Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How necessary is Xantham Gum?

I forgot I was out of Xantham Gum today and I wanted to make a batch of mini corn dogs to have ready for Andy's school lunches.

I had already started mixing the ingredients when I realized I was out of it and my van has a flat tire so I can't run to the store and get some of the expensive stuff. So I decided that it is such a small amount - it would be no big deal to leave it out - after all, what does it do exactly?

Well, I can now tell you what it does - it makes the batter thicker and stickier. You cannot make good mini corn dogs without it. I made the batter and then proceeded to cut up the corn dogs and let the batter get thicker - the oil wasn't hot yet anyway. Finally I was ready and dipped the hotdogs in the batter - and it was way too thin and none of it would stick to the hot dog. So, unable to believe a small amount of Xantham Gum was responsible, I decided that I must have only added half of the corn meal - so I added more corn meal and got a thicker batter - and some of it did stick to the hot dog - but most of it slid off after it got in the oil and made a terrible mess. My son took one look at the corn dogs as they came out of the oil and pronounced - "I'm not eating them, they don't have any of the good stuff on them!" He really likes the breading - and has been known to pull the breading off and just eat it and leave the hot dog.

So, I sealed up the hot dogs and put them away for now. I guess I will have to put off making mini corn dogs for another day.

Here is a picture of one - sorry, it's not a good picture, but they are just pathetic. A good lesson for anyone. Do not omit Xantham Gum!

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