When game-day rolls around, a good host turns to time tested crowd pleasers like chicken wings, pizza, nachos, and guacamole. These are the food essentials tailor-made to pair with ice cold beer and an American sporting event.
But, if you’re the kind of party goer that’s looking for a little potluck MVP glory, we’ve got the recipe for you. Look no further than our gastronomic take on the ever-popular Pig-In-A-Blanket. Our version feature cocktail weiners wrapped in pretzel dough. In this recipe, we use beer instead of water as the base for our soft pretzel. What does beer contribute to the dough? Besides sounding impressive, beer makes the wrapper more moist and contributes additional flavors of yeast, sweetness (especially with amber beer), and a subtle acidity – all nice compliments to the saltiness of a classic hotdog.
Here are a few pro-tips to consider before you get this pig project underway. First, we prefer pan grilling the wieners prior to placing them in the oven for that smoky, grilled flavor that makes bbq hot dogs so tasty. You’ll want to baste the dough in egg and butter to achieve the perfect golden brown crust. Also, shout out to our favorite deli mustard, Batampte. A dipping sauce, mustard or otherwise, is definitely necessary.
May the best team (you) win!
Beer Pretzel Pigs-In-A-Blanket
1 package of cocktail wieners / hot dogs
1 12 oz. IPA
1 package of active dry yeast
4 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
10 cups of water
2/3 cup of baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of water
In a small sauce pan, bring the beer to a simmer or until the liquid is warm, not hot or boiling. Pour the beer into a large glass and stir in the yeast. Let it sit for about five minutes.
Mix 3.5 cups of flour, salt, sugar and melted butter in a large bowl. Slowly add in the yeast mixture and stir until you begin to form a smooth dough. It will still be somewhat wet at this point. Gradually add the additional flour until it forms a non-sticky ball of dough. On a clean, floured surface, continue to knead the dough thoroughly. Then, place in a large bowl and cover with saran wrap. Leave it on the kitchen counter for at least one hour.
In the meantime, heat a cast iron pan to medium heat. Add the wieners and lightly fry until the dogs are browned on all sides. Remove from heat.
When at least an hour has passed, the pretzel dough will have risen. Don’t expect it to rise as much as when you make dough with water. The beer makes the dough more dense. Punch the dough a couple of times and lay it out on a floured surface.
Here’s the fun / tough part. Pull apart one inch balls and roll it between your hands to create a 3 inch long piece of dough. Take a wiener and wrap the dough around the dog, twisting the dough as you go. This may seem tough at first but you’ll definitely get the hang of it! Twisting as you go allows the dough to stay packed and tight.
Once you’ve wrapped all your dogs. Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Then, in a large dutch oven or sauce pan, bring the 10 cups of water and baking soda to a boil. Place the Pigs-In-A-Blanket in the boiling water for about 30-40 seconds. You’ll have to do this in batches to make sure they don’t touch. Lay out the post-boiled pretzels on paper towels so they dry off.
Prepare your basting mixture by simply mixing egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. Transfer the Pigs-In-A-Blanket on a large baking sheet and baste with the egg mixture.
Place in oven and set your timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove from heat and rub a little butter or spray lightly with olive oil. Move back to open for an additional 3 to 5 minutes to your preferred level of crispness.
Serve with a side of mustard and pair with an IPA or a crisp rosé.
Clara Kim makes food, drinks wine and writes about it on her food blog, Make A Story