Usually I think of leavening as either yeast or chemical (baking soda / baking powder). On these sourdough pretzels yeast and soda are both listed. Why would a baked product need both leavening agents?

  • 4
    Are you sure the soda is in the mix, as opposed to being listed as added to water in the boil step?
    – moscafj
    Apr 17, 2020 at 16:27
  • Oddly enough I've just made a naan bread recipe that used both in the dough (@moscafj) so it does occasionally happen
    – Chris H
    Apr 17, 2020 at 16:50
  • 2
    @ChrisH I wasn't suggesting that it doesn't happen, just that in the case of pretzels, it it most likely listed for the pre-bake boil.
    – moscafj
    Apr 17, 2020 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


For pretzels or "things with a pretzel crust" an alkali is used in the water they are boiled in before baking. That may be food grade lye (sodium hydroxide), food grade sodium carbonate (commonly found as washing soda, but not food grade), or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda - can be converted to food grade sodium carbonate by baking it.)

Not used for leavening, though there's also no particular reason you could not use both yeast and chemical means for leavening.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.