My wife needed to buy lye for some reason. It has something to do with tradition fabric dyeing techniques.
She bought food grade lye. I had to do some kitchen chemistry.
I have a bread machine so I used the dough setting to make some pretzel dough – water, sugar, salt, butter, AP flour, yeast.
I rolled out the dough and cut in into short strips with a pizza cutter.
I put a heaping tablespoon of lye in near boiling water and submerged the dough strips in batches in the lye solution for about a minute. The pH was 14, checked with litmus strips.
I put the in the oven to bake at 450F for 15 minutes.
Actually rolling out and twisting pretzels was more than I was ready to do, lye rolls would suffice.
They may not be the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen but the texture and pretzel flavor is perfect. Much more “pretzelly” than the pretzel rolls you buy in the store made with baking soda.
Warm with some melted butter and yellow mustard and they hit the spot.
These are a key ingredient to the most Teutonic sandwich ever. Braunschweiger with butter and mustard on a warm pretzel bun. Have one and you will have the overwhelming desire to invade your neighbor for lebensraum.
Now I need to work on a mustard beer cheese dipping sauce and I’ll have the perfect party food.