A couple of replies about the flax gloop:
>REAL reason for my post was the question of oil. I would think the oil would
>be what was cooking out of the seeds to make the gloop 'gloopy' in the first
>place. Anybody know for sure?
I've asked some biologist/chemist friends about this, and they suspect it's
some kind of protein chain, though speculate is the keyword here. I'd like
to find some research on this, but I haven't yet despite having done
keyword searches through the abstracts of some
food-science/cereal-chemistry periodicals. Meanwhile I'll step into the
resulting void with some observations and speculations as to causes:
First there is the question of whether flax contains something like
lecithin, which would allow the flax oils to be suspended in the gloop in
some kind of emulsion, instead of behaving naturally, i.e. clumping
together and rising to the top as oils are wont to do. This doesn't happen,
even if the stuff cools down and sits in the fridge for a week -- if any of
you remember making emulsifed sauces, this is long-term stability is pretty
hard to achieve, even with efficient emulsifiers like egg yolks.
Certanly some oil must be extracted on the simmering process, but the
gloopiness of the stuff is much more reminiscant of protien-y egg whites
than of fat-emulsion-y things like cream and egg-yolk emulsified sauces
(hollandaise, bearnaise, mayonaise). If you play with the flax-gloop it
hangs off the fork in long transparent strings like egg whites do, instead
of slowly plopping off like an emulsified sauce. My bio/chem friends say
that this stringy-slime behaviour is what makes them speculate there is
some kind of long protein chain involved, kind of like what you have with
wheat gluten-- it does resemble the stage in seitan creation where you've
washed out enough of the starch that you have a collander full of jiggly
gloop all trying to slime its way out all the holes...
Any food-scientists out there? Has anyone read any real reasearch on this,
and can suggest references?
>How long does the gloop keep after you've made it up? This sounds like a
>good idea, but I don't think I'll be motivated to simmer 10 minutes in
>the middle of baking....
It keeps for 3 days (fridged) or so just fine, then after that it starts to
smell rather more like itself than I find appealing. I've kept it around
for more than a week (in the interests of science <g>!) over which time it
smelled increasingly flax-y, and the stringy-clumpy parts became more
stringy-clumpy, leaving a thinner liquid around them. I didn't see any
oil-droplets emerging. It did become more cloudy, but that was probably
just colonists... My recommendation is to reserve it for observation only
after the 3rd day!!
On a more practical bent, it's one of those things I start early in the day
that I think I'm going to be baking, so that it's ready by the time that I
am. Also, do budget time to let it cool before you squeeze the gloop away
from the seeds, since not only does it make the stuff thicker, but it is
also significantly less stressful to avoid manipulating a boiling hot
bundle of seeds and slime. As an ex-baker I still have asbestos hands, but
steaming slime is no picnic!
All of which is to encourage you to make it ahead of time and put it in the
fridge, where it will persist happily for a coupla days.