Cocktail-Franks, wrapped in pretzel-dough.
This little party snack was inspired by a staple of many German bakeries, “Wiener im Brezenteig.”
Recipe after the fold.
250g warm water
13g dry yeast
500g bread flour
10g lard (or butter)
30 cocktail franks
pretzel salt (or coarse kosher salt)
food-grade lye (or baking soda, see below)
Preparing lye or baking soda solution:
Dissolve 40g sodium hydroxide (food-grade lye, available for example here) in 1000g (1 liter) cold water (use rubber gloves and eye protection, lye is extremely caustic! It is also a good idea to protect the working surface with a plastic table cloth – lye stains wood and other materials).
Alternatively, dissolve 1/3 cup baking soda in 5 cups water and bring to a rolling boil in a sauce pan.
Preheat oven to 470ºF.
Dissolve yeast in the water, set aside. Weigh flour, lard (or butter), and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add water and yeast mixture. Knead until a firm but smooth dough forms. This dough is supposed to be very stiff, don’t add water!
Once the dough is properly kneaded, immediately divide into 30 equal pieces (each weighing about 25g), covering them loosely with plastic wrap (to prevent them from drying on the surface and developing a “skin”).
Prepare the cocktail sausages by patting them dry with paper towels. Starting with the first dough portion, flatten it with the palm of your hand into an oval (short sides facing left and right). Place a sausage in the middle and fold one long side over the sausage (away from you), securing it with your thumb, while folding the other long side back over the sausage (toward you). Stretch the dough slightly if necessary. Pull short sides up and slightly over the ends of the sausages to seal them in. Roll the package over so that the seams are underneath and roll the pretzel-dog with a hollow palm on the counter to seal the seams. Set on a floured dish towel, seam facing down. Repeat for the rest of the dough portions and cocktail sausages.
Let the pretzel-dogs rest for about 10-15 minutes (they should look a little puffy), then put them in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes to make them stiff.
Using a plastic strainer (or a slotted spoon) and rubber gloves, briefly submerge each pretzel-dog in the cold lye-solution (or boil for about 30 seconds in the baking-soda solution) and set on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with pretzel (or kosher) salt. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes. Observe closely after 10 minutes to prevent them from getting too dark (and dry)!
After baking, spray the pretzel-dogs with water (for a nice shine).
Of course, this dough and procedure can be used for pretzels!