» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 36 | NO. 41 | Friday, October 12, 2012

Hot Dog! These pretzel buns are fantastic

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Last week, I recalled our trip to Chicago and how much good food we ate. I also shared with you that in the many times that we’ve visited Chicago we’d never partaken of a Chicago Dog. But this last trip, it was a given. We were just missing out on too much! So we succumbed.

I not only liked it, I also loved the pretzel bread with which it was made. Now, as far as the original Chicago-style hot dog goes, this is what I found from one reader: “The Chicago Dog is a Windy City classic and a big favorite with sports fans! The frank must be all-beef, the bun must be poppy seed and the ingredients must be piled onto the bun in the order specified. And whatever you do, don’t spoil the splendor with ketchup!”

Well, I guess the “style” depends on if you’re at a Chicago Bears game, on the streets looking for a quick lunch or in the restaurant of the hotel where you’re staying. The latter is where we had our first taste, and from where we were, there was absolutely none better!

We had a light lunch just before leaving for O’Hare International, and it was called the “Mini Dog Flight.” It was three little dogs stuffed on pretzel bread, and each one had a different topping – but no ketchup. We were not even offered the red stuff, which I think was quite a surprise to hubby!

One was topped with jalapeños, and other diced food things like pickles and red and green bell peppers. Another was topped with carrot slaw and caramelized onions, and the last was topped with Dijon-style mustard. Then they were all grilled – bun and all – which made them crunchy and oh so tasty! You can understand the love affair!

Anyway, I decided to make them along with some chili for dinner, and just finished the resulting product. I have not gotten any reviews yet, as it’s not dinnertime. However, I’ll let you know how it turned out.

This is the recipe I found on Foodnetwork.com, and it was great. The photo is of my bread. Enjoy!

Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

1 cup milk

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons honey

1 packet active dry yeast

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 small cloves garlic, grated

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup bread flour

1/2 cup baking soda

Pretzel salt or coarse ground sea salt, for sprinkling

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, half of a cup of water, sugar and honey to 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture and then wait for at least 10 to 15 minutes until the yeast blooms.

In a separate saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and garlic and cook until the butter is melted and the garlic is fragrant, two to three minutes.

Combine the all-purpose flour and bread flour in a mixing bowl.

Add the flour mixture to the bowl with the blooming yeast, and then add in the melted butter and garlic mixture. Mix on medium speed until the dough has come together and is smooth and elastic in texture and pulling away from the sides of the bowl (five to seven minutes).

Line two baking sheets with silicone mats. (I used parchment paper.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured cutting board and form into a ball. Cut into four equal pieces and then cut those in half to form eight equal pieces. Using your hands, roll each piece into a ball and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a dishcloth and let them rest in a warm place for 12 to 15 minutes.

Once rested, lightly dust your work surface again and roll the balls into seven-inch logs. Place onto the other prepared baking sheet, cover and place back in the warm spot, and let rest for an additional 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place one oven rack high and one low. Line two more baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

In a large pot, bring eight cups of water to a boil and then add the baking soda. In batches, place the dough in the water and cook for 30 seconds on each side.

Using a slotted spatula, remove the logs and place onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle the logs with pretzel salt as they come out of the water to ensure the salt sticks. Then cut three diagonal slits on top of the bread, not too deep.

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, rotating between the top and bottom racks of the oven halfway through the cooking.