CONCEPT 29: BAKING SODA MAKES BEANS AND GRAINS SOFT Flashcards Preview

THE SCIENCE OF GOOD COOKING > CONCEPT 29: BAKING SODA MAKES BEANS AND GRAINS SOFT > Flashcards

Flashcards in CONCEPT 29: BAKING SODA MAKES BEANS AND GRAINS SOFT Deck (64):
1

Besides brining, what else helps beans become soft and cook faster?

Creating an alkaline environment.

2

Are baking soda and sodium bicarbonate the same thing?

Yes

3

Is baking soda a alkali?

Yes

4

What does an alkaline environment do to pectin? How does this helps beans?

Breaks it down into smaller water-soluble fragments. This causes cell walls within the beans to weaken, allowing water to be absorbed at a faster rate; beans become tender and cook more quickly.

5

What happens if you use too much baking soda?

You end up with a bitter, soapy flavor.

6

Besides making beans more tender and cook faster, how else does baking soda help?

Used to set the color of black beans, preventing them from turning grayish-purple when cooked.

7

Why do black beans change color when cooked?

The coating of black beans contains anthocyanins (color pigments) that change color with alterations in pH; a more alkaline broth makes them darker, acidic makes them lighter.

8

How much baking soda is used to offset anthocyanins?

A mere 1/8 tsp at the outset.

9

Signs of "hard water."

Mineral deposits in pots, green rings in porcelain sinks or tubs.

10

Water rich in calcium, magnesium and other ions.

Hard water

11

Possible issue if you find yourself with a pot of beans that will not soften in the recommended cooking time.

Hard water

12

As with beans, can the same science be used to shorten the cooking time of grains like polenta and cornmeal?

Yes

13

In a bean, water has to penetrate a hard outer skin, through a very specific region called?

It must pass through the hilum in order to gelatinize the starch within.

14

In cornmeal, the water has to penetrate the cell walls within the __________ to gelatinize starch granules.

Endosperm

15

Is endosperm the starchy part of a corn kernel?

Yes

16

Corn cells, like bean cells, contain a lot of ______.

Pectin

17

Does the alkaline sodium bicarbonate help cook corn and beans in half the time?

Yes

18

TEST KITCHEN: BEANS COOKED IN AN ALKALINE, NEUTRAL AND ACIDIC BROTH.

When beans in alkaline environment turned tender the others were far behind. Those in plain water only slightly softened after 45 minutes; acidic were still rock hard.

19

Why should you be careful when cooking legumes with acidic ingredients?

The acidic environment will cause their cell structure to become so firm that they remain rock hard.

20

When should you add acidic ingredients to legumes? How does this also helps the acid? What about products that need to be cooked?

Adding toward the end allows legumes to soften and preserves the flavor of acidic ingredients. Tomatoes can be added after beans have become very soft since they need some cooking time; can also be cooked separately and added later.

21

Do liquids evaporate faster in the oven when using heavy cast-iron Dutch ovens or lighter pots?

Heavier gauge pots and pans evaporate moisture faster; add more liquid when using them.

22

Canonical ingredients of Boston baked beans.

Beans, pork, molasses, mustard and sometimes onion.

23

Why was using 1 tbsp of baking soda ok for the Boston baked beans recipe?

The bean (2 1/2 cups), water (3qt) and baking soda (1tbsp) were simmered for 20 minutes and drain/rinse; most is washed down the drain with simmering liquid.

24

Do authentic Boston baked beans start with hard beans?

Yes, simmered for hours.

25

Why was it ok to add acidic ingredients at onset of Boston baked beans recipe?

Beans were precooked and thus are already partially soft, it's OK to add acidic ingredients.

26

What does removing the lid the last 30 minutes do for their Boston baked beans recipe?

Thicken the sauce by evaporating moisture.

27

Precooked, quick-soaked beans produce the least amount of _______.

Gas

28

The creation of unwanted intestinal gas from beans begins with what?

