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CBD Provisions Is Making Pretzels with Lye, and You're Going to Want One

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At the start of October, CBD Provisions announced it would offer the first version of what they say will become a monthly special. Every day from 4 p.m. till 6 p.m., you can slap $12 down on the bar and receive a Lakewood Till and Toil and a chubby weisswurst sausage, served with freshly made mustard and pretzels that are made with lye.

Yep: Lye.

If you've ever made soap, the thought of consuming lye might not seem appetizing. It's used to clean ovens and open unclogged drains, and it can cause chemical burns, permanent injuries, scarring and blindness. Thankfully for pretzel fans, though, lye's arch nemesis is the heat of an oven.

High temperatures reduce the chemical to an edible carbonate that is responsible for that mahogany brown crust pretzels are known for. You've also consumed more of the stuff in olives, corn tortillas and ramen noodles, provided those noodles were authentic.

Pretzels made with lye are pretty rare in Dallas, and CBD chef Michael Sindoni says he initially hadn't planned to use the chemical. His first attempts at pretzel-making included the use of baking soda, which shares lye's alkalinity. He also tried poaching the pretzels in stout beer. Some of those first pretzel attempts turned out well, but they all seemed to be lacking that certain flavor that makes a pretzel a pretzel.

At his pastry chef's suggestion they tried soaking the shaped pretzels in lye. "They come out almost black," he said. But after baking they gain that characteristic dark brown crust -- they become real pretzels.

Paired with that weisswurst that's also made in-house and a cold local beer, they make a pretty solid after-work snack. Just don't call it happy hour. Sindoni said they took care to differentiate from the specials offered at other bars and restaurant that discount their regular food menus. The sausage and pretzel is a standalone offering, and moving forward it will change. Look for a new sausage and a new beer in November, but the pretzels? The pretzels stay.

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