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Sep 27, 2013 11:24 AM

Anyone know where to get LYE locally?

I'm on the eastside/north end and really want to make pretzels (using lye, not baking soda) this weekend, but I'm not sure where to get lye that's safe for use with food. Anyone have experience with this?

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  1. Sorry I can't help but please let me know if you find a source. A friend of mine looked extensively a few years ago and did not find it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bourbongal

      Have you guys checked out a Scandinavia-oriented location? A quick google search gave me a grocer called Scandinavian Specialties. Nothing specific on their website about having raw lye, but there's got to be a few folks out in Ballard that use it for homemade lutefisk, I figure.

    2. Just posting up here to 'revive' this thread.... I recently saw a pretzel brioche bread I really want to make, and it calls for Lye as well.


      6 Replies
      1. re: gingershelley

        I don't know any local sources, but you can always have it delivered to your doorstep:

        1. re: Gizmo56

          Thanks - and wow, that is cheap!

          For some reason, I hadn't even checked for on-line ordering; thinking it a toxic product, thought it probablyl couldn't be mailed.....

        2. re: gingershelley

          Hi, gingershelley:

          I'm sure Scandies in Ballard has it. Or, if you don't want to chance the $2.94 on the Gizmodian source, you *can* make it yourself if you have a fireplace... Just make sure you use ashes from hardwoods, not resinous conifers. Oh, and soft water.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            To clarify, I believe Kaleo means Scandinavian Specialties , though they don't list it on their website. If they don't have it they might know where to get it. Scandies was a late lamented restaurant back in the day when Ballard wasn't hip.

            1. re: Jeri L

              I lived in Ballard when it wasn't hip, and long for the days when Scandies was still there (my Norwegian BinL's dad liked to go there for abelskivers), and the only cool place - at all - was the then-lonely Tractor Tavern on Ballard Ave. Sigh....

              But I digress OT -

              I can call Sc. Spec's and see if they have or can get me some lye. Good tip.

              I really want to make Pretzel Breads for Thanskgiving:)

            2. re: kaleokahu

              Oh, Kaleo, you would just love to see a report on my making my own lye, wouldn't you?

              Enough cooking projects abound that I will have to take a more 'packaged' route - but thanks for the link.

              Ans since I clicked on that Amazon link, my Chowhound pages have amazon ads for lye on them nearly every day - Creepy!

          2. Hey guys,
            I ended up ordering on amazon, and it finally came (not the 2 day free prime shipping, $12 and it took 2 weeks!), but I have it now.

            It's more lye than I expect to use in 10 years, so if anyone finds themselves wishing they could have half a cup or so, I am happy to give you some. I live in Bothell and work in Bellevue if you'd like to meet!

            Just message or email me!

            2 Replies
            1. re: LaureltQ

              Hi, Laurel:

              Don't worry, your drain will back up eventually. Or you can discover the joys of lutefisk...


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I have been joking with my husband that I'm going to start buying small amounts of lye, that way there's no easy way to trace it when he disappears in 7 years.

            2. Hi There! LareltQ I don't know if you still come to this thread but I live in Bothell too and found this website when I was looking for lye in Seattle. I just bought Andrea Slonecker's book 'Pretzel Making at home' and want to try some of the recipes. If you still have an excess of lye I'd love to buy some from you. Thanks!

              1. If you need a stop-gap, Harold McGee reports that you can kick baking soda up a notch by baking it. (Not quite as strong as lye, but better than baking soda.)