Like baked barbecue pork buns, bagel dogs held a special place in my heart growing up. When hunger pangs struck after a long day at school, these bagel wrapped beauties were one of my favorite go-to snacks. I was lucky enough to grow up in a town with a small bagel shop that was making them from scratch each morning. More than anything, I was lucky enough to have a father who enjoyed them as much as I did, so there were always a few in the fridge. In college, I’d take a dozen back to school with me and they’d easily disappear in a couple days time. I only had three roommates!
It wasn’t until recently, when I learned of that same bagel shop’s demise that I finally felt motivated to try making them myself at home. After a couple of so-so attempts and oddly shaped dogs, I finally found a recipe and technique that yields outstanding results – better in many ways than the ones of my youth. Sure, the process of making bagel dogs from scratch might seem a little daunting and unnecessary considering the availability of frozen varieties at almost every grocery store, but believe me when I say, there is no substitute for the real thing.
Dough adapted from The Complete International Sandwich Book, by Sonia Uvezian
If you’re going through all the trouble of making bagel dogs from scratch, make sure to pick up some good quality hot dogs for the project. Skinless, Ball Park franks don’t really cut it in this type of preparation — I like to use Nathan’s or Kasper’s with natural casings here. When it comes time to roll out the dough, be patient as it can be quite elastic and take a bit of elbow grease to get it to the right thickness. Don’t be afraid to add more flour to keep everything from sticking. Rolling the dough around the hot dogs can be a bit tricky at first, but it gets much easier with a bit of practice. Pinch the dough to one end of the hot dog with one hand while you wrap it tightly in an overlapping spiral motion with the other. Be sure to rest the wrapped hot dogs seam side down to prevent them from unrolling during the second rising period. Boiling the bagel dogs will produce the chewy crust that we all love in bagels. When it comes time to do so, handle the dogs very carefully to avoid tearing or unrolling the dough. Dry the boiled dogs thoroughly on a dry kitchen towel to ensure that your egg glaze and toppings will adhere to the dough. Even if they aren’t pretty, they’ll still taste delicious.
- 2 cups water (110° F)
- 2 packages, active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons table salt
- 5 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flower (approximately)
- 12 quality all-beef hot dogs
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
- Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and/or coarse salt for garnish
- Pour the water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and sprinkle with the yeast. Let the mixture stand about five minutes or until foamy, then stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt. Using the paddle attachment and with the mixer on medium speed, gradually add flour, beating until well-blended and smooth, until you have a stiff dough. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead thoroughly until smooth and elastic in texture. Form the dough into a lump and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough over to grease the top. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead briefly to eliminate any air bubbles and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 12×9 inch rectangle or until it’s about a 1/4-inch thick, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or the board. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut 12 1-inch pieces of dough.
- Dry the hot dogs thoroughly. Starting at one end of a hot dog, wrap the dough around overlapping slightly as you make your way to the other end. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining hot dogs and strips of dough. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let stand in a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the over to 400°. Fill a deep, heavy pot with water and add the baking soda. Bring to a gentle boil. Working 2 to 3 bagels at a time, carefully drop the bagel dogs into the boiling water, turning frequently with a slotted spoon or spatula, for about a minute. Lift out of the water and gently dry each bagel well on a kitchen towel and arrange about 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining bagel dogs.
- Brush the bagels with the egg glaze and sprinkle on your garnish of choice. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned and crusty, turning the pan about halfway through. Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack.
Makes 12 Bagel Dogs