March 12, 2014 at 10:41pm

Like several others, I prefer to boil mine for the crust, but instead of using baking soda/water I sometimes boil with honey/water when I am making cinnamon/sugar pretzels. It gives you just a hint of sweetness. I do the same for blueberry bagels. My starter is a very very old one as well, passed down through family since roughly 1840's. It has such a wonderful flavor. We call it "Uncle Rufus" (I don't know why, but that has been it's name for generations apparently) and the kids like to take turns feeding and playing (baking) with Uncle Rufus on the weekends and cold winter nights.
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