The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Huge Fail: Baked Baking Soda

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CJRoman's picture

Huge Fail: Baked Baking Soda

This horrifying image is a combination of failures.

To begin...this was my first attempt at sourdough. I should say that I LOVE the taste and the smoothness of the dough, even in a pretzel. The aroma is magnetic. HOWEVER, having never created a starter before I'm not sure if mine was top notch and my decision NOT to add additional yeast to the final dough was a mistake. Far too flat. Will change. may have read about my failure with lye. So I tried the baked baking soda. Baked it at 300 for an hour....then I followed the directions: dissolve 1.33 cups in 1 quart of water.

HERE WE GO....the baked baking soda hit the water and combined into a solid ROCK. It was impossible to get it all to dissolve and the water was HOT.

Then the general rule is to "soak the pretzels for 3 to 4 minutes." I should have known this would be a disaster. The pretzels come straight from the fridge and are cold....they USUALLY hold up pretty good in their standard regular baking soda BOIL for 30 SECONDS. But THREE TO FOUR MINUTES? Nope. The dough turned to mush in the warm water. After soaking...they completely lost their shape when I tried to remove them...turning to lifeless blobs of intestine on the pan.

So I'm still mystified....all this talk of the wonders of lye...and I didn't see it.

Then, the benefits of baked baking soda...nope, didn't find anything fantastic there either!

I'm going back to the basics! Boil that plain ol' baking soda and throw 'em in!! Germany can KEEP their caustic traditions!


golgi70's picture

They don't look so flat just too dark.  I've never tried to use baked baking soda.  I just dissolve in very hot water.  And you don't soak the pretzel in the solution you just dunk it and pull it right out.  Then straight into a hot oven for 7 minutes or so.  with failure we gain knowledge.  Hopefully you can eat your failure and make a new batch that is the way you want it. 

In my humble opinion (I'll get scalded for this) yeasted pretzels taste better than sourdough when it comes to a fresh soft pretzel.  Combo might be a perfect marriage.  Some starter for added flavor and yeast for speed and texture.


Happy Baking


Laurentius's picture

I wouldn't blame the Germans for something they're famous for.

CJRoman's picture