Do you really need lye to make pretzels crunchy?
As I understand it (which is just barely), the lye provides alkalinity and that produces the snap. I've found arguments on all sides - some saying that you can control the pH with baking soda and others who feel strongly that for authentic crispness, you need lye. Even though this is food-grade lye, I think I'm too skittish to bring lye into my kitchen. Has anyone done this? Or found a great recipe that doesn't use it?