Hot dog garnishes get all the love, as toppings are what first springs to mind when you’re planning to cook up a few. But you can rethink your bun too! Today, skip the blasé bun and get creative with this recipe for bagel dogs.
We are passionate bagel eaters (and makers!) in my home, so at any given time you’ll find at least 4 or 5 flavors hanging out in our deep freeze ready for a quick meal or snack. Making bagel dough from scratch only requires a few ingredients, but, if you’re short on time, read on for a time-saving shortcut using refrigerated, store-bought dough. Both methods will yield a soft and chewy bagel wrap for your hot dog.
The Bagel Dough
To get that chewy bagel texture, the flour really matters. I specify bread flour in this recipe, but if you can find high-protein flour instead, that will set your bagels up for that classic toothsome chew. If bread flour is not available to you, all-purpose flour will work, however the texture and chew of your bagel will definitely be more muted.
Bagels also have a two-step cooking method and you will see that below. You need to boil and then bake your bagel dogs—the water bath is a quick but unskippable step that ensures you get that crisp outer coating to the bagel, along with a soft, chewy interior.
Using Store-Bought Dough
Store-bought pizza dough is a wonderful stand-in for homemade dough, whether you’re pinched for time or just want the convenience of having your dough already made. Refrigerated pizza dough is usually sold by the pound and you can find it at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and many other grocery stores. One pound provides enough dough to cover 5 to 6 hot dogs.
To use this method, remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before starting. Preheat your oven to 450°F, and set a large pot of water to boil on the stove with 1/4 cup of honey added to the water (I use a wide Dutch oven since I can get 2 to 3 dogs in at a time with space around each). As pizza dough will not have the malted barley extract or honey in the dough, sweetening the water will impart a touch of sweetness to lend that distinctively “bagel” taste. Then follow the recipe below from Step 4 onwards.
What Hot Dogs to Use
Bagel dogs work best with regular-sized hotdogs or jumbo hotdogs. Thinner links tend to dry out during the boiling and baking process. There are tons of options out there (all-beef, turkey, veggie links, etc.) so if you have a favorite for regular hot dog grilling, use it here.
At our house, we love Fork in the Road all-beef dogs, and for a larger size dog, the Teton Waters Ranch Uncured Grass-Fed Beef Polish Sausage from Costco are a hit. This dough recipe will cover 6 standard-size hot dogs or 4 jumbo-sized hot dogs. If you end up with a 5-pack of standard sizes, you can divide the dough into 5 pieces, resulting in a larger bagel wrapper.
The big tip with the hot dogs is to make sure you dry them off outside of the package. It not only makes them less slippery and easier to wrap the dough around, but it also ensures you’re not adding extra moisture to the dough beforehand, which can throw off the proof.
Bagel Dog Toppings
Really, any savory topping that works on your standard bagel (sesame seeds, grated cheeses, poppy seeds, etc.) will work on your bagel dog. My go-to bagel order is always an everything bagel, and it’s easy to replicate that flavor here. Many retailers and grocery stores have hopped on the pre-made everything bagel seasoning mix, so there’s no need to buy individual spices and toppings if you go this route. I’d skip sweet cinnamon or chocolate chip bagels, but hey, if you want to try that combo, I won’t stop you. Aim for about 1 to 2 tablespoons depending on how much topping you’d like for a batch of 6 dogs.
Out of the oven, your bagel dogs will need about 10 minutes of cool-down time, but they can sit out for up to 1 hour. (At which point, if you haven’t devoured yours yet, chill them until you’re ready to serve that day.)
When serving, classic hot dog toppings like mustard and ketchup still work here , and relish if you prefer. You might want to change up your mustards to something sweet or hot, or go with more of a dip like queso dip or hot artichoke dip.
How to Store
Bagel dough goes notoriously stale pretty quickly, so bagel dogs should be eaten the same day they are made. And for food safety reasons, do not leave the cooked dogs out for more than 1 hour.
Bake, Then Eat or Freeze
To store leftovers, skip the refrigerator (as that will toughen the dough out) and wrap each bagel dog individually and put them right into the freezer. Then, warm them straight from the freezer at 360°F for 20 to 22 minutes on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
Tips and Tricks
- Weigh your dough before portioning. My store-bought bag of dough said 1 pound on the package, but when I weighed it out, it was 15.7 ounces, not 16. Similarly, the final amount of dough you make from scratch will vary depending on how much flour makes it into the final result, but should roughly yield 1 pound as well. Knowing the exact amount of your dough will help you precisely portion out enough dough for each hotdog.
- To measure with ease, you can weigh the honey out by putting the pot on scale and weighing out the 1/4 cup (85 grams), or measure out in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 20 seconds to easily pour. Otherwise, a silicone spatula will help push out all the honey from your measuring cup.
- Bagel dogs can be proofed overnight in the refrigerator and baked off the next day. Allow 30 minutes out of the fridge and then proceed to the boiling step.
Combine and mix together your dough ingredients:
Combine the bread flour, water, honey, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix together until combined. Your dough will look dry.
Knead the dough:
Mix in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 6 to 7 minutes, or by hand for 10 to 12 minutes, until a smooth dough ball is formed.
Let the dough rise:
Cover the dough and let rise 1 hour in a warm kitchen to 1-1/2 hours in a cooler kitchen (below 70°F), until puffy and almost doubled in size.
Divide the dough and shape the bagel dogs:
Line a baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle it with cornmeal.
Weigh your dough and divide by 6 (or however many hot dogs you are making). Take each ball of dough and using your hands, roll out on an unfloured counter into a rope of equal diameter approximately 12 inches long. Take the rope and twist around the hot dog, pinching each end of the rope on the underside to hold its shape. Keep 1 to 1 1/2 inches of the hot dog exposed on each end (the dough will expand as it rises).
Rest your dogs and preheat:
Cover the bagel dogs with a cloth and let them rest for 20 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 450°F and fill a large, wide pot like a Dutch oven with water and bring to a rolling boil.
Boil the bagel dogs, then add toppings:
If you are using any toppings, place them into a shallow bowl large enough to accommodate a bagel dog. Set aside.
After the bagel dogs have rested, place 2 to 3 dogs into the boiling water, flipping them around continuously with a slotted spoon or spider for 1 minute. After 1 minute, scoop out the bagel dog, and if you’re adding a topping, tip it into the topping bowl top down (the cornmeal bottom should be looking up at you). Remove the bagel dog back to the parchment-lined sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining bagel dogs.
After all of the bagel dogs have been boiled, move the pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until deeply golden brown and shiny.
Cool the bagel dogs for 5 to 10 minutes before eating.
Storage and Reheating:
Bagel dogs should be eaten the same day they are made. If you have extra, skip the refrigerator (as that will toughen the dough out) and wrap each bagel dog individually and put them right into the freezer. Warm them straight from the freezer at 360°F for 20 to 22 minutes.
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