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PRETZEL DOGS

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These homemade pretzel dogs taste just like those served at mall food courts everywhere. Succulent sausages are wrapped in tasty pretzel dough. They’re cooked in a hot water bath, baked, then sprinkled with flaky salt.

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Three pretzel dogs on a plate with a bite taken out of one.

When the kids are home for summer, this pretzel dog recipe is the perfect lunch or mid-day snack. Especially when there’s a neighborhood of kids hanging out at your house. It’s a delicious meal that won’t break the bank.

For a hearty meal, pair homemade Nathan’s pretzel dogs with coleslaw, classic macaroni salad, pork and beans, broccoli salad with bacon, or sliced apples. For a Coney Island vibe, enjoy them with (oven baked) extra crispy French fries. Everyone will reach for more!

If you’re heading to the ball park with the family, make a batch of pretzel dogs in advance. I recommend doubling the recipe. Wrap them up while they’re still warm. Remember to bring a squeeze bottle of mustard.

A hand lifting a homemade Nathan's pretzel dog off a white plate.

Make mini pretzel dogs for Game Day appetizers. They’re an elevated version of mini pigs in a blanket. Just cut the Nathan’s hot dogs in half to make smaller portions. Serve with a tasty dipping sauce like ketchup, yellow mustard, honey mustard sauce, or Velveeta cheese sauce.

A hand holding a homemade Nathan's pretzel dog while dipping it into a dish of mustard.

INGREDIENTS

Pretzel hot dogs come together with low-cost refrigerator and pantry staples. Here’s what you’ll need to make a fresh batch at home.

  • Warm Water: Allows the yeast to bloom, and provides the pretzel dough with moisture. Make sure it’s the right temperature (100°F – 110°F) so the yeast blooms properly.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Is food for the yeast. If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, you can use granulated sugar or honey instead.
  • Active Dry Yeast: This recipe was created with active dry yeast. However, you can use instant yeast instead. Just skip step 1, and mix all of the ingredients (for the dough) together at the same time.
  • All-purpose Flour: This ingredient provides structure for the pretzel dough. If the dough feels really wet, you can add up to 1/4 cup additional flour.
  • Kosher Salt: This seasoning greatly enhances the flavor of the dough. Be sure to use Kosher Salt, not table salt.
  • Hot Dogs: To achieve the authentic taste of Nathan’s pretzel dogs, I use Nathan’s hot dogs. But you can use any classic all-beef hot dogs.
  • Baking Soda: Is used to create a baking soda bath. This alkaline solution changes the pH level of the dough so it develops the special golden color and crisp/chewy texture pretzel dogs are known for.
  • Large Egg: When brushed over the top of the pretzels, it helps the salt and/or sesame seeds stick to the pretzels, and helps the pretzels brown in the oven.
  • Pretzel Salt: This is a special large grain salt that’s used for coating soft baked pretzels. These salt crystals don’t melt during baking, and provide excellent crunch and texture.
  • Sesame Seeds: This is an optional garnish that provides a yummy crunch. You can use either white or black sesame seeds, or substitute with everything bagel seasoning.
Ingredients for homemade pretzel dogs.

RECIPE phase 1 – make pretzel dough

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 200°F for 2 minutes, then turn the oven off. We’re getting a warm cozy space ready for the pretzel dough to rise in.

  • STEP 1: Add warm water, sugar and active dry yeast to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes so the yeast can bloom.
  • STEP 2: Add flour and kosher salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. If the dough feels especially wet, you can add up to 1/4 cup additional flour.
  •  STEP 3: Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead it until it’s smooth and tacky, about 2 to 3 minutes. The dough is ready when you gently press it and it springs back. Form it into a ball with the edges tucked underneath.
  • STEP 4: Cover the bowl of dough with a damp, lint-free kitchen cloth. Place it in the oven (which has been turned off) so the dough can rise in this warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
How to prepare soft pretzel dough for pretzel dogs in 4 easy steps.

RECIPE PHASE 2 – BOIL & BAKE PRETZEL DOGS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a large pot of water on the stovetop to boil. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Put it aside.

  • STEP 5: Turn the risen dough onto a lightly-floured board. Divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope.
  • STEP 6: Working with one hot dog at a time, wrap a dough rope around each hot dog. Pinch the seams together at the ends to secure the dough in place so it doesn’t become unwrapped.
  • STEP 7: Once the pot of water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium so that it’s just gently boiling. Very slowly add baking soda to the water. Cook 1 to 2 pretzel dogs at time (so pot is not crowded) for 30 seconds. Flip them over and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  • STEP 8: Remove pretzel dogs from the water bath and transfer them to the prepared baking tray. Brush them with egg wash (egg whisked with a splash of water), and sprinkle with pretzel salt and/or sesame seeds. Bake pretzel dogs for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown.
How to wrap, boil and bake pretzel dogs in 4 easy steps.

