No Hot Dog Buns? Make Pretzel Dogs Instead!

pretzel dog

Got hot dogs but no buns? No worry — our pretzel dough wrap is way better than buns and can be made with the staples you should always have in your house!

My son loves these pretzel dogs, and it’s no wonder. The pretzel dough we use comes out wonderfully crispy on the outside, and nice and soft on the inside — so much better than a typical hot dog bun! Make them all the more special by wrapping your favorite cheese within the dough with the dog! We used Velveeta, and it melted perfectly with the dog.

Pretzel Dough… Or Pizza Dough? It’s BOTH!

The interesting thing about the dough we use is that it is IDENTICAL to our homemade pizza dough! The only differences is that we don’t season the pretzel dough as we do the pizza dough, and we BOIL the pretzel dough before putting it in the oven (topped first with melted butter and course sea salt, of course).

I dip my finished dog into mustard and ketchup before taking a bite. My son puts the condiments right on top and goes to town! Either way, you’ll find these dogs so delicious wrapped up in pretzel dough, you might not want to eat them any other way!

Important Tips To Follow

This recipe comes from my Better Half, who is a fantastic cook. I’m blessed in that he does the cooking for us often — at least a third of the time. He taught me some important tips that I can impart to you as well.

Extremely important is the temperature of the water for the yeast. Too cold, and it won’t activate it. Too hot, and you will kill it. He emphasizes the fact that it’s a living organism and jokes that it needs to eat the sugar and fart the carbon dioxide. His potty humor aside, he’s got a valid point. The water needs to be the right temperature. The closer you can get to 115 degrees, the better. Use a candy thermometer or even a meat thermometer to get it right. If it’s digital, all the better to read it correctly. You’ll live (and so will the yeast) if it’s off a degree or two. But at 120 degrees, you will kill the yeast, so do your best to stay under that benchmark.

pretzel dog

Get It Down Pat’s “We Ain’t Got Buns!” Pretzel Dogs

Get It Down Pat
Better than buns, the pretzel dough is easy to make with the staples you should already have on hand!
Servings 8


  • 8 Hot dogs
  • Cheese (optional) I used some Velvetta that I had in the fridge. I made half of the dogs with cheese, half without.
  • Cooking spray (such as Pam)

Pretzel Dough

  • 1 C warm (115°) water
  • 1 .25 oz package active dry yeast
  • 1 T (heaping) sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 C flour Bread flour is better than all purpose, but either will work.
  • 1 C water, boiling To warm up the cold hot dogs
  • 10 C water, boiling
  • ¾ C baking soda
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • Sea salt, roughly grined


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place warm water at the correct temperature in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the package of yeast to the bowl of water.
  • Add sugar to yeast and mix well.
  • Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Mixture will be bubbling and look creamy.
  • Add salt and melted butter to yeast mixture.
  • Add flour one cup at a time into the yeast mixture. Mix well after each addition. (We use a mixer with a dough hook, but you could also do this step with your hands.) The dough should "climb" up the dough hook when it is has enough flour incorporated.
  • Ball up the dough. Spray it with cooking spray over all of its surface.
  • Cover the mixing bowl with a wet paper towel and allow the dough to double in size (roughly an hour).
  • In the meantime, place the hot dogs in boiling water for 5 minutes to bring them up to a warmer temperature. Drain.
  • If using cheese, cut into small slices that can fit lengthwise with the hot dog when it is wrapped with the dough.
  • After dough doubles in size, divide into 8 sections. Roll out each section into a small circle about an ⅛" thick that you can wrap around a hot dog.
  • Wrap the pretzel dough circle around a hot dog (and if using, wrap the cheese inside it with the dog). Continue with the rest of the hot dogs. Smooth the edges of dough where it meets and forms a seam, so that the wrapped dough won't open up while it's boiling.
  • Bring the 10 cups of water to a boil.
  • Add the baking soda to the water as you are bringing it up to a boil. Stir.
  • Drop two wrapped dogs into the boiling water for about a minute. Drain wrapped dogs and then place them on lightly sprayed cookie sheet. Repeat until all the dogs are boiled and placed on the sheet. (You might need more than one cookie sheet depending on the size of the wrapped dogs. It's best to place the sheets in the oven next to each other, as opposed to one above the other, as doing so can affect cooking time of the wrapped dogs on the lower sheet.)
  • Brush the top of each wrapped dog liberally with melted butter; salt the tops as well to your own taste. (I tend to like my pretzels salty.)
  • Add to preheated oven. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes, until pretzel dough is browned.


My son adores these pretzels dogs! My Better Half introduced them to us, and now we know how to make them on our own — although as my mom used to say, it always tastes better when someone else makes it! Watch your water temperature with the yeast, and you’ll find that while these do take a while to make, especially due to the rising time for the dough, they really aren’t difficult at all. They make simple (and cheap) hot dogs into more of a meal and turn them into something special! Enjoy!
Keyword hot dog buns, hot dogs, pretzel dogs, pretzels