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Apr 21, 2008 01:18 PM

Alton Brown's Pretzel Recipe?

How good is it? Also, if I were to try to use lye instead of baking soda, how much to use?

Is it terribly dangerous, using lye? I know it is a caustic substance, but then again, I want the most authentic pretzel I can make!

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  1. I've made his recipe several times. The pretzels are as good or better than the ones we get fresh at the mall. I use the baking soda bath. I only use 5-cups of water and 1/3 cup of baking soda. I dip the pretzels one at a time. Give the recipe a try. They're fun to make and the result is really good.

    Here's a link to the recipe:

    1. Lye scares me - isn't that what they cover the "bodies" in on the mafia shows because it eats away at them?

      1 Reply
      1. re: stellamystar

        yep, it's caustic. It's a great cleaner and sanitizer, cause it burns. But it is the traditional thing used in the water bath for pretzels. Creates a better "skin". I have a recipe that uses a litte Red Devil lye, but I'm wondering if it is worth the risk. Are they that much better, or will baking soda do?

      2. Nancy Silverton's excellent book "Breads from the La Brea Bakery" outlines how to properly use lye for pretzel making. The recipes are not for the novice cook but the recipes I've tried have yielded excellent results.

        1. I don't know about the lye, but it probably will be fine as long as it's diluted. Alton Brown pretty much follows the Joy of Cooking recipe, I think.

          1. I actually tried twice and they came out a sticky mess. I think Im just a bonehead but I cant figure out what within the recipe I keep screwing up.