While in school, one of my favorite lunches was pigs in a blanket. It consisted of a hot dog engulfed by a biscuit. This project is a variation of that. My family loves my homemade pretzels, so I decided to use my pretzel dough and a Polish sausage with a bit of cheese to make schwein (German for pig) in a blanket. What follows is the instructions to make schwein in a blanket from scratch. This recipe makes 10 schwein in a blankets, but you can make however many you want. Just freeze the extra dough and make more tomorrow, or you could use the rest of the dough for soft pretzels like I usually do. This recipe is a lot of fun and tastes so good. Follow these steps, and you'll be enjoying schwein in a blanket in about an hour and a half. Enjoy!
Step 1: Gathering Ingredients and Utensils
• For Dough
1 ½ cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
4 ½ cups flour
2 oz melted unsalted butter
Vegetable oil for greasing bowl
• For Schwein in a Blanket
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
10 polish sausages
2 cups cheddar cheese
Vegetable oil for greasing
1 egg yoke
1 tablespoon water
Any coarse salt for sprinkling (sea salt, kosher salt, or pretzel salt)
Utensils and supplies
• Stand mixer, bread maker, or mixing bowl (you can mix and knead by hand if you desire)
• Large bowl for rising dough
• Pot for boiling water (must be able to hold 10 cups of water and completely submerge a Polish sausage)
• 2 small microwavable bowls or cups
• Baking Sheet
• Liquid measuring cup
• Dry ingredient measuring cups
• Measuring spoons
• Plastic wrap
• Parchment paper
• Rolling pin
• Pizza cutter
• Slotted spatula, slotted spoon, or tongs
Step 2: Activating Yeast
In the bowl of a stand mixer or bread machine, add one and half cups warm water. No need to heat it up, warm water from the faucet will do fine. Add one tablespoon of sugar and two teaspoons of salt.Stir the mixture until salt and sugar have disolved. Next, sprinkle the package of active dry yeast over the top. Set aside for five minutes or until yeast begins to foam.
Step 3: Adding Flour and Butter
Once the yeast begins to foam, add four and a half cups of flour and two ounces of melted butter.
Step 4: Mixing and Kneading
If you are using a stand mixer, mix on low for five minutes. Switch to your dough hook and knead for another five minutes. If you are using a bread machine like I am, set the machine on the dough setting and let it mix and knead for about ten minutes. If you are doing it my hand, mix until you can form a ball, and then knead until the ball is smooth yet a little tacky.
Step 5: The Dough Must Rise
Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil. Place your dough ball into the bowl and flip it once so that both sides of the dough have vegetable oil on them. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside in a warm place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 6: Preheating the Oven
To prepare for baking, preheat you oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Now is also a good time to prepare your baking sheet. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with vegetable oil.
Step 7: Boiling Water
Add 2/3 cup of baking soda to a pot big enough to hold ten cups of water. Add ten cups of water. Stir until dissolved. Heat over medium high heat on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Step 8: Rolling Out Dough
Roll or stretch out the dough while waiting for the water to boil. It should be rolled to about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. I like to use a rolling pin, but if you don't one you can easily stretch the dough with your hands. To stretch by hand, you first must flatter your dough ball. Then grab the top of the dough and hold it in the air while gravity pulls the dough downward. Next you rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Continue this until your dough has stretch to the desired thickness. Be careful, the method can cause holes in your dough, or it could cause your dough to break in half. Work the dough slowly letting it stretch a little at a time, this will ensure your dough stays in one piece.
Step 9: Cutting the Dough
The next step is cutting the dough. I like to set my sausages on the dough. Then using a pizza cutter, cut out rectangles with about a inch extra on the top and bottom and a couple inches on either side. Save extra dough by wrapping it up tightly and freezing it.
Step 10: Rolling the Schwein Into the Blanket
Sprinkle a bit of cheese on each dough square. The cheese should be in a single layer and form a bed for the sausage. Next set your sausage on the cheese and roll it up like a cigar. Pinch the ends and the seam to make sure you have it completely sealed. A good seal is very important, so take your time.
Step 11: Preparing the Egg Wash
First separate an egg. To do this, crack the egg around the center of the egg. Then pour the egg from one half to the other until only the yoke is left. You can throw out the egg white or save it for an omelet. Put yoke into a small bowl or cup. Next add one tablespoon of water to the yoke. Whip the yoke/water mixture with a fork until it is fully mixed together. Set aside.
Step 12: Boiling the Schwein
One at a time, drop each wrapped sausage into the boiling water. Boil for 30 seconds each. The wrapped sausage will want to float so hold it down with your spatula or tongs. After 30 seconds remove with spatula or tongs and let the water drip off for a few seconds.
Step 13: Brush With Egg Wash and Salt
Brush the top of each schwein in a blanket with the egg wash. If you don't have a brush, fingers work just as well. Next sprinkle coarse salt on the top. Don't overdo it as the polish sausage is salty as well. From the picture, it is hard to tell how much salt I put on. The picture accompanying the next step will give you a better idea.
Step 14: Baking
Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Let your schwein in a blanket rest for five minutes before eating.
Step 15: Enjoy!
Now it is time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work. Enjoy your schwein in a blanket with ketchup, mustard, or cheese sauce. I prefer spicy brown mustard, but choose whichever you like, or eat as is.