Step 6: Baking Soda Bath

This part seems strange, but it's very scientific. Google it if you don't believe me, but the chemical reaction this makes with the dough is what gives it that pretzely color and texture on the outside. So all you do is take about 5 cups of water and half a cup of baking soda and mix it well. Set it to the side. You'll be using it soon.
<p>these are the best pretzels, the flavour, takes me back to america</p>
Thank you so much!
If not making with kids (or at least you can make and mix this part on your own, it's safe to touch as long as you rinse the area off after getting on you and won't react badly with metals like lye can), you can try this instead. A recipe I tried out for pretzels said, &quot;Line a small baking sheet with foil and spread the 1/3 cup baking soda on it. Bake in a 250&ordm;F oven for one hour while you make the pretzel dough.&quot; 1/2 cup like you used would work the same way. You are essentially creating washing soda, which has a closer pH to lye than baking soda does. I can attest that it's safe to eat!
Cool. Thanks for the info.
My pretzels stick with the wax paper ...
That's strange. You didn't cook them on the wax paper though, right? It was just to put them on to drain off the excess water. I've never had any stick before.
I loved viewing the happy interaction of the <br>Family most... And canlt wait to Mae these. Thank you.
Thank you so much! The kids make it so much more fun. Their friends are even joining in now.
I realize how &quot;groovy&quot; you are, but is it possible to add a more traditional itemized menu list somewhere for your pretzel recipe? Thanks!
Ok, let's call it a &quot;recipe.&quot; Your recipe is spread out all through the page and separated by photos. <br> <br>Not trying to be a pain, but you have people commenting about making mixing mistakes.
A lot of Instructables are laid out in the step by step format with pictures of each step to help visualize what you're doing, but I guess it's not for everyone. Hope the &quot;recipe card&quot; way is more useful to you. Thanks for your interest.
Ah yes. Well we all make mistakes sometimes. Especially when trying out a new recipe. I believe I understand whAt it is you want. Perhaps this will help. <br><br>INGREDIENTS<br>3 packets active dry yeast<br>2 teaspoons sugar<br>2 1/2 cups very warm water<br>5 tablespoons butter or margarine<br>9 cups all-purpose flour<br>1 cup sugar<br>3 teaspoons of salt<br>5 cups water<br>1/2 cup baking soda<br>DIRECTIONS<br>Mix 3 packets of active dry yeast, and 2 teaspoons of sugar into 2 and 1/2 cups of very warm water. Mix until all is dissolved and set to the side while you get everything else together.<br>Go ahead and start melting 5 tablespoons of butter or margarine, but don&rsquo;t add it yet. Put 9 cups of all-purpose flour in a large bowl. Then add a cup of sugar and 3 teaspoons of salt. Blend well.<br>Make a little well in the center of the flour mix and pour in the butter and the yeast mixture. Stir it up as much as you can until it starts getting really thick. Then start kneading it with your hands. It will get messy. Knead it until all ingredients are well blended and no flour remains on the side of the bowl. Should take quite a few minutes. Add a very small amount of water if needed in order to get all the flour blended in. When it is all kneaded and ready, place it into a greased bowl, spray a little cooking spray on top of the dough (so it doesn&rsquo;t get dry or crusty), and cover it. Leave it sit for at least an hour to rise. It should double in size.<br>Once the dough has doubled in size, uncover it and punch it down.<br>Take 5 cups of water and half a cup of baking soda and mix it well. Set it to the side. You&rsquo;ll be using it soon.<br>Separate your dough into as many pieces as you want. Roll it out and twist it up to make pretzel shapes, other designs, make smiley faces, peace signs, or cut it up into small pretzel bites. Whatever you make, dip it in the baking soda bath and set it on some wax paper, so the excess water can run off. Sprinkle with the coarse salt. (If you&rsquo;d rather have cinnamon/sugar pretzels, don&rsquo;t put the salt on. Just dip the dough and set it down on the wax paper.)<br>Preheat your oven to 350. Carefully place pretzels on a greased baking sheet and let sit for about 15 to 20 minutes to rise up again a bit.<br>Bake for about 8 minutes, depending on size, until they are a golden brown color. Take them out and brush them with melted butter. (This is when you&rsquo;d sprinkle on the cinnamon/sugar if that&rsquo;s the way you want them.)
I'd love to help, but I'm not quite sure what you mean by an itemized menu list. Could you elaborate?
@groovymama; Hi! mmm I love soft pretzels. tweeted! Thanks ! : ) Site
