Monday, January 28, 2008

Echaudés and the Maillard Reaction

In my post on Echaudés - boiled pastry, I found that the recipe's instruction specifically say to use an unlined copper caldron or jam [confiture] pan to boil the pastries in. One of the interesting results of using a copper pan and heat would insure a reaction with the sugar in the dough to produce the Maillard reation, which will lead to browning once the dough is subjected to dry heat in an oven.

So when you next eat a pretzel or bagel or French echaudés, savor the flavor and the color of the outside of the pastry and be thankful for chemistry--otherwise, that bagel or pretzel or echaudés would remain as colorless as it was when removed from the boiling water of the previous step of preparation.

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