Oktoberfest is here!

YES!!! 1000x this. Fill tub with water. GENTLY pour the lye into the water. Do not just dump it in.

Agitate gently with stainless steel or other lye-safe utensil until the crystals are dissolved and water is once again clear. Then dip. Always use eye protection and gloves. I used regular latex household gloves, and had no issues.

To dispose, carefully dispose down drain. The stuff is, after all, drain cleaner, and should be safe for most systems, especially in relatively low concentrations such as this.

If you want the full on lye safety lectures, look up soap making. Those folks deal with lye in REALLY dangerous quantities and concentrations. I plucked most of my safety research from various soap making sites and information, esp re: what should my containers and utensils be made of?

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That, and also to punk all those overly presumptuous tourists who show up in October wondering where the party is lol…

Crazy dark. That’s what happened here the first time with bagels and sodium carbonate.

Yeah. I had not even CONSIDERED using my sodium carbonate for bagels! The recipes I have gathered all used, at most, plain ol’ baking soda in the boil. I have found I really like using malt syrup in addition (both help browning).

I’ve just looked up ‘baked baking soda bagels’ and found a bunch of folks who DO, in fact, use sodium cabonate and even lye in making bagels, though they all say that it gives them a distinct pretzel-y vibe.

I DO know that I think boiling is KEY to the right bagel texture, so lye is out, since there’s absolutely ZERO chance I’d ever put a lye solution over a live flame outside a controlled lab setting.

But now you have me wondering…

I will confirm, though, that lye really does make a noticeable difference in the pretzels. Sodium Carbonate once are very good. These tasted EXACTLY those big pretzels you get from the really good pubs.

fresh bavarian pretzels are unbeatable, except by laugendrieck - like a cross between croissant/brioche/pretzel. also immersed in lye


also, since you have access to immediately fresh pretzels, cutting them in half and spreading butter across is a move

you might also try making some laugenstangerl - long roll-shaped pretzels. personally i think its a better pretzel shape


Does Liverwurst make the cut? Need a taste of it from time to time. Oktoberfest is one of those times. Enjoying my sandwiches.


Those look appreciably easier to shape, if not spell.

So many neat ideas!

Oktoberfest season is back. Sadly, the German restaurants in our part of suburban New York City have all but dwindled. Some Irish taverns have tried to pick up the slack. How did that happen? Anyway, what are your favorite dishes/venues?

Looking forward to my Triple Wurst Platter with sauerkraut and potatoes this weekend. At a local tavern, no less.

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Pretzels are in the menu again this year along w cheese dip made with a mustard cheddar we picked up at an Sutter Creek cheese shop this weekend.