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Old 07-27-2011, 06:03 PM   #11
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Moon suit?
We haven't walked on the moon since 1972. Do they still make moon suits?

Tyvek should work. With a good respirator.


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Old 07-27-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by justplainbill View Post
High concentrations of lye can cause blindness and highly debilitating lung damage. Read the MSDS. Why else do you think the international symbol for this substance is a melted / eaten away glove?
Hmmm--doesn't explain why Norwegians survived eating lutefisk...
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:37 PM   #13
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Lutefisk takes three days and hundreds of gallons of fresh water to purge the lye before being packaged. And the workers DO suit up in protective clothing!
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:39 PM   #14
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That may be true now (re: lutefisk), but I doubt that was true of the lutefisk my ancestors ate (regularly). My ancestors were key lutefisk producers in the 1700-1800s. The "bridal" grandfather clock at my parents' house is +350 years old--the part that forms the top (where the face is) is part of a lutefisk barrel with a ship's portal window for the glass. My brother and I are pushing that it be donated to Vesterheim because of the history and the link to Norway's history--we'll see. Traditionally, it has been handed down to the eldest daughter--that would be me (since I'm the only daughter), and, I should've been gifted it when I married (but then, it took 20 years after I was married for my parents to let me take my great-grandmother's sterling silverware home--they tend to hang onto things). I don't have the house for it--my parents have built the last 3 of their houses around this clock.

It took a long time, but the "barrel" doesn't smell like lutefisk anymore <g>.
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #15
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Hmmm--doesn't explain why Norwegians survived eating lutefisk...
It's a question of concentration. I've personally experienced brief exposure to Red Devil lye. Fortunately my grandparents (who used it to make their own soap) recognized the problem and rescued me from the disfigurement that this substance can cause.

Laugen brot with sweet butter (with or without a tart fruit preserve) is one of my favorite breakfast foods.
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:40 PM   #16
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You guys are really making me not want to make this kind of bread, but would love to find some in a bakery. May just have to do just that!
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:03 PM   #17
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I've read more on pretzel making and the Lye solution is nothing to be fearful of. It's basically 3T to a gallon of water. Yes, you do wear rubber gloves to avoid skin irritation. Respirators and all that gear is very unneccesary. I just watched a youtube of a guy making pretzels the way he was taught by an artisian pretzel maker in Munich. He freezes the formed pretzel dough and then floats them in the Lye/water bath for 20 seconds or so...blots off excess and returns to sheet pan to thaw..sprinkles with pretzel salt and bakes. I think some boil the soft pretzels briefly..then the above process. I'm going to make the pretzel rolls in the next few days. I'll take pictures and put them in my album. My yield on my Bolognase was 6 qts. Still dragging my feet to assemble the eggplant parm. Had to make a run for Panko. I grill the eggplant rounds briefly on the Weber b4 I dredge/bread and fry them in Olive oil.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #18
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We love pretzel bread .. actually rolls .. I'm dough challenged, so my hat's off to you for attempting this. I buy them from our local bakery .. 4 for $3 .. Very delicious.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:51 PM   #19
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If you've been following this pretzel discussion, you might want to go to YouTube and type in " A baker's odyssey: Schwabisch Pretzels Recipe. I would use the same method for making rolls or baguette pretzel bread. The video is produced well and is easy to follow. Very informative. Check it out.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
horse pucky.

a good bread dough, add a double dose of diastatic malt, two teaspoon lye in a big pot.
no, not Draino lye - food grade stuff. not sold in 7-11.

a moon suit is not required.

a baking soda wash is a semi-acceptable alternative - pretzel salt is a highly nice touch - it's the puffed rice version of sea salt.

crystalline lye _must_ be stored carefully - especially if children or dummies are involved.


I like the way you think. You pretty much summed it up.
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