Mini Pretzel Dogs

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Forgive me if I’m repeating myself here (which I’m nearly positive I am), but I consider myself a pretzel expert.  Or maybe more of a pretzel fanatic.
Mini Pretzel Dogs
I mean, whatever you call it, there’s definitely an obsession there.  Thin, sourdough, mall-style or Philly– I’ll take them all.  I worked at Auntie Anne’s for over 6 years and I never got tired of those buttery, soft pretzels (much to everyone’s surprise).  In fact, working there has only made me want to make pretzels more often now, because I’ve realized that you just can’t go wrong with a pretzel.  You really can’t.

Pretzel dough for Mini Pretzel Dogs
I try to stop myself from making pretzels every week and turning this into a pretzel-themed blog, because as wonderful as that sounds, it’d get pretty monotonous, don’t you think?  However, when my partner in pretzel-loving, James, was having his college graduation party, I knew what had to be done–  I had to think of a pretzel appetizer.  And Mini Pretzel Dogs were born.
Pretzel DogPretzel DogMini Pretzel Dogs
So I made a bunch of these, and luckily they were easy to make because I wound up having to make 40 more.  Nobody could keep their hands off them long enough for me to wrap them up to bring up to James’ mom’s house, where the party was.  They didn’t last very long there, either– but it’s a hot dog wrapped in pretzel; what else could you expect?
Mini Pretzel DogsMini Pretzel Dogs
… Aaaand now I’m hungry.
Mini Pretzel Dogs
You can set these out on a platter as a finger food, or you can insert a skewer or cocktail pick to make a Mini Pretzel Dog on a Stick!  This way of serving is great for dipping in mustard or ketchup without a hassle, and makes them extra fun and whimsical for guests.
The pretzel dogs also do pretty well in the freezer. Separate the dogs with plastic wrap or parchment paper so they don’t stick together and then put them in a freezer bag. When you’d like to heat them up, you can either pop them all in the oven until heated through, or if you’d like to only snack on one or two, wrap them in a paper towel and heat them in the microwave in 15 second intervals until they’re warmed through.
I prefer my pretzels to just be salted, but feel free to add poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or jalapenos to the top.  Also, if you make a lengthwise incision in the hot dog, you can rip up a slice of cheddar cheese and wedge it in before wrapping the dogs up for cheesy pretzel dogs!  Oh, the possibilities.

Mini Pretzel Dogs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Warm, soft pretzels form the "bun" on these fun Mini Pretzel Dogs. They're easier to make than you'd think, and they don't require a bread machine or stand mixer! You can make them with beer for adults or water for a mixed crowd!
Serves: 48
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle room temperature beer, or warm water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 cups hot water
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup kosher salt, divided or to taste
  • 3 packs hot dogs, cut in half to equal 48 mini hot dogs
  • Brown mustard
  1. Heat the beer in a saucepan over low heat until it is very warm, but not scalding.
  2. Combine the warm beer, sugar, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and let the mixture stand until the yeast becomes foamy, about 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, butter, and yeast mixture. Use a large, wooden spoon to mix together the ingredients until they form a ball shape and pull away from the dough. The dough will still be a bit straggly at this point.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 2 minutes. Then form into a smooth ball, spray the bowl it was originally mixed in with non-stick spray, and place the dough back in the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface, and cut off a finger-sized strip of the dough using a pizza cutter.
  7. Roll out the cut dough into a long, thin strip. Place the mini hot dog on one edge of the dough, push the dough into the dog, and roll the dog up in the dough, leaving the ends open. A few centimeters of hot dog should peek out of the front end of the dough (the uncut side of the hot dog) and the dog should be even with the dough in the back.
  8. Stack two baking sheets on top of each other, and line the top one with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. This will prevent the bottoms of the pretzel dogs from getting too hot and burning before the rest of the pretzel is done.
  9. In a metal bowl, add the 4 cups of hot water and the baking soda. Whisk until the baking soda has dissolved. One at a time, dip the mini pretzel dogs into the solution, place them quickly on a folded-up kitchen towel to let any excess water drip off, and then transfer them to the baking sheet. Make sure the pretzel dogs have room to expand without touching surrounding dogs. You only have to dip and drip each one for a few seconds.
  10. Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the egg wash over each pretzel dog.
  11. Sprinkle with the remaining kosher salt, and/or toppings of your choice.
  12. Bake in a preheated oven until golden brown, about 15-17 minutes.


