Soft Pretzel DogWhat’s not to like, here? I can do this!

Here’s an opportunity to play with yeast, without needing to wait for any dough to rise. The “Soft Pretzel Dog,” from The Slow Roasted Italian, involves a hands-on dough that’s easy to manage: boil, bake, easy.

After saying, “Why not,” I mastered this simple feat. You need a hot oven and a big pot of boiling water, which is transformed into a bubbling mass by an amount of baking soda.

I poured and microwaved my bottle of beer for 45 seconds, taking its temperature to ensure it went no hotter than 120 degrees F (we can’t kill our yeast!).

Know that the recipe neglects to remind us to add the 2 Tbsp. honey with the flour and salt in the mixer (add it!). I did add an extra 3 Tbsp. flour, so my dough was “tacky, not sticky.”

I enjoyed handling the dough, portioning and stretching the eight balls and shaping them around the hot dogs. This involves no grace or precision.

Victory was mine. Dipping these baked delights into mustard or ketchup made us very happy.

Hot Dogs (8) = $8.11

PREP TIME: relax and spend less than an hour on these treats
TASTE: hot dogs, pretzels

Continuing with this “cooking with beer” theme, next time I want to make the “Sesame-IPA Saltines,” from the Fall 2016 issue of Bake From Scratch (recipe below). That’s right: crackers! Come back to my site next week, to see my crunchy fun.

Sesame-IPA Saltines
Bake From Scratch, Fall 2016
Makes about 60

1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. (27 grams) toasted sesame seeds
3/4 tsp. (4.5 grams) kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
3 Tbsp. (45 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. room-temperature IPA beer or pale ale beer, divided

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In the work bowl of a food processor, place flours, sesame seeds, and salt; pulse until combined. With processor running, slowly add oil. Add 1/2 cup beer, and process until dough forms a ball, about 20 seconds.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough two or three times. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll half of dough into a 12-inch square, Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut dough into 2-inch squares. Dock dough all over with the blunt end of a wooden skewer. Lift parchment paper, and place on a large baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Lightly brush dough with remaining 1 Tbsp. beer, and sprinkle with additional salt.

Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating pans once. Let cool completely on pans.