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Baking turns bicarbonate of soda into a weak form of lye - sodium carbonate, as you said. It basically makes it a stronger alkali. The actual baking process is safe, but the resulting lye is an irritant and you should avoid getting in on your skin, and definitely avoid it getting it in your eyes. The difference in texture and colour is noticeable after ...


If you make fresh pasta like we do in Italy you can't cook it al dente - it is already too soft. I don't know who invented the term, but it just a guideline for how much you should cook dried pasta when re-heating it so that you do not boil it to pieces. People who make their own fresh pasta will never be eating pasta al dente.

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