Challah Pretzel Dogs
Alright. I realize this is the first savory recipe I've posted on the site (minus byrek back in the day, but I'm not sure if byrek totally qualifies as a savory treat), and it may seem a little odd to have a pretzel dog recipe among all the pies and cookies and brownies.
But you guys.
These are mind-blowing.
And the truth is, they're not just your average pretzel dogs, and the process is very bake-heavy... So they have every right to be on this blog. Right? Whatever. I'm over it. Let me just tell you about these Challah Pretzel Dogs that we devoured during the Super Bowl last night.
First, they're from the baking goddess who is Molly Yeh, so you know from the get-go that they're going to be dang yummy. Second, they're not just pretzel dogs. They're CHALLAH pretzel dogs. Which means the dough is extra tender and just slightly sweet. Third, they're topped with Everything Bagel seasoning, which is probably the most OMG seasoning that I have in my pantry and I put it on literally everything. I don't know why I get so excited about bagel seasoning -- I really don't. Neither does Carson. In fact, he gets upset when I put it on anything other than a bagel, which must be really frustrating for him because I've never actually put it on a bagel. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
But good news: He didn't get upset when I put it on these Challah Pretzel Dogs. The proof is in how many we ate and I'm not going to divulge that number because it's kind of embarrassing but all you need to know is these are, quite simply, incredible. And challah is one of those breads that looks labor-intensive and exhausting and unfortunately, a lot of people feel that way about any yeast bread, but it really is simple. It's just a bit time-consuming. But believe me, these are beyond worth-the-wait.
INGREDIENTS 2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 c (178g) warm water, 105-110ºf
1 tsp plus 1⁄4 c (50g) sugar
3 1/2 c (448g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 c (66g) flavorless oil
baking soda bath:
1 c (230g) baking soda
2 c (472g) water
Egg wash (one egg mixed with a splash of water)
Bagel seasoning (I use Trader Joe's brand which is awesome, but you can usually find it in the spice section at your grocery store or make your own)
in a medium bowl, combine the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar and give it a little stir. let it sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine remaining sugar, flour, and salt. in a separate bowl, beat together the eggs and oil.
add the yeast mixture and then the egg mixture to the flour and stir to combine. knead either in the stand mixer or by hand on a floured surface, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, for 7 to 10 minutes, until smooth and just slightly sticky.
grease the inside of a large clean bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. cover again with the towel and let the dough rise for 2 to 3 hours, until doubled in size.
while the dough is rising, bake your baking soda. preheat the oven to 250ºf, spread the baking soda out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. let it cool and set it aside until after you've shaped your dogs. (even though the baked baking soda isn't as strong as lye, it could potentially irritate your skin, so avoid touching it once it's out of the oven.)
increase the oven to 375ºf. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
split the dough into 16 equal portions and keep it covered when you're not working with it. working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out a long skinny snake and wrap it firmly and evenly around a hot dog. roll it back and forth on your work surface a couple of times so that the coils of the dough stick together, and then place it on a baking sheet. continue with the remaining dough and hot dogs, placing them 1 1/2" apart on the baking sheet. cover and let rise for 20 more minutes.
make the baking soda bath: place the baked baking soda in a large bowl or casserole dish and add the 2 cups of water. stir it to dissolve the baking soda (i've never been able to get all of it to dissolve, so a few baking soda chunks are totally ok as long as they don't stick to the dough). using gloved hands or tongs and working in batches, immerse the dogs into the mixture for about 2 minutes on both sides. pat them dry with a paper towel and place them back on the baking sheet. brush with the egg wash, sprinkle with everything bagel seasoning, and bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 14-15 minutes. let cool slightly, serve with ketchup and mustard and enjoy!