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Baked Baking Soda for Soft Pretzels?

foodandscience | Feb 4, 2014 11:09 AM

I saw a recipe for soft pretzels on a blog recently. I've always briefly boiled my soft pretzels in a baking soda bath before baking but this recipe called for baking the baking soda in the oven for an hour before putting it in the boiling water.
Does anybody have any idea what baking the baking soda does? Does it alter the flavor much?

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