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Alton Brown's Pretzel Recipe?

Diana Apr 21, 2008 01:18 PM

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. Antilope RE: Diana Apr 21, 2008 03:16 PM

    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. stellamystar RE: Diana Apr 21, 2008 06:59 PM

      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
        Diana RE: stellamystar Apr 22, 2008 06:49 AM

        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. c
        cheapertrick RE: Diana Apr 21, 2008 08:01 PM

        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. j
          jtpeters RE: Diana Apr 22, 2008 05:11 AM

          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. y
            yankeefan RE: Diana Apr 22, 2008 01:38 PM

            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.

            1. l
              lkblum RE: Diana Dec 23, 2010 07:24 AM

              I highly recommend using the lye and reading this article http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/din...

              I bought it off of amazon.com

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