Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I made these noodles the other day, and it really was fun. You bake baking soda for an hour to turn it into sodium carbonate--more alkaline than sodium bicarbonate--and then mix a little of it into the water for your noodle dough. It turns the dough yellow and makes the resulting noodles more springy and slippery than they would have been with plain water. My dough was a little dry and I had to add a little more water (for maybe a total of 7 tablespoons), but that may have been because I didn't have enough semolina and had to use about half durum flour.
Harold McGee says you can also use sodium carbonate to dip your pretzels in before you bake them if you're afraid of lye--it does a much better job than baking soda, which I know from experience has no effect.