AFN Baking (breads n things)

  • Well, we're still working on things and I imagine we'll see some bugs, some breaking, and things that need to get fixed. We'll start on the most critical things first and work our way down. We're still installing add-on's and squaring away some licensing stuff, but feel free to browse the board and we'll update everyone on when things are added, restored, or otherwise changed.
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Mañ'O'Green

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I finally got the SF Starter up to ripe just today. I had to add a little bit of sugar to get the lazy yeast going after the 24 hours at 90°F to get the lactobacillus sanfranciscensis going first. I made the best sourdough roles out of the discard using the bread machine recipe. The sour is the one I was looking for. We used them on the 4th for our pulled pork sandwiches.

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Mañ'O'Green

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I use that chemical to make liquid Castile soap. You should work with it outside until stable and cool enough to dip the dough in. The fumes are a killer -literally.

A word on sodium hydroxide solution..

Use stainless steel bowls/spoons/etc. The solution will warm after you mix it. That's ok. Let it cool to room temperature before using it. Do not under any circumstances consider heating this to boiling (or at all, really) before dipping in the pretzels. Hot hydroxide solution is a totally different animal than room temperature solution. At boiling temps and at high enough concentration, it can dissolve glass. GLASS!

As mixed in the recipe above, it will have a pH of 14. You'll note the pH scale doesn't go any higher. Before discarding it, you need to bring the pH down a good bit.

You can use any acid to bring the pH down. I recommend powdered citric acid. It's relatively cheap and not a very strong acid (meaning safe to handle). Mix in as much as you need to until a pH strip comes back at 8.0 or lower. At that point, it is safe to pour down the drain.
 

Mike20132

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The fumes are a killer -literally
What fumes? There shouldn't be any chemical reaction going on until you dip the dough into the solution (and this will be fairly benign at that). The heat comes from the net-exothermic process of a very alkaline molecule completely disassociating its ions in the polar solvent (water). When the water evaporates, the NaHO molecules will reassemble with no change in mass (aside from what sticks to the pretzels). Thus nothing is released as a fume other than pure water vapor.

If you are seeing a reaction that generates gas/fumes, its the NaHO reacting to something in the water, and if it's significant you might want to get your water checked.
 

Mañ'O'Green

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What fumes? There shouldn't be any chemical reaction going on until you dip the dough into the solution (and this will be fairly benign at that). The heat comes from the net-exothermic process of a very alkaline molecule completely disassociating its ions in the polar solvent (water). When the water evaporates, the NaHO molecules will reassemble with no change in mass (aside from what sticks to the pretzels). Thus nothing is released as a fume other than pure water vapor.

If you are seeing a reaction that generates gas/fumes, its the NaHO reacting to something in the water, and if it's significant you might want to get your water checked.
It turns out I am using Potassium Hydroxide for my soap but Sodium Hydroxide is very close chemically and when you add it to the water is has a reaction that emits fumes while it dissolves. I got a little whiff once and it was very unpleasant.

Pneumothorax following inhalation of caustic soda fumes P. E. NASH, S. S. TACHAKRA & H. BAIRD Accident and Emergency Department, Central Middlesex Hospital, London, England INTRODUCTION Caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) in its granular form or in solution is widely available for use as a drain cleaner. Contact of the chemical with skin causes alkali burns and accidental ingestion can lead to oesophageal burns and subsequent stricturing (Lucian et al., 1971). There are no reports of pneumothorax related to the use of sodium hydroxide. The authors report such a case. CASE REPORT A 17-year-old man was referred to the Accident and Emergency Department, Central Middlesex Hospital, London, England, by his General Practitioner with chest pain. Twelve hours previously, he mixed 98% sodium hydroxide granules with tap water in a bucket, according to the manufacturer's instructions, in order to clean the drains of the new family home. He accidentally leant over the bucket and inhaled the fumes produced by the solution. Five minutes after the inhalation, he developed persistent pleuritic, right-sided chest pain and breathlessness. There was no personal or family history of pulmonary disease, and he had never smoked. Physical abnormalities were confined to the chest. He had a respiratory rate of 30 a minute and signs consistent with a right-sided pneumothorax. Radiology confirmed a 40% pneumothorax with some mediastinal shift (Fig. 1). He was treated with an underwater-seal chest drain. The right lung was fully expanded within 48 h and the drain was removed the following day. He has remained well since his discharge from hospital 3 months ago.

/SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS/ Aspiration of the alkali into the airway can result in live-threatening injuries to the larynx, the tracheobronchial passages, and the lungs. There are three phases of injury and healing to the esophagus. The acute phases, from about day 1 to 4, is that of liquefactive necrosis. During the sub-acute phase, from day 4 to 14, there is sloughing of the necrotic area; the esophageal wall appears thinnest and most vulnerable. About day 15 begins the cicatrization phase with eventual oesophageal strictures resulting from collagen contraction. Re-epithelialization is complete by 4 weeks to 3 months...
[OECD; Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Initial Assessment Report for SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM) 13, Potassium Hydroxide (CAS 1310-58-3) November 2001. Available from, as of March 18, 2015.http://www.inchem.org/pages/hsg.html/**PEER REVIEWED**
 

Mike20132

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It's a similar process to how those cold packs work. There's a vial inside you break that is full of ammonium nitrate. The process of dissolving in water is very endothermic - and it absorbs heat. And just like with the NaHO, there is no actual reaction going on, no fumes are created (the cold pack doesn't inflate...) and if dumped out and allowed to dry, all of the original ammonium nitrate would remain.
 

Mike20132

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Sodium Hydroxide is very close chemically and when you add it to the water is has a reaction that emits fumes while it dissolves
No. It doesn't react. You are confusing dissolution with reaction. If you add a lot of either to water, you risk the water heating to the point of boiling off. I suppose it's likely that suspended droplets of the solution are being expelled. Inhaling those would be quite dangerous. Could also be the solution was reacting to whatever the bucket was made of. Who knows what fumes that might generate. Adding one ounce to a quart of water increases temperature about 5C. There will be no vaporization of water in this process, unless you added it to already very hot water.

And as I said before, there is no reaction occurring. Without a reaction, there are no fumes. I recommended the use of stainless steel, which is completely inert when exposed to the solution.
 

Mañ'O'Green

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It's a similar process to how those cold packs work. There's a vial inside you break that is full of ammonium nitrate. The process of dissolving in water is very endothermic - and it absorbs heat. And just like with the NaHO, there is no actual reaction going on, no fumes are created (the cold pack doesn't inflate...) and if dumped out and allowed to dry, all of the original ammonium nitrate would remain.
What are you talking about the only Lye or Potash I have ever used comes as dry flakes. When added to water there is a reaction and the fumes are there. We used to use lye to clean all of the stove grates and parts in a big tub at the restaurant and you did not want to get down wind of that tub even after the parts were done soaking.
 

Mañ'O'Green

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No. It doesn't react. You are confusing dissolution with reaction. If you add a lot of either to water, you risk the water heating to the point of boiling off. I suppose it's likely that suspended droplets of the solution are being expelled. Inhaling those would be quite dangerous. Could also be the solution was reacting to whatever the bucket was made of. Who knows what fumes that might generate. Adding one ounce to a quart of water increases temperature about 5C. There will be no vaporization of water in this process, unless you added it to already very hot water.

And as I said before, there is no reaction occurring. Without a reaction, there are no fumes. I recommended the use of stainless steel, which is completely inert when exposed to the solution.
Is not the heat generated a reaction?
 

Mike20132

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Just noticed the patient in your story was using drain cleaner. Those are usually mixed with metal filings and other chemicaks to ENCOURAGE reaction. The fumes emitted by that are pretty bad.

You don;t cook with that stuff :)
 

Mike20132

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Is not the heat generated a reaction?
No. It is an exchange of energy which is net-exothermic.

The act of diassociating the NaOH and H2O are endothermic, they absorb heat. The attraction between the ions as the NaOH solvates is exothermic, and releases more energy than the disassociation absorbed.

Technically, as the water decreases and the NaOH re-associates and falls out of solution, it is a net-endothermic process. Happens slow enough that no noticeable temperature change takes place.

If it were a reaction, some of the sodium would be consumed, and there would be a loss in mass once the water is gone.