Here at Crowded Earth Kitchen, this particular recipe is heavy with nostalgia. I remember Wiener Winks cooling on Grandma’s kitchen counter on countless occasions throughout my childhood. As soon as they were cool enough to handle, children of all ages (including those “children” with children of their own!) would scramble for a hot dog wrapped in homemade white bread and dipped in either ketchup or BBQ sauce. What could be more American than that?
This week, I taught my little ones how to make Wiener Winks, beginning with homemade white bread dough. I sure had a lump in my throat when a little one exclaimed, “I like making Wiener Winks… it makes me remember [great] Grandma.” I sure do miss her.
Ingredients (Makes 24 Wiener Winks – they freeze well!)
24 precooked hot dogs
2 cups lukewarm (not boiling) water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup canola oil
6 cups white flour
Step 1) Combine sugar and lukewarm water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in yeast, and allow to sit for a minute or two until the surface of the water appears a bit creamy.
Step 3) Knead dough for a few minutes until a smooth ball forms. Add a bit more flour as needed, to prevent sticking. Transfer dough to a large bowl which has been greased with canola oil.
Step 4) Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise until it doubles in size. This will take about an hour in a warm location, such as an oven that has been warmed to 100 degrees and then turned off.
Step 5) Punch the bowl of risen dough a few times to release air bubbles (this is fun!). Knead on a floured tabletop for a few minutes. Divide dough in half.
Step 7) Wrap each strip of dough around a hot dog, tucking the ends underneath. Place wiener winks on greased baking sheets. Leave about 2 inches of space between them, as the dough will rise and spread a bit.
Step 8) Bake wiener winks in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes until the dough turns golden brown. Watch carefully so they don’t burn! Cool on a wire rack. Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce.