Batter (cooking)
Batter is a semi-liquid mixture of one or more flours combined with liquids such as water, milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 or eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

 used to prepare various foods. Often a leavening agent
Leavening agent
A leavening agent is any one of a number of substances used in doughs and batters that cause a foaming action which lightens and softens the finished product...

 such as baking powder
Baking powder
Baking powder is a dry chemical leavening agent used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, scones and American-style biscuits. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in...

 is included to aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks, or the mixture may be naturally fermented
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 for this purpose as well as to add flavour. Carbonated water
Carbonated water
Carbonated water is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, a process that causes the water to become effervescent....

 or another carbonated liquid such as beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

 may instead be used to aerate the batter in some recipes.

The viscosity
Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear or tensile stress. In everyday terms , viscosity is "thickness" or "internal friction". Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while honey is "thick", having a higher viscosity...

 of batter may range from very "stiff" (adhering to an upturned spoon) to "thin" (similar to single cream, enough to pour or drop from a spoon and sometimes called "drop batter"). Heat is applied to the batter, usually by frying
Frying is the cooking of food in oil or another fat, a technique that originated in ancient Egypt around 2500 BC. Chemically, oils and fats are the same, differing only in melting point, but the distinction is only made when needed. In commerce, many fats are called oils by custom, e.g...

, baking
Baking is the technique of prolonged cooking of food by dry heat acting by convection, and not by radiation, normally in an oven, but also in hot ashes, or on hot stones. It is primarily used for the preparation of bread, cakes, pastries and pies, tarts, quiches, cookies and crackers. Such items...

 or steaming
Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and capable of cooking almost all kinds of food.-Method:...

, in order to cook the ingredients and to "set" the batter into a solid form. Batters may be sweet or savoury
Umami , popularly referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.-Etymology:Umami is a loanword from the Japanese meaning "pleasant savory taste". This particular writing was chosen by Professor Kikunae Ikeda from umai "delicious" and mi ...

, often with either sugar or salt being added (sometimes both). Many other flavourings such as herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s, spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s, fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

s or vegetable
The noun vegetable usually means an edible plant or part of a plant other than a sweet fruit or seed. This typically means the leaf, stem, or root of a plant....

s may be added to the mixture.

The word batter comes from the old French word battre which means to beat, as many batters require vigorous beating or whisking in their preparation.


Many well known foods start in batter form. Cake
Cake is a form of bread or bread-like food. In its modern forms, it is typically a sweet and enriched baked dessert. In its oldest forms, cakes were normally fried breads or cheesecakes, and normally had a disk shape...

s and cupcake
A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, frequently baked in a small, thin paper or aluminum cup...

s are made from batter as are pancake
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side...

s, waffle
A waffle is a batter- or dough-based cake cooked in a waffle iron patterned to give a distinctive and characteristic shape. There are many variations based on the type and shape of the iron and the recipe used....

s, crêpe
A crêpe or crepe , is a type of very thin pancake, usually made from wheat flour or buckwheat flour . The word is of French origin, deriving from the Latin crispa, meaning "curled". While crêpes originate from Brittany, a region in the northwest of France, their consumption is widespread in France...

s and blintz
A blin, blintze, or blintz is a thin pancake. It is somewhat similar to a crêpe with the main difference being that yeast may be used in blini, but not in crêpes.-Etymology, origins, culture :...

es. Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire pudding
Yorkshire Pudding is a dish that originated in Yorkshire, England. It is made from batter and usually served with roast meat and gravy.-History:...

 and hushpuppies
A hushpuppy or cornbread ball is a savory, starch-based food made from cornmeal batter that is deep fried or baked in small ball or sphere shapes, or occasionally oblong or ring shapes...

 are both made primarily from batter, and accompaniments to other dishes. Fritter
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.-Anglo-American fritters:...

s, tempura
], is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.-Batter:A light batter is made of cold water and soft wheat flour . Eggs, baking soda or baking powder, starch, oil, and/or spices may also be added...

 and some types of donut
DONUT was an experiment at Fermilab dedicated to the search for tau neutrino interactions. Even though the detector operated only during a few months in the summer of 1997, it was largely successful. By detecting the tau neutrino, it confirmed the existence of the last lepton predicted by the...

s are all made with batters. Biscuit
A biscuit is a baked, edible, and commonly flour-based product. The term is used to apply to two distinctly different products in North America and the Commonwealth Nations....

s, some quick bread
Quick bread
Quick bread is an American term used to denote a type of bread which is leavened with leavening agents other than yeast. Quick breads includes many cakes, brownies and cookies, as well as banana bread, beer bread, cornbread, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, scones, and soda bread.-History::"Quick...

s and cookie
In the United States and Canada, a cookie is a small, flat, baked treat, usually containing fat, flour, eggs and sugar. In most English-speaking countries outside North America, the most common word for this is biscuit; in many regions both terms are used, while in others the two words have...

s may also be made with batter.

