Baked Mini Corndogs
Very rarely am I haunted by recipes. I have, however, been haunted by these corndogs. When I came across the recipe in Food Network Magazine back at the beginning of the summer, I tore it out, saved it and immediately began plotting an entire mini-food themed menu. I woke up in cold sweats, dreaming about what other delicious food I could shrink into a miniature version. All of this, thanks to these utterly irresistible, too-cute-for-their-own-good baked mini-corndogs.
Unlike their deep-fried cousins, these beauties are baked in the oven until golden brown. The dough is spiked with a touch of cayenne pepper which gives these guys a surprisingly little kick of flavor. Black sesame seeds create a stunningly exotic appearance. Gorgeous and flavorful, a winning combination. Plus, they get bonus cute-factor points for being adorable mini-food!
I’m not going to lie, there was a moment while making the corndogs when I thought I was done for. The dough would have to be thrown away. I’d be running to the store for last-minute hotdog buns. My dream of mini-corndogs would never materialize. However, I stuck with it. Didn’t throw it all away (thanks to some friendly encouragement that it would all work out) and these pictures are proof-positive that it did, in fact, all work out splendidly.
To help you avoid the same mini-freak out that I had, let me warn you: This dough is very sticky. Very might not be a strong enough term. It’s beyond sticky. During the initial kneading process you will probably need to add up to a cup of flour. Some of the dough will still stick to your table. Do not be afraid. Add more flour.
Importantly, after the first kneading process you want to place the dough (tightly covered with plastic wrap) in a warm place to help it rise. I placed it near the oven and that worked just fine. Even after rising, the dough will be very sticky. You may need to add more flour just to get it out of the bowl. This is ok!! Add more flour. It will come together, I promise. Stick with it. It’s worth it, because in the end you will have these fantastic mini-corndogs. Yes, sometimes dreams do come true.
Baked Mini Corndogs
Yield: 18 mini corndogs
1 cup milk, warmed
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
9 hot dogs, halved crosswise
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- Warm the milk to about 110 degrees and pour into a medium bowl. Add yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for a few minutes to soften.
- Stir in the olive oil, brown sugar and cornmeal with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Add the flour, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper. Stir together to make a very sticky dough.
- Pour the dough out onto a well floured surface. Do not hesitate to add quite a bit more flour as you begin to knead to make the dough manageable. Knead for approximately 5 minutes. The dough will still be very sticky.
- Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, insert a wooden stick or small skewer into each hot dog. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.
- Once the dough has doubled in size (it will still be sticky), pour it onto a well floured surface. Again, do not hesitate to add plenty of extra flour to make the dough manageable. Knead the dough with more flour, if necessary.
- Divide the dough into 18 pieces. Using the palms of your hands (and more flour, if needed) roll each piece into a 10-inch long length of dough.
- Wrap each piece of dough around a hot dog, pinching and tucking the ends under to seal the dough. Place on the oiled baking sheet.
- Brush the dough-wrapped hot dogs lightly with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.
- Bake until golden, approximately 15 minutes. Serve warm!
Adapted from Food Network Magazine, June/July 2009