Monday, December 14, 2015

Chipotle Cheese Pretzel Dogs.

I present the humble chipotle-cheese-pretzel dog for your admiration.
I may attempt these with a GF dough and Tofu Pups. Stay tuned.
I want to say, "These are the best pretzel dogs ever, ever, ever!!" But full disclosure--GLUTENZ. I've never tasted them.

I'm sharing the recipe though, because they sell out at bakesales in short order, and because my friends and family tell me how yummy they are. Plus, I think they're really fun to make, 'cuz I'm a masochist who enjoys several hours in the kitchen making stuff I can't eat. And truly, I enjoy bake-saling for the animals and stuffing Dazee and my friends full of homemade treats.

Dough balls, wieners and pretzel pups, getting reading for their hot baking soda bath.
These dogs truly are a project of love and/or determination. They require many steps including dough making and rising, dividing, rolling, forming, boiling, washing and baking. SO, when I make them,  I make it worth my time and double the recipe posted below. This way I have enough to bring to a sale, a big party, or wherever, and can still pull a few aside to save for whomever.

Here's what they look like as they rest up for their baths. Notice some of the cheese will be visible on the outside.
And, while I do enjoy making pretzel dogs, I don't think they're very fun when I'm in a hurry. So, give yourself plenty of time if you're bringing these to a party, or wake up nice and early if you have to get these to a bake-sale before noon.
Chipotle Cheese Pretzel Dogs
Makes 16-18 pretzel dogs (depending on the size of your pack)
These dogs are slightly adapted from the pretzel dogs on Joy the Baker, and those were based off of the soft pretzel dough recipe from Alton Brown.

I've streamlined this recipe to make it "bake-sale friendly," which means the dough is ready to go as soon as I wake up (bake-sales around here are usually in the morning so this method gives me as much sleep time as possible). I make the dough in a stand mixer with instant yeast just before bed and throw it in the fridge to rise slowly overnight. If you want to make it with regular dry yeast, make sure to follow a method like that from Joy the Baker, where she includes steps on proofing yeast (instant yeast requires no proofing-- the ingredients are mixed up together and left to rise).

Here are a few things to keep in mind about this recipe, please read through the notes below, and all the steps, before you start:

 As I mentioned above, I usually double this recipe, because making two batches is only a little more time consuming than making one, and you end up with lots more dogs to share.

 If you do double this recipe, make the dough in separate batches, all the way down to two separate bags in the fridge.

 If possible, weigh the flour with a scale instead of measuring. And, if you do have a scale--the easiest and fastest way to divide the dough into uniform pieces is to weigh the dough first, then divide by however many dogs you're making, and then weigh each piece separately.

 The hardest thing about making pretzels is to get them as dark as possible on top, without burning on the bottom. For the batch pictured in this post, I actually baked the baking soda, according to the instructions in Pretzel Making at Home by Andrea Slonecker. Apparently, this turns the baking soda more alkaline, which produces a deeper crust. If you want to try this yourself, all you do is put 1/4 cup of baking soda in a non reactive baking dish (like a glass pie plate) and cover with tin foil. Bake at 250 F for one hour and allow to cool before using. If you don't want to play with baking the soda, just use the larger amount specified below.

What You Need:
♥ 22 oz unbleached white flour (about 4 1/2 cups)
♥ 1 tablespoon unbleached granulated sugar
♥ 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or RapidRise dry yeast
♥ 2 teaspoons salt
♥ 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder

♥ 1 1/2 cups warm water
♥ 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
♥ 1 cup grated vegan cheddar style cheese, divided
♥ a clean, plastic produce bag

♥ 1 package vegan hot dogs, cut in half to form mini dogs
♥ 8 cups water
♥ 1/4-1/3 cup baking soda (see note above)

♥ 1/4 cup soymilk
♥ 2 tablespoons agave nectar
♥ coarse salt, to garnish

What You Do Before Bed: 
1. Just before bed, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and chipotle powder into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. On low speed, blend the dry ingredients until mixed.

2. Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water and the olive oil and mix/knead until the mixture loses it's shagginess and begins to form a dough.

3. Stop the mixer and add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Continue to knead the dough--the cheese will become incorporated into the dough. Stop kneading after about 5-7 minutes when the dough forms a smooth, tight, non-sticky and cohesive ball.

4. Transfer the dough into the produce bag and tie the end in a knot, leaving plenty of room in the bag for the dough to expand. Place it in the fridge to rise while you sleep--about 8 hours.

Here are the dogs after being boiled and right before a light soymilk-agave wash.
In the Morning:
1. Break open the bag and gently poke the dough to release air. Divide the dough into even balls, forming however many mini dogs you have. Most commercial vegan packages yield 16-18 pieces. Cover the dough balls with the opened plastic bag.

2. Prepare a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment, and put a small handful of the remaining cheese on a plate and keep it near your work station.

3. Lightly flatten a piece of dough and pat it into the cheese to pick up about a teaspoon of grated cheese on each side. Roll the dough into an even rope about 16" long and 1/2" thick--most of the cheese will get folded into the dough as it's rolled out. The dough shouldn't be sticky, but if your're having trouble, sprinkle it with a tiny bit of flour to make it easier to roll.

4. Take a hot dog in your hand and start wrapping the coil of dough around it. It's easiest to align the center of the coil with the center of the dog, then wrap the dough around one side of the dog--leaving no gaps. Flip the dog and repeat on the other side. Be sure the wiener is fully enclosed in dough--there should be no gaps in the dough coils and no bit of dog exposed on either end. Place the wrapped dog on the table and with a flat palm pressing down lightly, give the dog a gentle roll to press the coil edges together, then tap each end on the table gently to create a good seal on each end.

5. Place the dough covered dog on your prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough and dogs. Cover the dogs with a towel or piece of plastic as you work.

6. While the dogs rest, preheat the oven to 450F. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a gentle boil. Add the baking soda and stir until dissolved (see note above about amounts).

7. One at a time, gently lower 3-4 dogs into the water. Cook for 20-30 seconds, using a slotted spoon to flip them halfway. They will become visibly larger. Quickly scoop them out of the water with the slotted spoon, and place them back on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dogs.

8. When the dogs have been boiled and the oven is ready, prepare the dough wash. In a small bowl, combine the soymilk and agave nectar. Using a brush (or a paper towel or clean rag if you don't have one), thinly coat about three dogs with the milk mixture and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Repeat with the remaining dogs.

9. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until nicely browned on top. Watch carefully to be sure they don't burn (especially on the bottom).

10. Eat and hoard! Share and sell!

Ta da!
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  1. Those look amazing, Kittee! What else is amazing is the fact that you create those treats without being able to enjoy them yourself... I have no trouble seeing why they are such a huge success in bake sales! Thank you for sharing your recipe, with all your tips at each step of the process. You make it sound doable!

  2. Stepping up the bake sale game, no wonder these sell out! What a generous gift to bake sales and company alike :)

  3. I can't eat chipotles but a vegan cheesy pretzel dog would be the first thing I'd grab at a bake sale fo' sure!


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