Batter is used in some parts of the world to coat fish or vegetables before frying. Batter makes up a critical component of the British dish fish and chips
Fish and chips
Fish and chips is a popular take-away food in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada...

 for instance. Pakora
Pakora is a fried snack found across South Asia. Pakoras are created by taking one or two ingredients such as onion, eggplant, potato, spinach, plantain, cauliflower, tomato, chilli, or occasionally bread or chicken and dipping them in a batter of gram flour and then deep-frying them...

s are a South Asian snack made by coating vegetables in spiced chickpea
The chickpea is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae...

 flour (gram flour
Gram flour
Gram flour is a cereal flour made from ground chickpeas. It is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan . Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines, and, in the form of a paste with water or yoghurt, a popular facial exfoliant in...

) batter and deep frying them.

In Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine
Indian cuisine consists of thousands of regional cuisines which date back thousands of years. The dishes of India are characterised by the extensive use of various Indian spices, herbs, vegetables and fruit. Indian cuisine is also known for the widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society...

, dosa
Dosa or Dhosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. It is indigenous to and is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, as well as being popular in Sri Lanka...

 and idli are a type of crêpe and cake respectively, both made from a rice flour
Rice flour
Rice flour is a form of flour made from finely milled rice. It is distinct from rice starch, which is usually produced by steeping rice in lye....

 and black lentil batter. Appam
Appam, Aappam hoppers, are a type of food in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lankan cuisine. It is called chitau Pitha in Oriya, Paddu or Gulle Eriyappa in Kodava. It is known as ආප්ප in Sinhala. It is eaten most frequently for breakfast or dinner.Appum or aapum – pronunciation varies between regions...

 are pancakes made with rice flour batter. Vada
Vada ; also known as wada or vade or vadai , is a savoury fritter-type snack from South India.-Description:Vada can vary in shape and size, but are usually either doughnut- or disc-shaped and are about between 5 and 8 cm across. They are made from dal, lentil, gram flour or potato.Vada is a...

s are savory fritters made from vegetables in batter (there is water).

Beer batter

Beer is a popular ingredient in batters used to coat foods before frying. One reason is that a basic batter can be made from only flour, beer and some salt. The purpose of using beer is so the bubbles in the beer will add body and lightness to the batter. Depending on the type and quality of the beer it may also add color or some flavor to the batter. The practice of beer battering is popular in America, Europe, and Russia. When foods are beer battered and fried (fish, chips
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

, onion rings
Onion rings
Onion rings are a form of fast food commonly found in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and some parts of Asia. They generally consist of a cross-sectional "ring" of onion dipped in batter or breading and then deep fried; a variant is made with onion paste...

), the heat generated by the frying process evaporates most of the alcohol.

See also

  • Dough
    Dough is a paste made out of any cereals or leguminous crops by mixing flour with a small amount of water and/or other liquid. This process is a precursor to making a wide variety of foodstuffs, particularly breads and bread-based items , flatbreads, noodles, pastry, and similar items)...

     - the thicker flour paste that is often kneaded
    Kneading is a process in the making of bread or pasta dough, used to mix together the ingredients and add strength to the final product. Its importance lies in the mixing of flour with water. When these two ingredients are combined and kneaded, the gliadin and glutenin proteins in the flour expand...

  • Breading
    Breading is a dry grain-derived food coating for a piece of food such as meat, vegetable, poultry, fish, shellfish, crustacean, seitan, or textured soy, made from breadcrumbs or a breading mixture with seasonings. Breading can also refer to the process of applying a bread-like coating to a food...

     - a dry, powdered coating put on food before cooking it
  • Beer bread
    Beer bread
    Beer bread is a simple bread based on the idea that both beer and bread have a common creation process: yeast is used to turn sugar into alcohol, which in the case of bread then boils off....

  • Tempura
    ], is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.-Batter:A light batter is made of cold water and soft wheat flour . Eggs, baking soda or baking powder, starch, oil, and/or spices may also be added...

    - A form of Japanese cuisine, consisting of battered fish and vegetables.

External links

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