I ordered some food-grade lye online, and this weekend intend to make some pretzels. I've made them before with baking soda water, and the slightly elevated pH of CI baked baking soda water, and have had some pretty good results, but I'm dying for the dark brown sheen of some glorious lye-dipped pretzels. I have some safety glasses, and have a pair of tall rubber gloves on their way to me from Amazon, so I think I have safety figured out.
In the past with baking-soda boiled pretzels, I've experienced bitter pockets where the dough rose enough to close up holes, and water has pooled, resulting in relatively-uncooked baking soda flavor which is super unpleasant. In some of my later testing, I was careful to roll the dough out into thinner strands or tie up larger pretzels to avoid this. Is the bitterness something to be expected with any caustic solution, or should I expect something different with the lye? Anything else to consider?