The Fresh Loaf

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Along the lines of egg whites, chia foam

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Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Along the lines of egg whites, chia foam

 

Whipped egg whites are often used to leaven pancakes, light cakes, baked or steamed desserts.  I didn't have Chia seeds in 2009 when at the time I made the suggestion to Sharonk, and completely forgot about it until I stumbled across it today.  Egg whites work in that they are whipped until stiff making a protein foam and then ingredients (grated nuts, flour an the like) are folded in or it's folded into batter.  Either way.  If chia gel were strained so the seeds don't plug the nozzle, and placed in a pressure container for whip cream and charged with CO2 gas, the extruded chia foam (think unscented shaving cream) might be used to hold ingredients as they bake or are floated over boiling water.  Well folks, I've got Chia seeds thanks to Shiao Ping.  Sharon suggests  "To make chia seed gel, take 2 tablespoons of chia seed and mix it into 8 ounces of water.  Stir with a whisk or fork every 5-10 minutes for a half hour... let the chia seed gel sit for 12 hours before using." 

The Plan:  I could substitute it for stiff egg white in a regular gluten recipe and find a starting point.  As far as gluten free recipes go (you can see where this is going... gluten free, egg free, yeast free)  I wouldn't know what to add to the foam or even if it would work.  (Maybe when I get that far....)  I have acquired chia seeds and can make the gel, and do have the container and gas but have no idea what to do next.  (ok, no plan.)  I suppose if the gel keeps two weeks in the fridge, I have two weeks to play around with it.  I was just wondering if Sharonk or anyone had some suggestions where I might start...  (Hint hint) 

First I want to make seed free gel, then pressurize it and test the properties of chia gel foam.  Bake it, boil it, steam it, fry it.  Seeing what happens.  Sound like fun?

It is Carnival Tuesday, anything can happen!

 

Comments

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

What an extraordinary experiment!
I'm looking forward to reading about the outcome...
Although: Chia is considered an exotic superfood here (in Holland) and it is very expensive. Would linseed do the trick as well? After all, linseed forms gel too, in the same way as far as I can tell.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I just put 60g (1/3c) of chia seeds to 480g (2c) water and they've been soaking for about an hour now.  At first I used 30g and one cup of water but I figured the seeds themselves were soaking up too much water and if I wanted enough gel after straining out the seeds, I just as well could make more.


I've been reading on the gel and so far haven't seen anything about foaming the stuff.  Flax?  Why not?  We could run it at the same time!  get those seeds a soaking dear and get your CO2 ready!  It's "myth busting time!"  (Don't ask me which myth.)


You may need more seeds to water -- have to check on the ratios.  

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

... you can use it to style your hair! :)
Apparently, the straining is quite a challenge, and several people mention squeezing it through pantyhose. And that it's easier to strain when hot.


Get "my CO2" ready?
Eh...


 


Edited to add: I also found this:



Flax Seed Egg Replacer
*Replacer for 1 egg


1 TBS flax seed (ground)
3 TBS water



  • Method #1: Simmer together on top of stove for about 5 minutes until the consistency reaches a thick, egg-white like consistency.

  • Method #2: Blend ingredients together in a blender or food processor until the mixture is thick and creamy. Refrigerate.


(found it here).
Pop N Fresh's picture
Pop N Fresh

I have done this with flax seed.  I works great!

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Hi Mini,


Flax seeds might work, but as you will notice once the chia gel has set, the chia seeds form a different kind of gel, very firm, clean, just like a gelatine pudding really. You can almost cut it. Flaxseeds when mixed with liquid make a more slimy gel, in my experience of preparing soakers for multi grain/seed breads.


Success with the experiment!


P.S. And chia seeds have next to no taste of their own and take the taste of the liquid you use to make the gel while flax seeds do have a very specific taste.