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  1. Katherinne D. says

    Hi im wondering where exactly the brown mustard is in the recipe, or is it just a condiment you put on later?

  2. Deniz says

    Hi I know you said you could freeze them but what about preparing them a day beforehand and then baking them? Should I just put them in the fridge? Do you think that would work?

  3. Heather says

    I tried this out; and my dough was a like a ROCK, very crumbly; and it didn’t rise at all after an hour; so I just tossed it and ordered take out for the game lol. Any idea what maybe I messed up?

    • says

      I’m so sorry to hear that, Heather. I’m really not sure what went wrong– even before you let the dough rise it shouldn’t be hard or crumbly. If you’re positive that you added all of the ingredients in the right measurements, did you perhaps heat the beer for a long time? You just want to warm it, but you don’t want to heat it too long or it will reduce and cut the liquid content of the dough. Also, you want to make sure the 4 1/2 cups of flour is loose, you don’t want to pack it down. Those are the only things I can really think of off the top of my head. Do you have any other ideas of what the issue could have been?

  4. George says

    I’ve made these three times now and my dough never fully rises. The end result however is fantastic. Everyone raves about how delicious they are. Maybe it’s because I use kayem all beef franks. Maybe it’s your recipe. Either way, thank you very much Morgan!

    • says

      George, I’m glad to hear everyone enjoys them. The dough not rising fully could be from a variety of factors. Check to make sure your active dry yeast is fresh and that you’re letting the dough rise in a decently warm area, and perhaps you’ll find that one of these things is the issue. Otherwise, I’m not sure what advice to give without being there and seeing it for myself– I’m sorry! Hopefully that will help though!
      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Christi says

    Just curious, what does the baking soda and water step do? I haven’t run across anything like that in baking before.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

    • says

      The baking soda and water combination gives the pretzel it’s characteristic flavor and brown exterior. It’s unique to the pretzel-making process, although lye is traditionally used. Baking soda and water is much safer though!

  6. Suzanne says

    Sounds so delicious! I think I’ll make some and freeze to have on hand for the kids this summer. Served with my beloved Sweet and Hot Mustard from Trader Joe’s, of course!

  7. Patrick says


    How would these fare in the fridge if I made them Christmas Eve (in the late evening) and then let them sit all made and rolled to be cooked Christmas Day? I’d still perform the “dipping into the baking soda mixture” prior to baking. You think the dough would be dried out and/or tough roughly 12-15 hours later?


    • says

      Unfortunately pretzel dough is pretty finicky. I’d recommend making the dough, spraying it with nonstick spray, covering it with plastic wrap, and refrigerating it until you’re ready to bake. Then preheat the oven, and one at a time, cut the dough, roll it around the pretzel dog, dip it in solution, and put it on the tray. Then follow the steps to bake. You can also make them entirely ahead of time, refrigerate, and reheat them, wrapped in foil, in a 400 degree F oven for about 3 minutes, or until warmed through, although the pretzel does toughen up a bit, unfortunately.

      • Patrick says

        Ok great – perhaps I’ll just not be lazy and wake up early and make them then! Thanks so much for the info, looking forward to trying the recipe.


  8. Diane says

    Thanks for the recipe ! I also love the taste of pretzels & have been wanting a warm, soft yummy one, but can’t find them anywhere. And since I was looking for a good “Pigs….” recipe, I thought I’d try to combine the two ! :) Wish me luck ! And good luck to you, Morgan !!

  9. Veronica says

    Planning on making these for a road trip, but I won’t be needing that many. Instead of reducing the dough portion of the recipe, can I just use the leftover dough to make soft pretzels? Would I just twist, dunk and bake?


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