Last summer when I was watching Food Network Star, I thought contestant Jeff Mauro had the best show idea - a show all about sandwiches and the unique things you can put between pieces of bread. I was happy that he won the show. This past week I tried out my first recipe of his - Pretzel Hot Dog Buns. What an appropriate time too, as baseball season has begun. What says a baseball game more than hot dogs and soft pretzels? Combining the two may be one of the best ideas ever hatched. Below you will find my notes from this recipe. You can find the full recipe at Food Network's website.
1. I noticed there was no salt called for in the actual dough itself. Obviously pretzel salt is sprinkled on top, but I thought the dough could use a little salt for those bites where you don't get some salt. So I put in about a ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt.
2. The method of this recipe is different than what I normally use when making yeast breads. You don't need to let the dough rise for an hour after kneading.
3. The recipe calls for chopped garlic. My wife didn't want to include it, so I left it out. They are good with or without it.
4. I have some genuine pretzel salt that I use when making pretzels, which I do quite often. I used pretty coarse kosher salt in the past, but the shape of pretzel salt is so much better for pretzeling (Alton Brown says that it's a word!).
5. Rising times and baking times worked out really well.
6. The recipe makes 8 large buns. If you want smaller ones you could try cutting the dough into 10 pieces instead. Of course then you would have more buns than hot dogs, but you could always just eat the extras as a snack.
This recipe is a winner all the way (just like my Detroit Tigers will be all the way into the end of October!). Adding pretzel flavor to a good all beef hot dog is really a treat. I usually end up eating two hot dogs in one sitting, but the pretzel bun fills me up a lot quicker. I don't really want to have a hot dog again without one of these buns. Absolutely amazing!