6 hot dogs (preferably natural casing dogs such as Nathan's or Boar's Head
425 grams (about 3 cups) bread flour
236 grams (about 1 cup) tepid water
1 Tbl instant yeast
1 Tbl lard or unsalted butter (of course, I used lard)
1 1/2 teas kosher salt
1-1/2 teas brown sugar
1 cup baking soda (for dipping)
1 egg, mixed with 1 Tbl water (optional)
Coarse sea salt
- Prepare the baking soda dip: sprinkle about 1 cup of baking soda onto a small pan and bake at 300 deg. F for one hour.
- Mix flour, yeast, kosher salt, sugar, lard and water and let sit for 20-25 minutes, covered with a dish towel. If mixture is too stiff add up to another 10g water.
- Knead on a countertop for about 8 minutes. Dough will be very stiff and tight, but should become glossy as you knead.
- Cut dough into six equal pieces of about 115 g each
- Cover and allow to rest 5-10 minutes
- Roll out pieces into long ropes about 20-22 inches long
- Spiral each rope around a hot dog. Cut off any excess.
- Cover with dishtowel; allow to rest 30 minutes
- Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Prepare you "lye" dip. Now here's where it get's interesting. McGee says to dissolve 3/4 cup of the baked baking soda with 2 cups water. I couldn't get that much soda to dissolve in only 2 cups water, and most other recipes that use baking soda use that much in 2 quarts of water. I think Mr. McGee may have a typo, and it should be 2 quarts. Whichever way you go, dip the pretzel dogs in the baking soda mixture, then rinse in clean water; pat dry and place on baking sheet.
- Optionally paint with egg mixture (this shouldn't be necessary, but my first batch had no sheen at all) and sprinkle coarse sea salt onto top of each.
- Bake for 15 minutes or so, until pretzels are deep golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before eating. Great with Dijon mustard and a cold beer