Dogs In Duvets – Lunch Box Loveliness
Frugal Frankfurters Baked In Bread – A Thrifty Lunch Idea That Gets The Thumbs-Up From The Kids
If you are following my latest Packed Lunch Plan to save money by packing the whole family’s lunches every day (and save your own sanity by doing it in batches and putting them in the freezer) then this is how you stock up on thrifty Thursday lunches.
I came up with Dogs In Duvets when the Tartan Boys were indecently impressed with a frozen pizza that had hot dog sausage stuffed in the crust. I tried to disapprove of this excessive approach to pizza toppings but, like Carrie Bradshaw (if she wrote for Junk Food Monthly), I got to thinking. What if I could make and freeze just the stuffed crust – would that work as a freezable and thrifty lunch option?
So I whizzed up a batch of dough in my ancient and cheap bread machine, opened a pack of frankfurters and handed it over to Tiny Tartan. He got busy with a rolling pin and we soon had ten little hot dogs wrapped up snugly in a layer of puffy dough. Hence the name.
Ten minutes in the oven and we had, essentially, soft bread sticks with a hot dog in the middle. Nicer than a hot dog bun, lower in fat than a buttered sandwich, and perfect for dipping in some fancy-shmancy tomato and herb sauce…
…OK, some ketchup with black pepper and a handful of dried oregano. My plan is to gradually adulterate it with passata until I have tricked the kids into eating something that can at least pretend to be a vegetable. (Yes, I know, a tomato is already a fruit pretending to be a vegetable.)
I have since baked another thirty of them; they are sitting in little bags in my freezer and that’s one packed lunch a week I don’t have to think about for the next month. Actually, twenty-eight of them are in the freezer: Tartan Boy managed to scoff two before I could stop him.
How To Make Dogs In Duvets
1. Make The Dough
- If you have a bread maker throw in all the ingredients. (You can swap the white flour for a 2/3 wholemeal/white mix.) If you don’t have a bread machine but do have a hand mixer with a dough hook or a reasonably large food processor then mix it up with that, allowing it at least five minutes. If you have nothing but your bare hands then enjoy the ancient human pleasure of kneading the dough yourself. It is quite a wet dough so if you are hand-kneading leave a little of the water out. It should feel almost too moist to handle. Try oiling your hands with vegetable oil before you knead it to reduce the sticking.
- Where you knead is entirely up to you but I like to give the sink a quick clean, dry it with kitchen roll, throw in some flour and pop the dough in there. It is at a more comfortable height than the work surface and when I am done, I can just turn on the tap and wash the flour away. Plus, the flour doesn’t all fall off the edge of the work surface onto the kitchen floor. Although that might only happen in my kitchen…
- Let your dough rise somewhere warm, with a towel over the top of the bowl, for an hour to an hour and a half. Or set your bread machine to the dough cycle. When it is roughly double the size it started at, you are ready to roll.
2. Shape The Dough
Knead the dough lightly again and then break off a lump about the size of an egg. (A chicken’s egg. Maybe a small duck’s. Not a quail’s.) Roll the piece of dough out to a little longer than a hot dog and about the width of your palm. It should be about 4mm thick. Pop a frankfurter in the centre, fold over the ends and roll up the sides to enclose the sausage. It helps to roll it all under your palm a little once it’s done. Lay it folded-edge-down on a baking sheet. Repeat.
3. Bake The Dough
Put the completed dogs in the oven at 220°C for ten minutes. The dough should puff up and just be starting to colour. Take them out and cool on a wire rack. Or eat right away – your Dogs in Duvets, your decision.