Ingredients for servings
350 g warm water @ 40°C
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
7 g active dry yeast
625 g all-purpose flour
4 tsp unsalted butter, melted
2.3333 l water
96 g baked baking soda see directions and note
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp water
for the boiling
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a small foil-lined baking sheet pour about ½ box of baking soda.
Bake baking soda for 1 hour while you make the dough.
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix sugar, water and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy.
Add flour, salt and melted butter and mix on high for 5 minutes or until dough pulls away from wall.
Remove dough temporarily and spray bowl with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 1 hour in a warm spot in your kitchen, should double in size.
Remove baking soda after hour of baking and raise temperature to 230°C.
Remove dough and divid into 8 equal pieces.
Roll dough into 60 cm ropes.
Make an overlapping circle, add one twist and bring ends back to the top, pinching the ends into the dough, set on parchment lined and greased baking sheet.
Repeat for all 8 pretzels.
Bring the water to a boil in a large low-walled sauté pan and add baked soda, stir to combine.
Dip each pretzel, one at a time, into the boiling water for 30 seconds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and greased.
Brush the pretzels with the egg yolk mixed with water.
Sprinkle pretzel salt on top.
Bake pretzels for 12-15 minutes or until deeply brown.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Baking baking soda turn it into a weak form of lye - sodium carbonate. It basically makes it a stronger alkali. The actual baking process is safe, but the resulting lye is an irritant and you should avoid getting in or on your skin, and definitely avoid it getting it in your eyes. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has a pH of 8.4 while baked baking soda (sodium carbonate) has a pH of 11.6.
This is to try and mimic the results that are normally achieved with a lye bath that are typically used for making pretzels without the need to use actual lye. Lye can be somewhat dangerous and this is much more simple.