pigs in a blanket

Dave’s co-workers tease him about how he always gets to eat gourmet food. “So she makes gourmet lunches for you to bring to work, and then you go home and eat gourmet dinners, and before bed have a gourmet dessert.” Um. Not always. I wonder what they’ll have to say about the leftovers from this meal?

I wasn’t sure what to do with the hot dogs leftover from the franks and beans. In my opinion, the only good way to eat hot dogs is crispy and a bit blackened from a grill or fire, preferably topped with chili. Since I don’t have a grill, my options were limited. Boiled (or worse – microwaved) hot dogs didn’t sound appetizing.

copy-of-img_1739Updated 3/20/09: Also good in mini!

Lemontartlet inspired me to wrap them in bread and bake them. It solves the problem of how to cook the hot dogs indoors, and I guarantee that my homemade bread is far tastier than a storebought hot dog bun. (Lemontartlet used biscuit dough, but I made a yeast bread.)

I based the bread recipe on a recipe for Parker House rolls, thinking that the butter in the recipe would give make it nice and tender, while the sugar would provide the flavor I wanted. It was a perfect match. The bread did expand more than I was expecting when I baked it, and I might (if such a thing is possible) have ended up with too much bread per dog. I’ll adjust the recipe and give better proportions below.

I found that the best method for rolling out the dough was to use my fingertips to flatten the dough balls a bit, and then roll in only one direction. I was using Nathan’s Beef Franks (recommended by Cooks Illustrated and definitely the best hot dogs I’ve had), which I think are a little shorter than most. Most of my rolls ended up just the right width to almost-but-not-quite coat the whole dog.

If you’re a perfectionist and want your pigs perfectly wrapped in those blankets, which I did but I didn’t figure out this trick until the last one, you can roll the bread dough out a little wider than the dog, then fold in the edges and roll a few times in the other (long) direction. You’ll have a more perfect rectangle, which will more perfectly coat your hot dog and evenly distribute your bread. And look a teensy bit better.

Either way, these are super fun, and other than roasting them over a fire until they’re slightly blackened, this has to be my favorite way to eat hot dogs!

Pigs in a Blanket (bread recipe adapted from Ultimate Bread, by Eric Treuille and Ursula Feriggno)

This is enough bread dough for 10 hot dogs.  If your package only has 8, you can make dinner rolls out of the remaining dough.

Bread dough:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup milk
1½ tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
3½ cups (17½ ounces) unbleached flour
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
1½ teaspoons salt

10 hot dogs
2 tablespoons milk

1. Heat butter in small saucepan over medium heat until just melted. Add ¾ cup milk and sugar. If butter re-solidifies, heat until it’s completely melted. Remove from the heat and beat in the eggs.

2. Mix flour, salt, and yeast in bowl of standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. When dough comes together, increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 8 minutes. Knead in extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. The dough should be not be dry, but soft. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds. (Alternatively, you can knead by hand for 10 minutes.)

2. Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; place in warm, draft-free spot until dough doubles in size, about 1-1½ hours.

3. Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Let rest 10 minutes. Line baking pan with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.

4. Flatten each piece into a rough rectangle using the tips of your fingers. Roll in one direction until dough is ¼-inch thick. Roll in opposite direction (across shorter width) a few times, then fold in long edges to make perfect rectangle. Roll in long direction until dough is 1/8-inch thick. Place 1 hot dog near a short end, then tightly roll, keeping the tips of the hot dog exposed. Place seam side down on prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough and hot dogs.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until dough is slightly inflated, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees.

6. Brush the dough with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Comments

  1. These look great! Good idea w/ regular size hot dogs – I did a take on this with Irish sausage for St.Pattys day – delicious. Gone in a few minutes!!! I think your ketchup and mustard design is awesome too.

  2. Those look wonderful! I love love pigs in a blanket!

  3. Those are the most beautiful and tastiest looking pigs in a blanket ever. Your photo skills are stunning :) (Love the condiment presentation too)

  4. Those look so good! Dh loves pigs in a blanket, I have to show him this. Great photos too!

  5. That has got to be — hands down — the prettiest presentation of “hot dogs wrapped in bread” I’ve ever seen!

    They look delicious!

  6. These are too cute, Bridget!! I love that first pic!!

  7. Never would I have thought to find such simple food, soooooo cute! They are simply amazing! …and the detail of condiments turned into a delicate “rosace” is a really nice touch… wow! are all meals even if simple, so well organised at your house? :)
    Oink!

  8. Caoimhe says:

    I never thought I would say it, but Sausage Rolls (Pigs in a Blanket) can be gourmet. Just the condiment design alone, pushes the meal beyond the run of the mill and into the realm of fine deliciousness.

    Leftovers looked smashing today and Dave unfortunately will probably continue to get teased. At least as long as my husband sits in the office across wondering to himself ‘Hey, why is my lovely wife not prepping these culinary delights every day?!’

    Kudos!

  9. Bridget, I think you are one of the few people who can manage to make a hot dog look elegant! This looks like a delicious and fun dinner. I love your presentation and photos. I’ll have to give this a try!

  10. oh yum! Those look so tasty! I bet they would be good with a breakfast or polish sausage too. Hmmm…I may have to try these now! Thanks!

  11. these are the most beautiful pigs in a blanket i’ve ever seen. never thought i would say that in my life :) the condiment design is very nice.

  12. I’ll echo the sentiments here– most. Elegant. PIAB. Ever! :) (On another note, I’ve had waffle dogs and corn dogs before, but I’ve not even seen a real PIAB before. Isn’t that wierd?)
    I’ve found that cooking hot dogs in a very hot pan with only a tiny bit of oil blisters the surface in a most enjoyable way :)

  13. Hahaha. I don’t think I’ve *ever* seen pigs in a blanket look so beautiful. Yup…you are officially “gourmet”. :)

  14. Oh my gosh how cute are these! I have wrapped hot dogs in soft pretzel dough before but never bread dough.
    For the record you are right, the best way to eat a hot dog is when it’s lightly browned over a grill or campfire.

  15. Your photography is amazing! You made hotdogs look beautiful. well done!

  16. You make that look so easy. I highly doubt my rolling capabilities would be as perfect as yours.
    Nice job, seriously.

    :-)

  17. Those look great! I have to know how you made the design in the condiments. It makes what some people would consider a simple meal (I happen to looooove hot dogs) look so elegant!

  18. These are so totally cute :) I’m partial to corn dogs myself, but I love this gussied up version of PiaB!

  19. wow, you even made ketchup and mustard beautiful :)

  20. mycookinghut says:

    Looks really good. Similar to what I used to have when I was young!

  21. I absolutely love your photos, they are fantastic! Love the little piggys too.

  22. Those are just the cutest things! I want to pick one up and give it a big hug.. and then eat it! :D Great photos, by the way.

  23. layla says:

    great recipe everyone at my party loved them still cant believe i made them from scratch

  24. Andrea says:

    I really want to make these for my son’s birthday party but I’d like to do as much as I can the night before, then bake them in the morning. Would they be all right in the fridge overnight, or would they rise too much, or deflate?

  25. Andrea – I think you’ll be okay forming them the night before and refrigerating them. Please let me know how it goes!

  26. just wanted to say that ‘pigs wrapped in blankets’ are actually sausages wrapped in bacon and are an english thing!!
    isn’t this just a sausage roll..?

  27. Rosey says:

    Made these today with whole wheat dough and turkey breakfast sausage, for our picnic at the Renaissance Festival tomorrow. Yum!

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