Small chains of carbohydrates called oligosaccharides into the large intestines.

29

Why do oligosaccharides produce gas?

People cannot efficiently digest these molecules, but bacteria residing at the end of the gut can, and they produce gas as a byproduct.

30

Ingredients purported to "neutralize" the offensive compounds in beans.

Epazote, kombu (giant kelp), bay leaves and baking soda.

31

Does the quick-soak method produce more broken beans in the finished product?

Yes

32

One of the most prevalent small carbohydrates in black beans.

Stachyose

33

Stachyose was reduced by _____% in a quick-soak and _____% after an overnight soak.

42.5, 28

34

What is tahini?

A thick paste made from ground sesame seeds.

35

Two good tahini brands.

Joyva Sesame Tahini and Krinos Tahini.

36

How do different brands of tahini vary?

In fat and flavor, with some carrying bitter off-tastes.

37

What is chipotle in adobo?

Smoked jalapeños packed is a seasoned tomato-vinegar sauce.

38

Should you simmer canned beans in soups for best results?

Yes

39

Why would dried beans always be the first choice in soups?

Because they soak up any flavor in the broth.

40

What was discovered when comparing cooking times for canned beans?

Canned beans that were simmered for 30 minutes tasted significantly better than those simmered for only 5 minutes.

41

Do canned beans pick up flavor from the broth?

Yes, but not nearly the amount dry beans will.

42

How do you tell if your dried beans are fresh or old?

It's hard to tell when they're dry, but stale dried bean wrinkle during soaking.

43

Do bean bags contain a "sell by" date?

No, this is why telling their age is so difficult.

44

What part of the bean attaches to the pod?

The hilum

45

What are "checks?"

Holes that develop in their seed coats.

46

What causes "checks?"

When beans aren't handles well, undergo fluctuations in temp, moisture and fungi growth.

47

Why are "checks" bad?

They admit water, wrinkling the bean.

48

Why should you mix a slurry with cold water instead of hot?

Hot water will immediately wet the surface of the starch granules, causing them to stick together before they disperse, and the clusters of granules that stick together will remain dry in their center.

49

What can help offset the heat a black bean soup's heat?

Sour cream and avocado.

50

What do red onion and minced cilantro add to black bean soup?

Freshness

51

Do wedges of lime accentuate a bright flavor that is already present in the right soup?

Yes

52

Name three types of wild mushroom.

Oyster, cremini and shiitake.

53

What happens if you don't stir polenta almost constantly?

It forms intractable lumps.

54

Too much baking soda does what to polenta?

Turns it gluey and lends a strange , toasted, chemical flavor.

55

Do you always have to stir polenta?

No, adding baking soda, low heat and a lid will yield perfectly creamy polenta; one stir when the cornmeal goes in and another 5 minutes later.

56

Two labels supermarkets put on cornmeal.

Anything from yellow grits to corn semolina.

57

What three things should be considered when choosing polenta?

"Instant" or "quick-cooking" versus the traditional style, degerminated or full-grain meal, and grain size.

58

What should be noted about instant and quick-cooking cornmeal?

They're parcooked and comparatively bland--leave them on the shelf.

59

What should be noted about full-grain cornmeal?

Though it has a full-corn flavor, it remains slightly gritty no matter how long you cook it.

60

What should be noted about degerminated cornmeal?

The hard hull and germ are removed from each kernel.

61

How can you tell if your cornmeal was degerminated?

Check the back label or ingredient list to see. If it's not explicitly labeled as such, you can assume it's whole grain.

62

Which grind brings the most "pillowy" texture?

Coarse

63

Does grind coarseness vary dramatically from brand to brand?

Yes, there are no standards to ensure consistency; one manufacturers "coarse" may be another's "fine."

64

What does coarse cornmeal look like?

Pieces of couscous; fine looks like grains of sand.

Decks in THE SCIENCE OF GOOD COOKING Class (61):