Babka anyone?) initially drew me to her blog, but it is her warm, witty writing that had me hooked. In addition to being an accomplished baker, blogger, and ebook author, Stephanie happens to be an absolute sweetheart. How can I be certain? We met in real life!
PS. Is this not the cutest baby bump you’ve ever seen? Steph’s now mom to a beautiful baby girl, Avery.
Today, Steph is bringing us an all-American recipe that’s a perfect fit for my snack-sized Parisian apartment: Mini Cheesy Pretzel Dogs. Take it away Steph!
Hello there, friends! I’m Stephanie and I blog over at Girl Versus Dough. I could talk – er, write – your ear off for hours and hours about how super jealous I am that Erin is living out my dream of traveling to France for, well, any length of time. But I think we can all agree that it’s a pretty awesome opportunity and if anyone deserves it, it’s Erin and her husband, SO. Instead, let’s have a chat about these mini cheesy pretzel dogs! Almost equally exciting, I think.
I have this weird obsession with stuffing pretzel dough with things like ham and cheese or jam and cheese (I’m sensing a theme here that starts with a “c” and ends in “heese”), so it’s no surprise to those who know me that I made this mini, salty, carby, cheese-and-hot-dog-stuffed goodness. It’s also no surprise that these things, when combined, are delicious. I mean, how can you go wrong with melted American cheese oozing out of a hot dog wrapped in soft pretzel dough? That is a rhetorical question.
Despite the lack of surprises here, this recipe still makes me giddy every time I make it (which is more often that I’d care to admit considering cocktail wieners and processed cheese are involved, ahem… Food Blogger of the Year, right here). And I think it’ll make you giddy, too, once you give it a try. And don’t be afraid of the idea of making your own pretzel dough – I’ve been baking bread for a long, loooooong time (OK like five years, but still) and it maintains its status of being one of the easiest doughs to make and bake. Plus, homemade pretzels. Enough said.
So while Erin is probably eating her way through France with fresh baguettes, wine, fine cheeses and chocolates (at least this is what I imagine everyone eats over there), we can live it up here stateside with cheese-stuffed pretzel dogs. Try not to be too jealous of us, Erin!
Mini Cheesy Pretzel Dogs
Fluffy and easy to make soft pretzels stuffed with mini hot dogs and cheese. Perfect for appetizers, picnics, and secret late-night snacking.
Yield: 20 mini pretzel dogs
Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
For the dough:
- ¾ cup warm water (about 115 degrees F)
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons (about ½ packet) active dry yeast
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the dogs:
- 20 mini cocktail wieners or 5 regular hot dogs, cut into quarters
- 3 to 4 slices cheese (preferably American, but cheddar works well, too)
- 8 cups water
- ½ cup baking soda
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- Coarse salt, for sprinkling
- First, make the dough: In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water and sugar. Sprinkle yeast on top and let sit 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
- Add flour, salt and melted and cooled butter. Use the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon to stir until a dough forms. Increase mixer speed to medium and knead 4 to 5 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth, soft and elastic; OR, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand 8 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth, soft and elastic.
- Shape dough into a ball; place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dogs: Slice cocktail wieners lengthwise down the center, being careful not to cut all the way through. Divide cheese slices into small pieces and place a piece or two in each slit.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- When dough is doubled, punch it down and transfer to a parchment paper-lined surface. Divide dough into 20 equal-size pieces. Roll out each piece on parchment paper into a roughly 10-inch-long rope. Coil the ropes tightly over the cheese-stuffed dogs, folding and pinching seams tightly to seal.
- In a large saucepan, bring water and baking soda to a boil. Carefully drop about 4 to 6 dogs into the boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Transfer to prepared baking sheet spaced about 1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dogs.
- Brush the tops of the dogs with the egg wash, then sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Bake 15 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking, until dogs are a deep golden brown.
Recipe adapted from Crepes of Wrath