I’ve included homemade pigs in a blanket on our menus many times, and they’re such a fun way to eat hot dogs that I thought I’d pass along how easy they are to make using my Quick and Tender Breadstick/Hamburger Bun Dough.
Seriously easy– as in mix the dough (5-10 min), let it rest (10 min), cut and shape around dogs (15 min), rest while heating the oven (10 min), and cook (15 min). Honest-to-goodness incredible homemade pigs in blankets in about an hour!
But first I Googled “Pigs in a blanket” to make sure what we’ve always called these is what everyone else calls them. Guess what? All the top results for this were for those little smokie-things wrapped in crescent dough, canned biscuits or bacon for appetizers. Then there were results for dogs wrapped in pancakes…huh? Whoa, that is NOT what these are, for sure.
I’ve nothing against bacon, and you could certainly cut these smaller and make appetizers from them, but these are good ol’ hot dogs with a regular, yeast-risen bun – just baked together with results in a wonderful soft and crispy bun around the dog.
And they certainly raise the humble hot dog (I use all beef, nitrate-free hot dogs) to a whole new level- my family thinks I’m the cat’s pajamas whenever I make these. Um…whatever that is.
Here are some tips for making easy homemade pigs-in-a-blanket:
1. After mixing and resting the dough, roll it out into a rough rectangle and then cut into a dozen pieces, just like for hamburger buns. This actually makes pretty large buns around the dogs- you could easily cut it into 16 pieces and use two packages of hot dogs. Oh, and they freeze wonderfully. However, I usually just make eight hot dogs (one package), and then use the remaining four pieces for hamburger buns which I cook with the hot dogs before storing in the freezer.
2. Notice the towel? My favorite bread tip is to roll and shape bread dough onto a floured tea towel- I use less flour, there’s less sticking, and it’s easy clean-up. Plus, if I need to cover the dough, I simply cover with the same towel- floured side down.
3. Place each hot dog onto one of the cut rectangles of dough and bring the dough up around, pinching the edges close.
4. Place then seam-side down on a lined or greased cookie sheet. I place them pretty close, as I don’t care if they touch. Use two sheets if you’d like more room between them. Cook any extra buns on the same large cookie sheet, as well.
- 2 c. warm water
- 1-1/2 Tb. yeast
- 2 Tb. honey
- 1 Tb. salt
- 2 Tb. oil
- 4-1/2 – 5 c. whole wheat white flour (or half unbleached/whole wheat)
- Mix water, yeast, and honey until yeast and honey are dissolved. Add the salt, oil, and 4-1/2 cups of flour to make a soft dough.
- Beat with a stand mixer for a minute or two (or knead a minute), adding the other 1/2 cup flour as needed to help dough be less sticky (you may not need all of it- and it will still be somewhat tacky- that is, sticking to the bowl in places, but not to your fingers when you gently touch the dough). Let it rest 10 minutes.
- Remove to a floured surface and knead by hand a few times. Press dough flat on floured surface and cut into 12 to 16 (depending on how much bun you want around each hot dog) roughly even pieces.
- Press each piece into a rectangular shape just short of the length of your hot dogs, and laying a hot dog on each rectangle, wrap the dough around the dog, pinching the ends to seal (if making a package of only 8 hot dogs, you can shape the rest of the dough into buns to cook at the same time to keep in the freezer).
- Place seam side down on a large lined or greased baking sheet and let rest for 10 minutes while you heat an oven to 400 degrees. They’ll get a little more puffy, but won’t double.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating if needed for even cooking, until golden on top and browned on the bottoms. Cool for about 5 minutes before serving.