Manny helped Luigi fix his hot dog cart, and your preschooler will love helping you to fix this fresh take on "pigs in a blanket." It swaps storebought croissant dough for wholesome pretzel dough.
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm water (110degrees F)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 Tablespoon olive oil, to grease mixing bowl
- Hot dogs, Turkey dogs or Tofu-pups
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 teaspoons water
- Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, wheat germ
1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and 4 teaspoons yeast in 1 1/4 cups warm water. Place the bowl or cup in a warm spot for 10 -15 minutes, or until the yeast has become foamy. Talk to kids about why the yeast is foaming. The yeast gobbles up the sugar producing carbon dioxide and MORE yeast. Carbon dioxide creates bubbles and makes the yeast look foamy. Let kids smell the bowl of yeast -- there is a strong bread-like odor as the carbon dioxide gases are being released.
2. While your yeast is foaming, measure 4 cups of flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 cup brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine and make a well (or hole) in the center of your flour.
3. Once your yeast is frothy, it's time to make the dough. Pour the yeast mixture into the well. Mix the yeast and flour mixture to form dough. If the dough is too wet, you can add a few tablespoons of flour.
4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the texture of the dough is smooth. Kneading the dough is lots of fun for kids. Have them wash and thoroughly dry their hands, then flour them to keep the dough from sticking.
5. Use olive oil to grease a large mixing bowl and transfer your ball of dough to the bowl. Roll the dough around the bowl, coating it with olive oil. Place a kitchen towel, or plastic wrap over your bowl and set it in a warm place to rise. The dough will need to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
6. While your dough is rising preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and prep your hot dogs. If you are using regular hot dogs, cut them cross-wise, into 2 or 3 pieces.
7. Once your dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 12 -15 pieces. Roll these pieces into long 12" ropes. Use a kitchen scissor to cut the ropes into 3 shorter ropes. * Kids will love rolling dough into ropes and snakes!
8. Wrap the pretzel dough ropes around your hot dogs and place them on parchment covered cookie sheets.
10. Bake the hot dog dippers in a 450-degree oven for 8 minutes, or until the pretzels are slightly browned and the hot dogs are heated.
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