Thursday, October 16, 2008

Perfect combination

Recently, my children and I made some soft pretzels. mmmmmm, them are good. I paired mine with a delicious pale ale on tap.[1]

A critical step in pretzel making involves a brief dip in a boiling aqueous solution of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda). The increased pH speeds up the Maillard reaction and give pretzels their unique pretzely taste.

[1] currently my keg is holding beer hostage due to an apparent hop clog. I'm devastated.


Dr. Kev said...

Hey bro, I wonder if acid conditions would also speed this reaction. Much like acid catalysis is used in reductive alkylation to assist in the formation of the Schiff base.

You should try brushing your pretzels with vinegar prior to cooking … then a nice coating of sea salt at the end for a gourmet pretzel experience.

I would advise against using Lewis Acid catalysis for cooking however.

Woller's Disciples said...

Could you comment on the effects of hard vs soft water with malted barley and their effects on pH and the development of certain beer styles in certain areas?

Chemgeek said...

Dr. Kev: I'm not a fan of acetic acid. it's alcohol that's been abused.

Disciples: no

milkshake said...

Soviet metod of unclogging a keg: shoot the keg, then collect the stream into a helmet.

Uncle of my former boss died that way - just few weeks before the end of WWII: Germans left for them a railway cistern of methanol intentionally mislabeled as ethanol.

Anonymous said...

Pretzel look nice... care to share the recipes?