Pretzel Dogs

Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Homemade pretzel dogs are such a simple little joy. The fresh, chewy dough surrounding a savory dog is enough to make anyone feel like a kid again. These are cheap and relatively easy to prepare, but trust me they taste like a million bucks. Serve alongside your favorite dip like beer cheese, whole grain dijon, or ketchup, for a crowd-pleasing meal that’s sure to get rave reviews.

Unbaked dogs actually freeze quite well, so I’ve included freezer instructions! When I make this recipe, I almost always freeze half of the dogs for later, which gives me something incredible to pull out of the freezer on a busy weeknight. Many recipes for pretzels call for lye, but this version uses baking soda instead since that’s what most people have on hand, you can read more about the differences below!

Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Key Tips – Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Tuck in the ends of the dough for a consistent shape when baking.

  • I used to have issues with the pretzel dough unwinding a bit as they baked, which led to a wonky final shape. I’ve found two things that help with this – patting the excess moisture off the dogs (so they’re less slippery), and tucking the ends of the dough under.
  • You can see the tucked ends in the image below. To do this, I pinch the starting end of the dough rope flat with my fingers, then loop the rope over top of it as I start to wind the dough around the dog. When I get to the other end, I pinch it flat again, and try to tuck it under the dough that has already been wound (a little trickier). This bakes up really nicely and keeps the dogs from unraveling in the oven.
Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Don’t skip the baking soda bath!

  • The baking soda bath is what gives these pretzels their signature brown color. Without it, this would bake like any other bread.
  • Commercially, the chemical lye is used in pretzel making, which is more effective than baking soda. That’s how commercial pretzels get such a dark brown crust. If you’re really serious about pretzel making at home, you can pick up some lye, but I prefer this baking soda method since that’s what most people have on hand.
Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Don’t pull the dogs from the oven too soon – these brown faster than normal!

  • The baking soda bath makes it so the outer crust of the pretzel browns quickly, which can be deceptive to bakers who use visual clues to determine when to pull their bread from the oven.
  • The dogs will look like they are the perfect golden brown, and you will be tempted to pull them out, but remember that we want to over-brown the surface! Golden-brown dogs will be underdone on the inside, so make sure you wait for a nice medium-brown like shown in the progress photos!

The butter coating gives the dogs their signature shine!

  • If you compare the images below, you can see how big of a difference the butter coating makes on the final appearance of the dogs. A little goes a long way, so you really aren’t adding that many calories to each dog.
  • This is what will make your pretzels really shine, so if you want to give Auntie Anne a run for her money, don’t skip out on the butter!
  • Alternatively, you can coat them in any neutral-tasting oil, butter substitute, spray oil, or ghee.
Homemade Pretzel Dogs
Fresh from the oven, before butter
Homemade Pretzel Dogs
Applying a light butter coating with a silicon basting brush

Dietary Restrictions – Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Make it Dairy-Free:

  • Use a vegan butter substitute to replace the butter, or brush the dogs with some neutral oil like canola oil. Ghee is another option, if it aligns with the limits of your diet.

Make it Vegan/Vegetarian:

  • Vegan hot dogs or sausages can be substituted in place of normal hot dogs.
  • Use a vegan butter substitute to replace the butter, or brush the dogs with some neutral oil like canola oil.
Pretzel Dogs
Pretzel Dogs

Homemade Pretzel Dogs

Hot dogs wrapped in fresh homemade soft pretzel dough! A cheap and delicious treat that's sure to bring out the kid in you. Freeze the extras to make another day!
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Dough Proofing Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 10 pretzel dogs
Calories 365 kcal


For Pretzel Dough:

For Baking Soda Bath:


Prepare the Dough:

  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water for the dough. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Once mixed, add the yeast mixture and oil. Mix and knead the mixture until the dough forms. If the mix is too dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time. If the mixture is too wet, add flour 1 tbsp at a time. The dough should form a cohesive shape and not stick to the sides of the bowl.
  • Knead the dough until smooth, about 8-10 minutes. This is easiest in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Once the dough is smooth, remove it from the bowl and give the bowl a quick spray of oil. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 90 minutes. (I use the bread proofing function of my oven)

Prepare the Dogs:

  • Once dough has risen, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease 2 baking sheets.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean, smooth surface (I use my countertop) and divide into 10 equal pieces. Using the palms of your hands to roll the dough against the counter, roll each piece into a rope about 18” long.
  • Remove the hot dogs from their packaging and pat them dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Gently wind a dough piece around each dog. I like to press the ends of the dough rope flat with my fingers, and tuck them under the rope as it’s wrapped around. This helps them hold their shape a bit better as they bake.
  • In a medium bowl (oval-shaped, if you have it) dissolve the baking soda in the warm water to make the baking soda bath. This baking soda bath is what gives the pretzel’s their dark exterior, so don’t skip this step! Dip each pretzel dog in the bath, let excess water drip off, then place it on the baking sheet. The baking soda will not dissolve completely, so I like to agitate the water as I dip each dog to get more baking soda on the surface.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 8 minutes. Please note, they will brown faster than normal bread, so don’t pull them when they’re golden or the inside may be undercooked.
  • Melt the butter (I do this in the microwave), then brush each dog with a little bit and top with the coarse salt. The brush of butter is what gives the pretzel dogs their nice shine, so I don’t recommend skipping this step. Serve immediately.

To Freeze:

  • Follow the instructions to prepare the dogs, but don’t dip them in the baking soda bath.
  • Place the unbaked pretzel dogs on a wax paper lined cookie sheet or plate so they are not touching, and place in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer proof zip bag to store long term.

To reheat from frozen:

  • Fully defrost the dogs, I do this by moving them to the fridge ~12 to 24 hours in advance. Then let them warm up on the counter for about an hour prior to baking.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  • Prepare the baking soda bath as directed in step 4 of the "Prepare the Dogs" section, then continue following the directions to finish cooking the pretzel dogs.


Serving: 1 pretzel dogCalories: 365kcal
Keyword Hot Dogs, Pretzel, Pretzel Dogs, Soft Pretzel
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1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This was a little time consuming but these are SO yummy!! My kids went crazy for them, now I think they’re going to be begging me for pretzel dogs all the time but I’ll live lol. Definitely making these again!!

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