Togarashi Pretzel Dogs

Back when I was about 20 I worked at the Lush store in Old Orchard mall right outside of Chicago. For those of you who don’t know, not only is it the mall they hang out in Mean Girls (even if the set is NOTHING like the real thing), but it’s bougie as they come. So bougie in fact they don’t even have a food court, just random nice restaurants scattered randomly throughout.

Most of these restaurants were the type of situation where you pay $15 for a burger at lunch time, and the fries and drinks are a la carte on top of it. But the main beacon of hope for my broke ass was the Auntie Ann’s located around the corner from Lush. It was literally the only thing I could afford in the whole mall to eat, and because of it I developed a weird addiction, maybe even passion for pretzel wrapped hot dogs. To this day I still get pretzel dogs almost any time I go into a mall. It’s in my code at this point.

Since a big point of cooking at home is having stuff you can’t just get anywhere, I added togarashi into the pretzel dough, and on top as well. For dunking I recommend either sweet chili sauce or Chinese hot mustard. This recipe got me 10 hot dogs and a few little pretzel nuggets.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 11 cups water
  • 1 packet quick acting yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp togarashi
  • 10 all beef hot dogs (I used Nathan’s jumbo)
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • Oil
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (optional)

In a bowl combine the sugar and one cup of warm water. Add in the yeast and allow 5 minutes to bloom.

In a mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, togarashi, and yeast mixture. Either knead by hand or with a dough hook attachment on a stand mixer until a homogenous dough that’s soft, slightly elastic, and not too sticky forms. For a stand mixer you would run the hook on medium speed for 5-8 minutes, and the dough would come away from the pan on rotation.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover completely. Allow to prove for 30 minutes.

When the dough is close to finished proving bring the remaining 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a boil in a wide pot and preheat the oven to 450.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Turn the dough out and cut into 10 equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a thin rope about 20-24ish inches long. I can’t stress enough to get these ropes thin. They puff up in the pretzel making process. Set your dogs on the lined baking sheets.

Wrap your pretzel dough around the hot dogs, making sure to pinch the ends to seal the pretzel. Shape any remaining dough however you like. I just made a few nuggets.

Boil the pretzel dogs two at a time for no more than 30 seconds. Remove them from the water with a flat, slotted spatula and return to their baking sheets. Combine the beaten egg yolks with the soy sauce and brush over the pretzel dogs.

Bake until golden brown, about 13-17 minutes. Sprinkle more togarashi over the top. If you’re into buttery pretzels a fun thing to do is to combine 2 tbsp melted butter with 1 tsp soy sauce, and brushing that over the top once they come out, before adding the final togarashi. Give a few minutes for them to cool before serving. Dip in sweet chili sauce or Chinese hot mustard.

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