What Kids Learn
- On the 4th of July alone, Americans nationwide consume roughly 150 million hot dogs
- A world-champion competitive eater once downed 62 hot dogs in 10 minutes
- To make the pretzel hot dogs in this recipe, chefs preheat the oven to 425 degrees, which is very, very hot!
When my daughter Miranda was a toddler, her favorite food was hot dogs. She would have been happy to eat them every night of the week if I would allow it—and she didn’t care if they were boiled, broiled, or baked.
All my kids have had a penchant for hot dogs at one time or another. We’ve made them in many ways: topped with strips of cheese and baked, slit in half lengthwise and fried, and even wrapped up in a corn tortilla! But if there’s anything pint-size diners like better than hot dogs, it’s pretzel dogs—franks wrapped in a pizza dough and baked until they’re hot and juicy inside.
Pretzel hot dogs are a simple, uncomplicated, and appealing snack that’s perfect to make with young children. Junior chefs have fun rolling the ready-made dough around the mini dogs, brushing them with butter and sprinkling them with salt. (Hot dogs pose a choking hazard young children, so plan to make these treats with kids age four and older.) The pretzel coating in this recipe is crispy outside and just a little soft within. And the dish combines two childhood favorites into one neat treat.
These dogs are great for lunch, dinner, an afternoon snack, or for kids’ food at a party while the adults snack on more “grownup” fare. Don’t be surprised if these pretzel dogs disappear faster than anything else on the table. This is one dish that guests from 4 to 94 find they can’t resist—and they always seem to come back for seconds!
What You’ll Need
- 1 roll (11 ounces) refrigerated, pre-made,store-bought pizza dough
- 1 (12-ounce) package of beef cocktail franks (about 30)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling over the pretzels
What to do
- Invite your mini chef-to-be to help you separate the roll of pizza dough into individual pieces. Cut each piece of dough into long strips that are about one half inch wide. Open the package of mini hot dogs and place them into a medium bowl.Teachable Moment #1 Odd and Interesting Hot Dog Facts
- How many hot dogs can you eat in one sitting? Two? One? In 2015, a champion competitive eater stuffed himself with hot dogs in 10 minutes.
- Americans, it seems, can’t get enough hot dogs. On Juy 4th, Independence Day, revelers from coast-to-coast celebrate the occasion by consuming roughly 150 million tasty dogs.
- Records show that hot dogs were sold in the United States as early as the late 19th century—. Sausages, a close cousin, goes back to the a 9th century B.C.!
- The world’s longest hot dog measured 60 meters— or 196 feet.
- Show your helper how to wrap each frank in a strip of dough, starting at one end of the hot dog and ending at the other. Continue until all the cocktail franks are wrapped in pizza dough. A little bit of hot dog can peek out at each end!
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Help your child line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Let her measure 6 cups of water into a medium saucepan. Next, she can stir in the salt.
- Place the saucepan on the stove and bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Carefully drop the pretzel bites into the water and let them boil for about a minute. When they float to the top, remove them with a slotted spoon. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. (You should do this step yourself since the pretzel bites will be hot.)Teachable Moment #2 A Quick Look at the History of Pretzels
- Pretzels come in soft-baked and hard, crunchy varieties.
- Soft-baked pretzels are the oldest kind of pretzel, dating back to Italy in the year 610.
- Pretzels, as the story goes, were invented by Italian monks to give out as rewards to children for learning their prayers.
- The original name for pretzels was "pretiola." It meant "little rewards.
- Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake the pretzel bites for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Monitor them closely and if they are still not nicely browned after 12 minutes, place them on a flameproof pan and cook them under the oven broiler for one minute.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and let the bites stand for 10 minutes. When cool, show your helper how to brush each one with melted butter and sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over the top of each.