HOW TO STORE PRETZEL DOGS: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container lined with parchment paper, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to enjoy, rewarm pretzel dogs in the oven.

Six pretzel dogs on a baking tray.

RECIPE FAQ

These are the most commonly asked questions when making soft pretzel dogs, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

WHY BOIL PRETZEL DOGS IN BAKING SODA?

A baking soda bath (baking soda added to boiling water) is an absolute must for the best homemade pretzel dogs. It’s what helps the dough develop its distinctive color and texture. We want it crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

RECIPE VARIATIONS?

Try switching up Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs for sausage links or cheese-stuffed brats. For garnishing, try granulated garlic, dried minced onion, poppy seeds, or everything bagel seasoning. If desired, drizzle melted butter over the pretzel dogs as soon as they come out of the oven.

HOW TO MAKE DIPPING SAUCE FOR PRETZEL DOGS?

Here’s how to make spicy honey mustard: Mix 1/4 cup grainy mustard with 1/2 cup honey and a dash of hot sauce. Transfer dipping sauce to a small bowl and enjoy with your pretzel hot dog.

HOW TO WRAP PRETZEL DOGS TO TAKE THEM TO THE BALL PARK?

Let the pretzel dogs cool slightly to reduce moisture/condensation. Wrap each pretzel dog in a layer of parchment paper followed by a layer of foil. Fold 2 napkins or a kitchen cloth around each bundle and place them in a brown paper bag or an insulated tote to keep them warm.

Hand setting down a plate with 2 pretzel dogs next to honey mustard dipping sauce.

MORE savory summer recipes

Satisfy hunger with these savory summer recipes! If there are leftover hot dogs after prepping the pretzel dog recipe, you can use them to make 3 of the tasty recipes below. Pin them to Pinterest to save them for later.

RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Discerning taste testers rated this the BEST homemade pretzel dog recipe. They compared ours against a freshly-made batch of those sold at the mall, and a box of store-bought Nathan’s Auntie Anne’s Famous Pretzel Dogs.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com
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A hand holding a homemade Nathan's Pretzel Dog while dipping it into a dish of mustard.

PRETZEL DOGS


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 8 Pretzel Dogs 1x

Description

Pretzel dogs are succulent sausages wrapped in pretzel dough. A baking soda bath produces a texture that’s crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Sprinkled with pretzel salt they’re baked until golden.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup warm water (100°F – 110°F)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus an extra 1/4 cup, if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 Nathans hot dogs (or your favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg, beaten with a splash of water
  • Pretzel salt
  • Optional Garnish: Sesame seeds (white or black)
  • Optional Topping: Melted butter

Instructions

PHASE 1 – MAKE PRETZEL DOUGH

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 200°F for 2 minutes, then turn the oven off. We’re getting a warm cozy space ready for the pretzel dough to rise in. 

  1. Add warm water, sugar and active dry yeast to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Set the bowl aside for 5 minutes so yeast can bloom.
  2. Add flour and kosher salt. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. If the dough feels especially wet, you can add up to 1/4 cup additional flour.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead it until it’s smooth and tacky, about 2 to 3 minutes.  The dough is ready when you gently press it and it springs back. Form it into a ball with the edges tucked underneath.
  4. Cover the bowl of dough with a damp, lint-free kitchen cloth. Place it in the oven (which has been turned off) so the dough can rise in this warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

PHASE 2 – BOIL AND BAKE PRETZEL DOGS

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a large pot of water on the stovetop to boil. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a reusable silicone baking mat. Put it aside.

  1. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly-floured board. Divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-inch long rope.
  2. Working with one hot dog at a time, wrap a dough rope around each hot dog. Pinch the seams together at the ends to secure the dough in place so it doesn’t become unwrapped.
  3. Once the pot of water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium so that it’s just gently boiling. Very slowly add baking soda to the water. Cook 1 to 2 pretzel dogs at time (so pot is not overcrowded) for 30 seconds. Flip them over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove pretzel dogs from the water bath and transfer them to the prepared baking tray. 
  4. Brush them with egg wash (egg whisked with a splash of water), and sprinkle with pretzel salt and/or sesame seeds. Bake pretzel dogs for 20 to 22 minutes, or until golden brown. If desired (optional), lightly drizzle with melted butter. Serve immediately.

Notes

HOW TO STORE PRETZEL DOGS: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container lined with parchment paper, and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When ready to enjoy, rewarm pretzel dogs in the oven.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Rise Time: 90 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Category: Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop, Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pretzel Dogs, Pretzel Dog, Pretzel Hot Dog, Homemade Nathan’s Pretzel Dogs, Pretzel Dog Recipe

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

HOMEMADE PRETZEL DOGS > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

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