Hot dogs. Don't even get me started on them.
I have an intense love for street foods and when I moved to the United States, hot dogs fast became one of my favorites. On outings, I'd make a beeline for carts selling hot dogs to get one or even two. Friends would tell me where to find"gourmet" hot dogs and I'd rush to buy some and grill 'em up. And all the while, Desi, his nose up in the air, would refuse to take a single bite, saying: "I can't imagine how you can stand those things."
Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Desi was right.
Hot dogs are one of the worst foods you can put into your tummy, being highly processed and filled with chemical preservatives. Later, a firm vegan and working for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit that advocates vegan nutrition, I learned more about the terrible effects that processed meats, like hot dogs, can have on your health, from colorectal cancer to hypertension (not to mention the suffering of the poor animals who die for them). When grilled, these little wieners get even more dangerous and carcinogenic.
My job at PCRM was in media relations, and one of the projects I headed up was pitching the evils of processed meats to the media. I worked on so many hot-dog stories (my most exciting moment was when I got a call from Jon Stewart's producer for a segment on our hot-dog billboards) that when I left PCRM for another job, my coworkers gave me a send-off with a hot-dog theme, veggie dogs and all.
I still haven't lost my love of hot dogs, and to date I will pick up a packet of veggie dogs on most supermarket trips. Veggie dogs are delicious, and although processed too, the fact that they are not made of meat means they are much better for you. Now, we have another veggie-hot-dog fan in the house: Jay.
The recipe I have for you today is these nifty little pretzel hot-dog buns that are just the perfect vehicle for that grilled veggie dog.
I adore pretzels-- another great American street food -- and a pretzel bun wrapped around a veggie dog is my idea of bliss. These are part whole-wheat, which even makes them rather virtuous.
The process for making these is a little long, but it's by no means complicated and you're sure to get results if you follow the steps carefully.
In fact, I'm running to the kitchen right now to get myself a veggie dog. Join me!
Hot Dog Pretzel Buns
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon vital wheat gluten, (optional)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond or soy or cashew or any other)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoon garlic (grated or minced)
- ½ cup baking soda
- Sea salt
- Heat the non-dairy milk along with the maple syrup and water in a saucepan to about 110 degrees or until just warm enough to dip a finger into, but not scalding.
- Place the liquid in a large bowl and sprinkle on the yeast. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is frothing.
- Add the oil, two flours and wheat gluten, if using. Add the garlic.
- Knead on medium speed for about 6-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Remove the dough to a flat surface, flour the surface lightly, and knead into a ball,
- Cut the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball and let them stand, covered, about 15 minutes.
- Roll each piece into a cylinder about seven inches long, on a lightly floured surface, sealing any edges tightly and tucking them underneath.
- Place the buns on a baking sheet about two inches apart, cover with a towel, and let them stand for 30 minutes.
- Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot. After the water boils, on low heat or with the heat turned off momentarily, add the baking soda.
- Restart the stove if you turned it off, and add the pretzel bun logs to the boiling water, cooking each side for 30 seconds.
- Remove them and place them on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, about an inch apart. Immediately sprinkle on some sea salt.
- Cut three slits on the top of each bun. Place the buns in a preheated 425-degree oven and let them bake for 13 minutes.
- Remove and cool on a rack.
These are great! I put 1,5 tsp of salt and substituted the garlic for onion and garlic powder 1 tsp each. Thanks for the recipe!!
So happy you liked them, Rosalie.
I made a batch of these last night. They went over very well. I'll be making them again, soon. Next time I'm going to try dividing the dough into 10 buns.
I made them again, this time making 10 instead of 8 with the same recipe. I also subbed 1 tsp of garlic powder for the fresh garlic. They turned out delicious, again. Making 10 turned out buns that were the perfect size for veggie dogs.
So glad to hear, thanks for the feedback and good idea about making them smaller-- I agree that the original buns are a bit large.
I made these last weekend and they were so delicious and easy! I will never buy store bought buns again. Thanks for the recipe.
So glad you liked them!
Is a half cup of baking soda the correct amount? It seems like it might be a bit much!
Yes it's just for the boiling water. You're not really eating that.
where does the oil go into the recipe?
Add it with the flours!
My son wants to sample a hotdog and has been hounding us all weekend! I will let him try one, if he likes it ( which I doubt) ok, if not, still ok!
Your story reminds me of the hotdog we would get in our school canteen, with the potato patty and 'shudh desi' chutneys . I would wait eagerly for my father to give me money to buy one. To date, it's my favorite hot dog!
This absolutely looks amazing! I definitely know what I am doing this weekend, and it includes sausage and these amazing hotdog buns! My husband is going to love it. Thanks so much for this share; I came across it at http://affimity.com/#/sharedPost/6/8059. Side note: it looks healthy, so I won't feel guilty at all. 🙂
Hope you try em! 🙂
Those are beautiful! How in the world do you get them so evenly shaped? You must have had lots of practice! 🙂
Hi Anne, thanks for the kind words. I don't make hot dog buns too often, but I do have a lot of practice shaping breads, which I love baking! 🙂
Great post! Hot dogs had always been my go-to quick meal, until I married someone who feels the same way you guys do about them. I'll have to try this recipe!
Hi Shantee, You should definitely try veggie dogs if you haven't. They are quite tasty and definitely much better for you than their meaty counterparts.
Hi Vaishaili. I love this blog and make a lot of the recipes. I've been a full fledged vegan for a little more than 3 years, and people often ask me what I miss. They usually assume a fancy steak or lamb chops, but it's really the more basic foods that I miss, like bagels and lox, a meatball hero, real pizza (Denino's on Staten Island is the best NY pizza in the world), or hot dogs. I haven't found a veggie dog that comes close to my memory of the taste of a sabretts, nathan's or boars head. What is your favorite?
Hi Andy, thanks so much for your lovely message. I am with you on bagels and lox and pizza! My personal favorite for hot dogs is Field Roast, although at a pinch I'll take anything so long as there's lots of ketchup, mustard and relish on top. 🙂