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Home Food Information Kitchen Tips 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market, it has become less common in supermarkets in some countries due to its poor keeping properties, having been superseded in some such markets by active dry and instant yeast.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

How to prepare batter

 There are many machines that grind and blend foods.   In olden days, it was done manually, by using a  rock stone hollowed in the middle, and a round rock stone, which fitted into the hollow.   The ingredients used to be placed in the hollow part, and the round stone  used to be rotated, and the masala ground..   It was kept moist by use of water or vinegar.   This laborious process has been simplified by electric appliances, and the Grinder Mixer is the most popular one.   This contraption was called GHATNO

In the sixties, Europe and America introduced blenders, and food processing machines for the home.   They were based on the industrial models.   In India, Sumeet was the first one, and after it, many copies of the same have come up.

In our house, we had the "Braun" mixer, which was purchased in 1968 and is still being used by my wife in 2002, because of her careful handling of the appliances in her hand.

The units have a motor part, with a switch, which can vary the speeds, and in case of overheating or danger, a cut off button is provided, which pops out at the bottom, and switches the motor off.   If this is depressed again, and you can start the motor again, after it has cooled down.   If this happens persistently, a Mechanic should be called.

Since grinders are electrical appliances, you should check that the voltages matches the local voltage, as equipments made for America are in 110 volts and in India they are for 220 volts.   A 110 volt motor can get burnt, if used on 220 volts.  

These appliances should be placed on a firm platform, like a table, without much cluttering around it.   It should not be allowed to slip, as the case may be if the table surface is smooth and shiny.

When you plug the  appliance to the power supply, the motor switch should be in OFF position.  

These appliances come with attachments for different purposes, and these should be inserted and removed, when the motor is OFF and there is no movement of the spindle.

After use never use a blow dryer, but wipe them clean with a wet cloth.  Always note the recommendation of the Manufacturer.

Do not use oil or grease on the machine; leave it to the Mechanic.

The attachments used in Braun are: Shredder; Mixer blender; and Liquidizer. The Coffee Grinder is an accessory attachment.   You can grind roasted coffee, or other roasted masalas, in it, to make curry powders.  

The first one is having a pout like protrusion on top, in which carrots, vegetables etc are put, and there is a pressing device on top, which has to be pressed down, and the shredded pieces collected in the bowl, which is to be kept below.   The shredder blade has to be installed in the machine.  -  ALL IN OFF POSITION.

The Motor:

Has three stage switch, a ventilator vent which should be left open,  and the center spindle, which connects the motor to the attachments.
You must not wash the body of the machine, but wipe it with a wet cloth, and leave it dry.

Since machines get outdated, it is better, to familiarize yourself with your machine, by reading the instruction manual carefully.

Dry Grinding

It is better to roast the ingredients.   The container should not be filled to the brim.  You should start on a slow speed, and watch the ingredients broken.  If it heats, stop and wait for it to cool.  When the motor has to strain, it heats up.   If your motor capacity is less, then, it tends to overheat.    Once the ingredients have been broken considerably, you can increase the speed gradually, till all the ingredients are powdered.   Braun has the Coffee Grinder for this purpose.

Follow the instructions of your machine to do the job.   Remember the basics.  Overheating,  automatic stoppage button, waiting for the machine to cool, and calling a mechanic, if problems occur repeatedly.

Wet Grinding

Any Liquidizer does this job.  Soft ingredients, and powdered masalas can be blended to form a paste, in it.  

You have to install the attachment, as instructed.  First the base, the gasket, the Liquidizer jar, and the lid.     Remember to fix the appropriate blade.   

Filling the Ingredients:


Observe sequence and quantity.  If the filling is hot, then pre-heat the glass jar.  Avoid changes from hot to cold and vice versa.  Close the lid, before switch on.

Adding Ingredients:

The lid should be closed.   Remove the stopper from the center hole in the lid.    If you remove the lid when the motor is running, the ingredients will spill out and you will have a mess on your hands.  You can add ingredients little by little through the center hole, when the motor is running.   If you want to mix the contents with a spatula, please switch the motor off first, remove the lid, and with the spatula, mix the ingredients, and start the process again by first closing the lid, and starting the motor on a low speed and then increase.  You may add water through the center whole, if the ingredients are dry.

If circulation becomes choked:

Sometimes, the motor may not be able to turn the ingredients and may get choked.   In this case, first put the motor off.  Remove the lid.  Wait for the air bubbles to subside or escape, and then loosen the ingredients with a spatula.  May be you will need to add a little water to loosen it.   Replace the lid and continue blending.

To empty the Liquidizer:


Stop the motor first.  Lift the Liquidizer gently from the spindle, and remove the contents with the help of the spatula.   Put a little water and wash off the remaining contents, and put them in a separate vessel, in case of masalas.

To clean the Liquidizer:

Unscrew the glass.  Remove the blade assembly.  If any residue remains adhering to the blades, reinsert and switch on briefly.   The residue will be flung against the glass, were it can easily be extracted. If the glass only contains a small quantity this can be removed through the bottom.

To clean the blades:

Rinse the base pate in running water until the blades are quite clean.  Do not place the rubber coupling in water - clean it with a damp cloth if necessary.

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