Pushcart Puppies


Shown with Lamb Sliders. Photo by Ben Fink

By June Hersh, The Kosher Carnivore, St. Martin's Press

The pushcarts of New York are famous for their soft salted pretzels and steaming franks.  By combining the two, right in your kitchen, you are creating sidewalk paradise.  When filled with plump beef franks, they are terrific for Sunday game day, or to make anytime with children as fun pick-up food.


For the dough:
1 cup lukewarm water (about 110 to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
10 fat (knockwurst or dinner size) beef hotdogs
8 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

For the egg wash:
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Coarse salt


Combine the water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer.  Gently stir and let the yeast bubble for 10 minutes (if it doesn’t the yeast is not fresh).   After 10 minutes, add the salt, flour and margarine.  Using the dough hook, combine the ingredients on low speed, and then increase to medium speed until the all the ingredients are well combined and the dough completely pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto your work surface and knead with your hands for just a minute.  If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour, up to ¼ cup. Place the dough in a large bowl that has been lightly greased with vegetable oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour.

When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Fill a shallow pot with 8 cups of water and baking soda and bring to a boil.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces. Dry the hotdogs with a paper towel; you don’t want them to make the dough soggy.  Take a piece of dough and gently roll or pull it to about 4 - to 5-inch circle.  Roll the hotdog up in the dough, just like a blanket, you can tuck in the ends as you roll or let the ends of the hotdog peek out. Continue until you have prepared all 10 pieces.

Drop the wrapped hotdogs, one at a time, into the boiling water, and allow them to boil for 40 to 50 seconds each.  Remove them with a slotted spoon, shake off the water and place on the lined baking sheet.  Brush each hot dog with the egg wash and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt.  Bake at 450 degrees, for 12 minutes or until the blankets are a golden brown.  Serve whole, cut in half or sliced on the diagonal for smaller bites.  Dunk liberally in spicy brown mustard.


Yield: 10 pushcart puppies
Start to Finish: Under 2 hours

Recipes: Appetizers, Hot Dogs, Pretzel Dough, Meat, Kosher

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