The Speckled Palate
June 27, 2014

Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns

July 4th Food: Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns // The Speckled Palate

Could we talk for a second about this recipe, y’all?

I just want to put it out there that it’s absolutely ridiculous… in the best possible way.

For about a month now, I’ve had a random craving for a hot dog. I have no idea WHY, but I needed a hot dog, so when planning out the July 4th features menu, I thought it would be fun to share one. And then as I continued brainstorming what I could do with the entree, I added caramelized onions and put the hot dog on a homemade pretzel bun because why WOULDN’T I?

It was a good decision.

July 4th Food: Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns // The Speckled Palate

These Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns are really good, and you can dress them up however you see fit because, well, I know that condiments on hot dogs are a polarizing thing. I know some of you might be judging the ketchup on my hot dogs. (Chicago friends, I see y’all shaking your heads. I know.)

And you know what?

That’s totally fine. If you decide to make these beauties, add whatever condiments you’d like and leave off whichever ones you dislike.

It’s as simple as that.

Just know that making these Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns, whether they’re for a July 4th celebration or simply a weekend meal, won’t be a disappointment.

Here’s how you can make your own:

July 4th Food: Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns // The Speckled Palate

Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions and Pretzel Buns

Course Entree
Prep Time 55 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8
Author Erin @ The Speckled Palate


  • 8 hot dogs (your choice of brand, though I'm partial to locally made hot dogs if they're available)

Pretzel Hot Dog Buns (adapted from BitemeMore)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoons local honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 cups water
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • Coarse salt

Caramelized Onions

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups yellow onions , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. First and foremost, we'll make the buns. And we're going to use a stand mixer to do it. In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast has become frothy, add the butter, flour and salt to the mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low until the mixture is combined, then increase the speed to a medium intensity, beating the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes pliable. (Do not fret if the dough is sticky! It should be tacky.)
  3. When the dough has become pliable, transfer it from the stand mixer to a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. While the dough is rising, cut up the onions and place them in a large skillet over medium-low heat, simmering. Allow them this entire time to simmer, as they'll cook as you continue with the buns and be done once the buns are out of the oven.
  5. When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface, and cut into 8 6" logs. (You can make them smaller, too, as they will expand as they cook... mine turned out a bit too large.) Shape them, then let them rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. In a large pot over high heat, bring 16 cups of water to a boil, and add the baking soda.
  8. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  9. When the water is boiling, and the buns have rested for 10 minutes, add one bun at a time to the boiling water, and cook for 30 seconds.
  10. Remove the bun from the water using a slotted spoon, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining buns.
  11. Cut 3-4 shallow diagonals into each bun with a sharp knife, brush with the egg and sprinkle coarse salt over the buns.
  12. Transfer the buns to the oven, cooking for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
  13. While the buns are baking, cook the hot dogs to the manufacturer's instructions.
  14. When the buns are golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven. Allow a few minutes to cool before cutting into them and adding the hot dog, caramelized onions and the condiments of your choosing.
  15. Enjoy warm!

Recipe Notes

If you don't use all the pretzel buns in one sitting, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

July 4th Food: Hot Dogs with Caramelized Onions on Homemade Pretzel Buns // The Speckled Palate

What are you cooking next week for the Fourth?


  1. laurasmess

    This looks absolutely delicious Erin! Yum! I’ve never eaten a pretzel roll (until recently I just thought that pretzels were those little hard things you get on aeroplanes) but they look super delicious, particularly when filled with caramelized onions, hot dogs and mustard. I will try these soon!! xx

    • Erin

      Thank you, Laura! These really ARE delicious! And girl, you need to fix the whole never eating a pretzel roll thing because they are delightful, particularly filled with caramelized onions, hot dogs and mustard. 😉 Please let me know what you think!

  2. Rachel Ballard

    Oh yes. I’ll take two please! I had never really been an onion lover until I started eating them caramelized. I just think they’re awesome. And I agree about the local hot dogs! Here in Kentucky we are blessed to have a local restaurant that serves only local, organic foods. Even the bread is baked just a few miles away and brought it. It’s THE BEST. My kids will love these grilled over a fire in the yard!

    • Erin

      Please do take two, Rachel! When we made these, I ate two… and they were absolutely worth it!

      I’m not a fan of raw onions, but I love me some caramelized onions, so I’m so glad you’re on board with them AND the locally made hot dogs! Those restaurants sound amazing — what a great thing to have in your area!

  3. Eileen

    As someone who has had cravings for hot dogs on and off for roughly as long as I can remember, I heartily approve! Pretzel buns?? Those sound like such a great contrast to juicy hot dogs and plenty of spicy mustard!

    • Erin

      YESSSSSS. I’m not the only one who has random hot dog cravings! High-five, girl!

      Yes, these pretzel buns are a fantastic contrast to the juicy hot dog and spicy mustard and onions. It’s all delicious when put together, too!

  4. aimee fauci

    Oh this looks fantastic. I have a new found love for caramelized onions so I think I would love this. Linking up from That’s Fresh Friday.

    • Erin

      Thanks, Aimee! I love caramelized onions, too! So happy you found this recipe through #thatsfreshfriday. Happy Friday to you!

Leave a Comment

*Required field