Sunday, March 3, 2019

Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen

Let's just say, I arrived a bit early to this year's Purim party. ;)

It was January. Most of the stuff in my inbox and online was focused on the latest healthy snacks and tips for conquering New Year’s resolutions. The latest diet fad. Exercises to get back in shape and lose the holiday weight. Marie Kondo tidying. And then, out of the blue, I came across a recipe for Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen. Wait, isn't Purim in March? What was this recipe doing in my consciousness in January? I bookmarked it, intending to make it a little closer to the holiday. But the bookmark kept calling my name, haunting me in my sleep. I am a relentless softie for soft pretzels and uncompromising hot dog lover. I love these two foods, separate or together. And bagel dogs are their own category of heaven. You’d almost think I was cheating on chocolate and peanut butter.

Unable to wait until March, I went shopping for the ingredients and set out to make this savory, unconventional Purim treat. Two months early.

The dough was easy to mix together, and easy to roll out and shape into hamentaschen. Boiling the dough gave it that quintessential bagel chewiness. Boiling the dough in a baking soda bath gave it a perfect pretzel flavor. The hardest part of the whole project was squishing hot dog pieces into the center of each boiled, not-yet-baked hamentaschen. But you just have to have a little faith. The resulting treat is so delicious, so chewy like a bagel, pretzely like a soft pretzel, salty from the hot dog, and just plain fun to look at and eat!

Maybe Purim in January is the new Christmas in July.

Pretzel Bagel Dog Hamentaschen
Adapted from a recipe in The Nosher (a really fun Jewish food blog you should follow!)
Makes approximately 24-36 hamentaschen depending on how thin you roll out your dough

Hamentaschen Dough
1 ½ cups warm water
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (such as SAF brand)
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 ¾ - 4 cups all-purpose flour

Boiling Baking Soda Water Bath
9 cups water
1 cup baking soda

8 all-beef hot dogs (err on the side of smaller diameter hot dogs so you can squish a slice into the center of a hamentaschen (thicker hot dogs will be difficult to fit into the dough)
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Everything Bagel seasoning (make your own using equal parts sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic, dried onion; or buy the pre-mixed topping from Trader Joe’s or Costco)
Mustard for dipping

Prepare three baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the 1 ½ cups water with the yeast. Let sit for a few minutes. Add the salt, oil, and sugar and stir to combine. Now mix in 3 cups of the flour. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment and add up to one more cup of flour, a ¼ cup at a time, until the dough mostly comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Always err on the side of too sticky so you don’t add too much flour.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and forms a soft ball. If it’s sticky, dust with more flour.

Place the dough in a plastic bowl and cover with a tea towel. (If not using a plastic bowl, just be sure to grease the bowl first, then place the dough inside, and turn the dough over so it’s greased on both sides.) Allow the dough to rise in a warm (but not hot) area for 15 minutes. I like to place my bowl of dough in the oven where it’s free from drafts; just make sure the oven is not on!

While the dough is rising, start the water bath. In a large, wide soup pot, stir together 9 cups of water and the baking soda. Bring to a rolling boil.

When the dough has risen for 15 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl and cut it in half with a bench knife. With the first half, roll the dough out to ¼-inch thick on a floured work surface. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut as many circles as you can out of the rolled dough. Bring three corners of each round of dough up toward the center and pinch well together to form a hamentaschen shape. Press the dough scraps together and re-roll to cut out more rounds. Place the triangle-shaped dough rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, three per row. Continue with the other half of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Doing four at a time, drop the shaped hamentaschen into the boiling pot of water face down, watching the clock to make sure they are only boiling for 15 seconds. Use a mesh skimmer (bagel strainer tool) to quickly remove the hamentaschen from the pot, shaking out any excess water, and place them, face up, on the baking sheet. They should be spaced out enough so they don’t grow together while baking.

Slice the hot dogs into ¾-inch long pieces. Place one hot dog piece into the center of each hamentaschen. This might seem tough because the dough is pinched together at the center, but just push the dough open a little so the hot dog has room.

Brush the beaten egg on each hamentaschen and sprinkle the top with Everything Bagel seasoning. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and pretzel-colored.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of mustard.

Step-by-Step in Pictures
Roll out the dough and cut into rounds...

Pinch three corners of each round together to form a hamentaschen shape...

Boil a few at a time, face down, for 15 seconds...

Use a bagel strainer to remove from the pot and space out evenly on a baking sheet face up...

Press a slice of hot dog in the center of each boiled hamentaschen...

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Everything Bagel seasoning...

Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes...

Remove from the oven...

Transfer to a cooling rack, and serve warm or at room temperature with a side of mustard...

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