 

Richelle's picture
Richelle

Hola Jaydot, chia seed is not only a superfood for humans. In Holland they sell it as bird feed as well... try http://www.vanderaartdiervoeders.nl/zaden.html. They sell chia seed at 6,45 euro/kilo, ship all over the world and I buy my chia seeds from them in bulk, as it is cheaper even to have it shipped to Spain then buy it in the health food store here at 18 euros/kilo. I first had them ship me just one kilo, to try them out and the seed is exactly the same, clean, without dust or anything, as I buy here at the health food store!

I generally mix about 4 tablespoons of the seeds with a smallish cup of fruit juice. Use the thus flavoured gel to top up natural yoghurt and use it in all kinds of recipes that ask for butter, oil or any other kind of fat. I replace up to half the amount of fat in a recipe with chia gel and use a little less sugar (as the gel is already made with sweet fruit juice) and it works just great! Can't use it with puff pastry as it doesn't firm up like butter does, but works fine in bread dough like challah, cookies etc.


Just experiment!


Richelle from Andalucia

Jaydot's picture
Jaydot

Thanks for the link, I never thought of checking animal feed suppliers!

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, Mini:

Just out of curiosity, CO2 from.......??? Fire extinguisher in your house? ;)

Yippee

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Mini,


My curiosity is right behind you on this one, but maybe try whipping it conventionally to see if it will actually trap air before using the Co2 whipper. I used to use these whippers all the time when I was a barman and the mess they can make if everything is not so can be horrific. Just a note of caution before you proceed, but looking forward to hearing your results.


Good luck,


Franko

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and reminds me of tapioca pudding, heavy on the pearls but clear/grey.  CO2 cartridges come in a box of 10 for half liter or one liter size bottles.   I'm using the small bottle.  


Gelled Chia gel.  This stuff gets thicker?  Oh gosh. Like "cut with a knife?"  Oh no!  I want to sieve this stuff first.   Panty hose, I think I have a new pair of knee sock hose to donate to the cause.  When does it go solid?  Right now it is still fluid-ish.  If it gets cold from the gas (upon releasing it into the bottle) it just might set it.   


Ok, just might try whipping first conventionally  (with the seeds)  Thanks, Franko

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Tried whipping some.  Took 100g (100mg) seedy gel and took out my mixing wand.  Put on the extra whip attachment and began to gently beat air into it at the lowest setting.  This went on for a minute and I could see the gel around the seeds just seem to move away from the beater not trapping any air at all.  It was as if the gel moved out of the way. 


 



  • Method: Mixer stick, whip attachment, no noticeable results

  • Method: Mixer electric, one wire beater, low for a few minutes, then medium a few minutes, then high.  no noticeable results 

  • Method: Mixer stick with blade, low 10 seconds, medium maybe 20 seconds, high for a minute and noticed some broken seeds and graying of clear gel.  Still no increase in volume.  A few bubbles managed to get trapped rising to the surface to pop.

  • Tried sieve, small metal and used a spoon.  Extremely slow process. Gel separated from seeds contains lots of fine particles.  Taste is neutral. 

  • Decided to take the tablespoon of gel without seeds and nuke it in the microwave.  Gave it 30 seconds to bubble and get hot, triple in size with lots of bubbles. 

  • Looked like it formed a skin but upon stirring, was gone, seemed thinner.  Not sure.  

  • Poured the gel back into the beaker with seeded mixed gel and put the whole thing into the microwave to heat up.  Then took a wire mixer blade to it.  nothing.  Heated it up again in the Microwave until it tripled in volume and whipped it again while hot. Managed to trap more bubbles but that was short lived and no where near foamy or increase in volume.  

  • Allowed to cool to room temperature.  Tried whipping it again with the wire beater and no increase in volume.  


Feel like I'm back to square one. The only difference in the two (mass amount of chia gel and 100g of abused chia gel) is that one looks a bit more mangled than the other.   The nuked one is still fluid but a little bit thicker now.


On to picking the seeds out.  The stocking trick...


 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Mini,


the formation of foam in egg whites is due to proteins (maybe the denaturation of ovoglobulins?), while the gel in seeds is almost always formed by soluble fibers. I guess it's really impossible trapping air in that gel, but it can still be used to trap water and make it act as a binder.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but I guess not.

proth5's picture
proth5

I attended an Okinawan tea ceremony.  The Okinawans make a kind of "cappucino" tea and the foam is made from an infusion of roasted rice.


Then a bamboo wisk is used in a wooden bowl to whip it into a froth.


I was in the deep throws of cooking deprivation and got the thing to whip into quite stiff peaks.  The infusion started out as quite liquid, but then did , indeed hold stiff peaks.


I've always wondered about the science behind this, because it does not seem like the rice water should do this.  Yet it does.


Maybe it is the bamboo (?) Maybe the solution needs to be more liquid and then it will whip(?)  I don't know.


Worth pondering...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(looks a lot like a mini broom) and ...  and ... and ... 


This stuff just moves out of the way.  I was hoping with so much water, to carbonate that water.  I will mill this over in my brain for a while and figure it out.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to separate the seeds from the gel.  I put my 440g of Chia gel into a nylon, doubled it over with a wooden spoon and twisted the spoon around and around until it would twist no longer.  


We got laugh cramps in the kitchen.  


My son started to scrape the bag of goo with a plastic spoon while I tried to hang on to it.  We managed to get about 50ml of seedless water.  Well, too little to put into the vacuum canister and it is much thinner than the gel around the seeds.  I think all I did was press water out of the fibrous material surrounding the seeds.  I will put this into the blender... nothing.  I drank it, why let it go to waste?   No taste, but water tastes better.  My son thought I was making experiments with exotic cocktails.  Na ya... it's carnival!


The chia gel I will work into bread, shouldn't take long.


Bummer, I was really fired up.  Really interesting stuff this Chia gel.  Stays wet.  Is Flax any easier?  I put the gel into the refrigerator.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

both flax and psyllium have the same problem.


You could finely grind the chia seeds before soaking and get even more gel. When I did it with psyllium seeds the next morning I got an almost solid blob.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I'll try that.  If I can't separate them, make them smaller, like dust particles.  Genius!  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I could try that.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And today I thought I'd bake a loaf with it so I can keep experimenting.  I combined a soaker using the Chia gel and altus.  I thought that might be interesting to try something while I'm this far along.  I took some of the goop two tablespoons to be exact and in one came a pinch of baking power.  I fried them like little pancakes, browning both sides and letting them cool to set up.  The one with BP was twice as high but the flatter one set better.  They both tasted a little needy.  As they didn't set enough I was counting on the heating of the altus for some kind of factor) I threw them back into the bread dough and proceeded to wing it with a recipe.  


Keeping my favorite ratios in the back of my head, I added spices & seeds to the Chia-altus mixture, mature sourdough also with altus and rye flour and put the bowl on the scales.  I then measured an appropriate amount of flour for 150g starter, 550g rye and the rest AP wheat.  I had to play with the amounts of water until I got the flour wet and I mixed slowly letting the flour pull the water from the chia gel.  After about an hour rest in went the salt and some more water.  After a couple of hours rise, I rolled the dough into 200g of green pumpkin seeds and placed into my sauce pan.  It was more risen than usual but gee, it did have all that Chia bulk in there and when my boys looked at me and the rise I simply said, "exoskeleton."     


To make a story short, I just took the top sauce pan off the loaf to let out the steam and low and behold!  I don't think I've ever had such a high loaf before!  It is just gorgeous!  I didn't like the extra time working the flour in -- had to take it out of the bowl and bench knead it a little with wet hands.  But Wow!  I still have to run the loaf thru the house testers gauntlet but I think... I think it will come out in flying roasted colors!  Watching my temps not to go over 200°C.   It's still in the oven....   

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven