Take your crackers to the next level just by brushing with an alkaline solution that creates that lovely golden pretzel colour. For making any pretzels you need baked baking soda. Plan ahead by baking a cup of baking soda in a low oven for 1 hour then store in an airtight jar until needed. I made the soft pretzels from Andrea Sloencker's Pretzel Making at Home too.

2 c flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
4 tbsp/55g cold butter, cubed
1/4 c cold water

Alkaline solution:
1 c water
2 tsp baked baking soda

coarse sea salt

Whisk the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Rub in butter till mixture resembles fat breadcrumbs. Add water and stir until combined. Turn dough out onto an unfloured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Divide into 2 equal parts, shape into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate to at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 200C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Make the alkaline solution by mixing the water and baked baking soda in a bowl or cup until baking soda is dissolved.

On a lightly floured surface roll out a disc of dough to about 30 x 40cm; roll as thin as possible to fit the entire space of your baking tray.

Use a pastry brush to brush the baking paper on one of the baking trays with alkaline solution. Transfer your dough onto it and cut into your desired shapes - squares or rectangles, either with a knife, pizza cutter or fluted pastry wheel. Brush the top of the dough with alkaline solution and sprinkle over coarse sea salt.

Bake for 12 to 15 min, rotating the tray halfway through cooking. The crackers have a lovely marbly appearance depending on where the solution has dampened the dough.

Meanwhile repeat procedure with the other disc of dough.

Transfer crackers to a wire rack to cool.