Batters and doughs are mixtures of flour or meal and a liquid, with salt and sugar to give flavor, butter to make tender, and air or gas to make light. Doughs are thicker than batters.

Flour and water mixed and cooked make a hard mass. Air or gas can be introduced and the mixture quickly cooked before the bubbles break and the resulting cooked dish will be light and porous, because of the elastic nature of the flour and its tendency to become firm when exposed to high heat. The air and gas both expand when heated at the temperature of the oven to about three times their volume, and if properly baked the cooked dish is very light.

Methods of entangling air in a batter:

1 By beating the batter. Examples - Pop-overs, cream puffs, beaten biscuits.

2 By kneading the batter. Examples - Bread and rolls.

3 By adding well-beaten eggs. Examples - Pop-overs, muffins, cakes. (One or two eggs are sufficient to make one cup flour light in a thin batter, 6 eggs are necessary for 1 cup flour if no other liquid is used.)

Methods of Entangling Gas in a Batter: 1 By using an alkali with an acid.

a Soda with sour milk. (1 teaspoon soda to 1 pint sour milk.) b Soda with molasses. (1 teaspoon soda to 1 cup molasses.) c Soda with cream of tartar. (1 level teaspoon soda to 2 slightly rounding teaspoons cream of tartar.) d Soda with dried fruits. (Raisins containing cream of tartar.) e Soda with chocolate (fatty acids).

2 By the use of yeast.

The Thickness of Batters and Doughs

1 A thin or pour batter is of the consistency of thin cream and pours readily.

Proportion - 1 measure flour to 1 measure liquid (scant). Example - Pop-overs, griddle cakes, timbales, etc.

2 A thick cake, or drop batter is of the consistency of thick cream and breaks when poured.

Proportion - 2 measures flour to 1 measure liquid. Example - Muffins, butter cakes, etc.

3 A soft or bread dough is stiff enough to be handled lightly.

Proportion - 3 measures flour to 1 measure liquid. Example - Baking powder biscuits, bread, etc.

4 A stiff or pastry dough is stiff enough to be handled easily.

Proportion - 4 measures flour to 1 measure liquid. Example - Pie crust, cheese straws, noodles, etc.

Note - Proportions will vary with the kind of flour and the liquid used.