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Technique: Egg Batter Dough – Problems with the making of...

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On 11/2/2016 at 2:01 AM, JeanneCake said:

So I was browsing the Chef Rubber site today and …


Interesting reference, so I looked it up. Its available via Modernist Pantry.



On 11/2/2016 at 2:38 AM, Kerry Beal said:

I think that Crisp-Coat is the same as Trisol - makes for a lovely tempura that is wonderfully crispy and remains so when it cools - but I suspect it wouldn't give the texture that he is after in this application. 

When I read that it needs to be kept in motion to keep it in solution I immediately thought of corn starch. It turns out that its a modified corn starch. Yes it would give a crisper texture, like tempura.


Which begs the question, Is the texture I'm looking for, a function of the dough's reaction to being immersed into hot oil? OR, is the texture built in, as part of the ingredients used to manufacture the dough?


Originally, the dough was supposed to be an, "egg batter dough." What does that even mean? (In a 1950's Australian context?) I can't find any contemporary references to such a dough. 1940's-50's Australia (Victoria) was predominately Australian/British cookery with ethnic cuisine inroads from Chinese/Cantonese (goldfields), Greek, Italian, & post-War European migration.


The roll was developed in direct response to Chinese Spring Rolls, which in Australia, grew or bloated into a similar sized 20cm long roll. Did this occur before the development of the Chiko Roll or in response to its popularity? I don't know and I'm not sure we'll ever know. What I do know is that the Chiko Roll and the Spring Roll are two very different beasts that share a similarity in shape only. The texture of a deep fried Spring Roll wrapper is very different to that of a Chiko Roll casing.


I cannot find anything remotely like it. The modern, commercial version is a savoury, deep fried, unbreaded, dough that exhibits sand-like, surface textural features that look like tiny explosions/ruptures, that casually resembles breadcrumbs or polenta/semolina.


We have French, British, possibly Italian, & Greek/Mediterranean culinary traditions to draw upon. I have looked at hot water pie dough, soda bread dough, pancake batter turned into dough, pasta dough, and variations on each of these themes. I have looked at rolling the dough in grits, in breadcrumbs, etc. The problem I feel is that I guess I've not had a systematic plan for approaching this challenge.


In other words, until now, I've not articulated clearly the either or question above and how the target cuisines might inform answering that question. How's that for clarity? Thanks folks. btw., experimenting with making a egg batter past dough using soaked/cooked semolina as an ingredient. Will let you know how that turns out, in order to bring previous endeavours to a close.

Edited by ThePieman
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Ah Serendipity, don't you just love those little gifts of good fortune, realised after a mistake, that come every now and then? So today's report. Cooked semolina? Its a no go. Makes the dough too soft and the control of moisture content goes out the window. On top of this the subsequent dough when cooked? Nice as it is, is not the right texture, doughiness, yeah, the mouthfeel is all wrong.


I think the next option is to just soak the semolina in water and add it to the dough mixture and stiffen the dough with more flour. I am now, more than ever convinced that it is simply a pasta dough with semolina added and then deep fried.


Now, the serendipity bit. normally I fry these things at 180-190°C. Today I put the oil on, and then turned the heat down (lid on of course, by the time I got back to it, it was smoking hot, not livid, but smoking al the same. When I dropped the dough (wrapped around a beef sausage – the filling is not the issue here) very quickly it began to blister and texture in just the way I wanted.


The answer to that question then? The texture is an artefact of deep frying. I now believe that the rolls after assembly are flash fried for (edit: 20-30 sec.) pale biscuit, i.e. not browned; in very hot oil to set the texture (commercially) then flash frozen for finishing off and colouring, at normal oil temperatures, in the chippie, on demand.


I feel that the semolina is added to increase the surface area of the pastry dough and enhance the texture. Flash frying will texturise the surface along micro sites, but longer frying will cause significant blistering. 


I got some videos to edit, but I DO feel this is a significant move forward… I might of actually cracked it:  la la la la la...   …  Just kidding.


Technique-wise, the take home info from today's experiment is: a soft, pasta-like dough, wrapped around a filling, when deep-fried in very hot oil will blister and texturise on the surface.


When I get the videos done, I'll append a link. Cheers! Its been an interesting and otherwise fruitful day.

Edited by ThePieman (log)
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6 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:


Deep fried ravioli has been around for a long time in Italy, and since the 1940s in the US. Wikipedia....


I grew up in St. Louis and toasted ravioli is still one of my favorite foods. Meat filling preferred.