Thank you so much! And double thanks for the tweet!
I'm currently making these at work and meant to cut it in half, but I accidentally added the normal amount of water and didn't realize it until mixing everything together. Do you think having to add dry ingredients on top of the already mixed dough and re-mixing it will cause issues with my finished product? Help! Lol
Please let me know how they turn out for you.
No. It should still work. Add the yeast now, while it's still warm. Make sure you knead it really well. You should be fine. Just make sure the dough has doubled in size before punching it down. It's ok if it takes a bit longer than an hour. Not sure what your workplace is like, but if you can put the dough in a warm area, it will rise a bit faster.
THIS is great for pregame activities!
Yes it is! Thanks!
when do you dip them in the draino?? ya gotta dip them in lye water. Better color/taste/texture etc. I have made them like this, not nearly as nice as with the nasty stuff! <br> <br>I will try your ecipe though it looks rather tasty! <br> <br>nice post, I am sure ll had a great time!
Draino? Oh my! I do know that traditionally lye is used, however it is can be very dangerous if not done properly, so baking soda is a much safer and easier choice. Especially when cooking with kids. Thanks for the info. I'm sure the lye ones are fantastic.
Hola! What if the baking soda is inserted into mix rather than just a bath?
The baking soda can kill the yeast and the pretzels won't rise and will taste dull.
Exactly. Thanks for the info jpritchard2.
It doesn't have the same reaction if you do that. Really needs to be dipped or brushed on the outside. Some people even boil the dough in water with baking soda. These make the pretzels a bit darker and chewier. Also quite tasty.
Thought so, just looking for a shortcut... Tks!
No problem.
It looks like everyone of your helpers had fun with this ible. My only concern is your directions to add the yeast to very warm water. The water should be 110 degrees F max or you'll kill your yeast. Better too cool than too warm. I think dipping the little bits in garlic butter would be fantastic!!
Thanks for the input. I've never killed yeast yet. That would be criminal. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks. I will say that this is why I do the yeast separately, rather than just mixing it in with the other dry ingredients. I've heard people say their yeast wasn't active anymore, but didn't know that until they'd mixed ALL their ingredients and then ended up wasting it all. Mixing yeast with the salt and water separately eliminates that problem. You can tell if nothing is happening, and start over, without tossing everything else out. Oh yeah, and garlic butter sounds yummy!
Great recipe - I love your pics!
Thank you very much!
Made these today with my kids. They were fun to make and great to eat. Thanks for posting.
Yay! Thanks for letting me know! So glad you guys enjoyed making and eating them.
Wow this is a clear, well thought instructable. I tried pretzels a few years ago and they didn't really work out All I had was some bland plain bread with a few oven burns. Probably didn't do the baking soda bath. I'm a bit better at baking now so this instructable has inspired me to try again. Thank you!
Thank you so much! That makes my day! Please let me know if you do try it and how they turn out.
Can these be made into bread rolls? I recently had a burger from a fast food place on &quot;pretzel bread&quot;. It Was Awesome! I've always loved soft pretzels since I was a kid. I always thought they would make great bread.
Absolutely! You can do just about anything you want with the dough. Hotdog buns, hamburger buns, dinner rolls, home-made pizza pockets, etc. Make sure you let them rise after you've formed them before you bake. Some people like to brush them with a bit of beaten egg white before baking. If you make some, let me know how they turn out. I've had those burgers too, and they really are amazing.
Those look GREAT! We love soft pretzels from the mall and can't wait to try these.
Thank you so much! Let me know when you do.
Awesome 'ible......again.
Thank you so much!
Good instructable! A question: the Baking Soda Bath is cold? I used hot water, but this could be simpler.
Thanks. I used just warm water. Dissolved the baking soda nicely.
Warm that you can put your fingers in it?
Thank you, I'll try :)
Let me know how it goes.
They turned out Awesome! We did mostly cinamon/sugar with several bagel-like designs...perfect for breakfast:-) thanks for posting this instructable.
Yay!!! I'm so glad you liked them. Thanks for letting me know.

About This Instructable


1,706 favorites


More by groovymama: Pretzel Dogs Pretzel Pizza Perfect Soft Pretzels
Add instructable to: