It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

Why do some wheat dough balls rise well and bake into perfect loaves while others are flat and hard as a brick? A new study says it’s as much about the flour as the yeast.

Source: It’s the Flour, Not Just The Yeast, That Makes for Perfect Bread

What about the water?  J. Kenji López-Alt from SeriousEats (and previously Cook’s Illustrated) wrote about performing a test concerning the effects of water on pizza crust.  They used multiple bottled waters, with different levels of dissolved solids as well as NYC tap water in the introduction of his new book. His panel of judges weren’t able to detect a significant difference between any of the crusts made with the different waters. At this point, I think it’s safe to say this is a myth or at least a very large degree of self-induced bias.

The Best Ways to Keep Fruit from Browning, Tests to Prove It

The brown spots that mar an otherwise beautiful piece of fruit is basically “fruit rust,” caused by oxygen in the air reacting with a plant enzyme called “polyphenol oxidase.” This article explains the science in more detail, but to prevent enzymatic browning, you either have to stop the oxygen or the enzyme (or both.) Most prevention methods involve a physical barrier (water) and a chemical inhibitor (such as ascorbic acid) but we wanted to see which solutions provided the best solution to this ugly problem.

Source: Tip Tester: The Best Ways to Keep Fruit from Browning

They didn’t test the barrier 😦

Water can break things down, turning stuff to mush.  Honey is a different material, and has been used in the past for treating wounds so I’m not entirely surprised at the test result.

Six Myths About Digestion That Just Won’t Die

Most of us have a vague idea of how digestion works: we eat food, break it down (that’s the scientific term, right?) and, somehow, profit. But without a better understanding of what goes on in there, we’re liable to believe a few bizarre myths that have become commonplace.

In reality, our digestive tract is a complex system with many parts that communicate with each other and the rest of our body. It’s also very adaptable to what we put in it, and doesn’t need specific food combinations or “cleanses” to keep working at its best. Here are some of the top myths about digestion, and the truths behind them.

Source: Six Myths About Digestion That Just Won’t Die

This stuff hasn’t been covered in a previous post.

No Matter What You Think, Radishes Aren’t Actually Spicy

Radishes may seem spicy — but they’re not. They don’t have any spicy flavor compounds in them, the way chili peppers do. So why do they taste spicy when you bite into them?

Source: No Matter What You Think, Radishes Aren’t Actually Spicy

Radishes do not have a lot of nutritional value.  There is vitamin K in radishes – 1.5 mcg of vitamin K per 116 grams of radishes.  Not a lot, but it can add up if you don’t watch out …assuming you can stand to eat that much.

Our Taste for Alcohol Goes Back Millions of Years

Alcohol has been part of human existence for millennia. Alcoholic beverages are an integral part of human culture. Like the wines consumed in Jewish and Christian rituals, these drinks have ceremonial and religious uses. Until the nineteenth century, beer, brandy, rum or grog was the drink of choice for sailors in lieu of stagnant water during long voyages. Alcohol is a social lubricant, an anesthetic and an antiseptic. It is one of the most widely used drugs in the world and has been manufactured since the advent of agriculture nearly 9000 years ago.  How is it that this drug — an intoxicating poison — has become such a part of human existence?

Source: Our Taste for Alcohol Goes Back Millions of Years

The majority of the article talks about the enzyme details…

While we started making alcohol when we figured out agriculture some 9,000 years ago, the research suggests that we’ve had exposure as far back as 10 million years ago.  Now consider that the Y-chromosomal Adam is believed to be ~208,300 years old (vs 200,000 years for Mitochondrial Eve).  Some posit that alcohol is what prompted agriculture – what a sobering thought.  Agriculture almost destroyed civilization

Alcohol is Paleo!

Alcohol is Paleo!