Sunday is family dinner night around here. It's the only night that we always eat together. We occasionally pull it off on a weeknight, but way more often than not, I feed the girls early and then J & I eat later. Early is relative, of course. The parent who picks the girls up from school/daycare gets home with them around 6:30 or so. The other parent doesn't get home until after 7:30.
Since that doesn't leave me with much time or energy for cooking during the week, Sunday is also my day for meals that are more involved, or that just take more time. A lot of times, it's something that makes lots of leftovers that I can eat for lunch during the week. Tonight's spaghetti and meatballs is a good example of that. I try to save the things I know the girls won't eat for me & J to have during the week (as long as they're relatively quick to make). I want B&G to try new things (and they're really pretty good about that), but I get tired of hearing about how unhappy they are with some of my menu choices.
Last weekend, I tried something new that I was pretty sure they'd enjoy. A few days earlier, my friend Tracey had a great new dish on her blog. That's not unusual, since Tracey posts all sorts of good things. =) But this was one that I wanted to make right away--Pretzel Dogs! I regularly make my own dough for mini pigs-in-blankets, but it never occurred to me to wrap them in soft pretzel dough. In fact, I realized that I've never made pretzels at all. I've been meaning to, but just haven't gotten around to it.
The great thing about this dough is that it doesn't take long at all to make. The dough is straightforward to mix up (I used my dough whisk for the initial mixing) and can be kneaded in your stand mixer. I did some machine kneading, then finished by hand. The dough is really nice to work with, and it needs less than an hour to rise. Then you portion out the dough, roll it into ropes, and wrap them around hot dogs that have been cut in half. I only did five hot dogs (so 10 pieces), using 60 grams of dough for each piece. I formed the remaining dough into 4 rolls (similar to hamburger buns). The pretzel dogs are boiled in a baking soda solution for about 30 seconds each. I boiled the rolls as well, but had to flip them over halfway through the time, since they don't roll the way the hot dogs do. Finally, the dough is brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with salt (I even had actual pretzel salt!), and baked for about 15 minutes.
The verdict? These were fantastic! I definitely think they've earned a place in our regular menu rotation. Jamie ate his with mustard, which sounds appropriate for pretzels as well as hot dogs. The rest of us don't really like mustard, so we used ketchup. But what I really want to try with them next is cheese sauce...
I'm excited to try my hand at other pretzels as well. I can't believe it's taken me this long to make them. If you'd like to try these pretzel dogs for yourself, you can find the recipe on Tracey's blog. My friend Abby made them, too; I love her cinnamon sugar bites for dessert. I'm also submitting these Pretzel Dogs to Yeastspotting; be sure to check out all the other delicious yeasted creations.