Edited by robirdstx (log)
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Ok, what follows is the culmination of my endeavours thus far. There are still problems, so any thoughts or clarifications you can offer would be most welcome.


Egg Batter Dough (Well… emulsified oil with lecithin dough, commercial Chiko Roll pastry dough)

AP Flour 100%, Wheat Cereal (Semolina) 16%, Lecithin 2%, Salt 1.5% – Water 52%, Sunflower Oil 16%


Wheat Cereal and Water was combined in a 1:2 ratio and set aside for 30 min. to soak and soften. Salt and Lecithin were added to the remaining water and mixed with a stick blender. To this the Oil was drizzled in and blended into an emulsion. To the emulsion was then combined with the flour to form a moderately firm dough (approx. 58% moisture content), after which the dough was set aside in the refrigerator for an hour to rest. The dough was then flattened out into a sheet, filled rolled up and deep fried for 20-30 seconds at around smoking point for the oil (approx. 440F/226°C). The roll was then visually evaluated for texture, strength and colour.


Colour – pale biscuit

Texture – crazed, rough, small blisters

Strength – relatively stable, can be held in the hand, but lacked some crushing/holding resistance


This dough, is still too soft, it doesn't stick to the bench or hands, but does leave an oily patch where ever it lays long enough. It has less moisture content than an egg pasta dough (3:2) but none of the structural strength properties. Unlike very short crust pie doughs (3:2:1), this emulsified oil (mayonaise) based dough is very, very soft and exhibits none of the structural characteristics. due to these issues, it is easy to roll out but hard to handle and work with as it does not retain a tube like shape after forming into a tube but collapses under its own weight.


So far for the objective stuff, now for the conjectural side.

I could certainly knead more flour into the dough; I have half of it left, weighing before and after thus knowing what I started with and finished adding to it ( I wonder, that might work… note to self, do this.) 


I don't understand why this dough is so soft. Is it the lecithin? Is it the oil? Is it the water? Is it the flour? All of, or none of, the above? Is it my method? Is it the ingredient ratios? I just don't know. If I add more flour and reduce the water content, will I still get the same textural response on frying the dough? These are the questions I'm wrestling with.


Insights? Anyone?


[Addendum: it appears that the oil is not emulsified into the dough as it weeps out after a period of time...]


Edited by ThePieman
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1: Preparing to sheet a 15cm by 40 cm sheet of dough using kitchen wrap. The resultant sheet should be about 3-4mm thick.



2: Closeup of the texture, colour and appearance of the flash fried roll.



3: Autopsy shot to examine the thickness and doneness of the dough casing (filling not important, but being tasty is...)


This image also shows that the roll indeed collapsed under its own weight and flattened out rather than maintain a more cylindrical appearance.

Edited by ThePieman (log)
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Hi folks, I appreciate your interest in this topic and my faltering steps in trying to understand it all. I also appreciate your input and comments. Through this dialogue I've been able to ask the right questions and find, what I think is, the right information needed to help unravel this dilemma (...all my problems have become dilemmas.)


I'm currently in limbo with internet access so this'll be a quick one, but it has afforded me the chance to re-quiz my older books and I believe I've now identified the underlying cultural traditions that led to and informed the development of the Chiko Roll. Based on the evidence at hand, I can now say that there is a very long tradition of fried pastry dough in Australian cuisine, but by the time I was a lad, it was fast falling out of favour with home cooks.


Thank you, one and all, for your assistance. I think this thread is probably at its natural closing point. So, I invite you to read all about it, the cultural traditions underpinning the development of the Australian Chiko Roll on my blog. When I develop the recipe further and complete a few more experiments, I'll post a new update and share the recipe. Cheers.


"Veal Rissoles," from Australia's first published cookbook, 1864.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...

Well folks, its been a looong time since an update, I am still no further ahead and dropped the ball for a while, having moved from Germany to Shanghai. I woke up this morning wondering where had I got to with this search, Its taken me some hours to read through everything again, however in doing so I came across an Indonesian reference to Chicken Rissoles where the cook dipped the roll into beaten egg and then dropped that into the fat: no flour, no breadcrumbs... I thought that was interesting. On reflection I feel now that a lecithin emulsion is not the way to go, given the quality issues such as oil seepage, and dough tensile strength. So back to the drawing board.

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If my memory is right there was something along these lines in the WD50 book by Wylie Dufresne. You should try reading it if you can.







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