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Home Glossary Staple Foods Batter (in food recipes)

Batter (in food recipes)

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batter

Batter is a liquid mixture, usually based on one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk or eggs. Beer is a common component. Often a leavening agent is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented for this purpose as well as to add flavour.

The viscosity of batter may range from very "stiff" (adhering to an upturned spoon) to "thin" (similar to single cream, enough to pour or drop from a spoon and sometimes called "drop batter"). Heat is applied to the batter, usually by frying, baking or steaming, in order to cook the ingredients and to "set" the batter into a solid form. Batters may be sweet or savoury, often with either sugar or salt being added (sometimes both). Many other flavourings such as herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables may be added to the mixture.

The word batter comes from the old French word battre which means to beat ], as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.

Baker's yeast is available in a number of different forms. Though each version has certain advantages over the others, the choice of which form to use is largely a question of the requirements of the recipe at hand and the training of the cook preparing it. With occasional allowances for liquid content and temperature, the different forms of commercial yeast are generally considered interchangeable.

  • Compressed yeast is essentially cream yeast with most of the liquid removed. It is best known in the form of cake yeast, which is essentially a soft solid, beige in color, but is also available in crumbled form for bulk usage. It is highly perishable; though formerly widely available for the consumer market, it has become less common in supermarkets in some countries due to its poor keeping properties, having been superseded in some such markets by active dry and instant yeast. It is still widely available for commercial use, and is somewhat more tolerant of low temperatures than other forms of commercial yeast; however, even there, instant yeast has made significant market inroads.
  • Active dry yeast is the form of yeast most commonly available to noncommercial bakers in the United States, as well as the yeast of choice for situations where long travel or uncontrolled storage conditions are likely. It consists of coarse oblong granules of yeast, with live yeast cells encapsulated in a thick jacket of dry, dead cells with some growth medium. Under most conditions, active dry yeast must be proofed or rehydrated first. It can be stored at room temperature for a year, or frozen for more than a decade, which means that it has better keeping qualities than other forms, but it is generally considered more sensitive than other forms to thermal shock when actually used in recipes.
  • Instant yeast appears similar to active dry yeast, but has smaller granules with substantially higher percentages of live cells. It is more perishable than active dry yeast, but also does not require rehydration, and can usually be added directly to all but the driest doughs. Instant yeast generally has a small amount of ascorbic acid added as a preservative. Some producers provide two or more forms of instant yeast in their product portfolio; for example, LeSaffre's "SAF Instant Gold" is designed specifically for doughs with high sugar contents.
  • Rapid-rise yeast is a variety of yeast (usually a form of instant yeast) designed to provide greater carbon dioxide output to allow faster rising at the expense of shortened fermentation times. There is considerable debate as to the value of such a product; while most baking experts believe it reduces the flavor potential of the finished product, Cook's Illustrated magazine, among others, feels that at least for direct-rise recipes, it makes little difference. Rapid-rise yeast is often marketed specifically for use in bread machines.

For most commercial uses, yeast of any form is packaged in bulk (blocks or freezer bags for fresh yeast; vacuum-packed brick bags for dry or instant); however, yeast for home use is often packaged in pre-measured doses, either small squares for compressed yeast or sealed packets for dry or instant. For active dry and instant yeast, a single dose (reckoned for the average bread recipe of between 500 g and 1000 g of dough) is generally about 2.5 tsp (~12 mL) or about 7 g (1/4 ounce), though comparatively lesser amounts are used when the yeast is used in a pre-ferment.

Urid Dhal

The fermentation is caused by air-born wild yeast. Urad and Fenugreek seeds draw the wild yeast from air. Do not over-wash Urad Dal or Fenugreek (methi) seeds, as it will wash away the collected wild yeast.

The Water

The Chlorine in the water can destroy the wild yeast. Use spring water, boiled or filtered tap water to avoid Chlorine.

The fermentation can be retarded by Yogurt, Baking yeast, Baking soda or Baking powder. Only after fermentation is complete , you may add Yogurt or baking agents as needed. 

Temperature

The best ambient temperature for incubation is 86

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