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View Full Version : Southern Living Recipe: Exploding Rolls?


cards
03-31-2004, 08:31 AM
http://www.southernliving.com/southern/foods/tr_recipes/article/0,13676,605096,00.html

OK, how do water and shortening combine to create a fire hazard? Shortening by itself or in combinataion with an ingrediant like flour, when heated could be an issue sure, but water? Unfortunately, they didn't post the recipe, so I ask the you, how would you do this and what is the SD?

Duck Duck Goose
03-31-2004, 09:33 AM
Since it says:Please DO NOT USE the Icebox Rolls recipe that appeared on p. 154 of the April 2004 issue of Southern Living. It has been determined that heating the water and shortening, as described in the original recipe, is dangerous, and may pose a fire and safety hazard. DO NOT USE this recipe. It sounds to me like we're talking about the unpleasant "over-heated microwave water" phenomenon.

http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mmicroboil.html

The original recipe probably called for putting the shortening in the same bowl as the water, and heating them together in the microwave to the boiling point to melt the shortening. This would probably cause the "exploding microwave water" effect. The corrected recipe says to pour the boiling water over the shortening in a separate bowl to melt it.

http://food.southernliving.com/southern/display/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=600753

Maus Magill
03-31-2004, 10:28 AM
The corrected recipe says to pour the boiling water over the shortening in a separate bowl to melt it.

I would guess the original recipe called for melting the shortening in the water over a burner.

If you have a gas stove, this would be a good way to burn your house down.

MikeS
03-31-2004, 10:46 AM
Hmm... When I first saw this I thought it was an April Fool's joke, but duck duck goose's theory makes sense too.

Mausmagill, why is melting shortening in water a Bad Thing? I've successfully melted butter in water on a gas stove many times in the past, and my apartment is still standing. Is shortening that much different?

Maus Magill
03-31-2004, 11:08 AM
Mausmagill, why is melting shortening in water a Bad Thing? I've successfully melted butter in water on a gas stove many times in the past, and my apartment is still standing. Is shortening that much different?

Melting shortening in boiling water over a gas burner is a recipe for disaster because if it should boil over, then you would not only have a grease fire after the shortening touched the flame, but it would have the added benefit of spreading more quickly as it floats on the water spreading across your counter top.

Remember, never put water on a grease fire.

Nametag
03-31-2004, 11:42 AM
It's hard to say what's wrong with the original recipe without seeing it. I'm guessing that they recommended heating cold shortening and cold water together until the water is boiling hot and the shortening is melted. Note the ratio: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup water.

Remember that shortening is fat. As the fat and water heat up, the fat will melt and spread over the top of the water. It's a lot of fat, and will form a pretty good seal over the water, which is getting hotter and hotter, and will soon boil. The steam, however, has no place to go unless it forces its way through the fat layer, which it will do in one of two ways:

1) Little bubbles - the bubbles will foam up the shortening and make it boil over the sides, leading to the grease fire described elsewhere.

2) Big bubbles - the steam will gather under a high spot until enough pressure has formed to force the shortening out of the way, whereupon a bolus of steam and hot fat will leap from the pan and into the face of the chef.

I don't know which conditions will lead to which event, but they're both bad, m'kay?

DeVena
04-02-2004, 02:46 PM
Sounds like someone forgot to proofread.

The recipe for icebox rolls incorrectly instructed cooks to boil a cup of water and a half cup of shortening over high heat for five minutes. But that can cause the melted grease to rise to the top of the saucepan, trapping the hot water and creating an explosive burst. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&e=17&u=/ap/recipe_recall)

At least I hope they never had their recipe testers boil 1 cup water + 1/2 cup Crisco for 5 minutes!

Dogzilla
04-02-2004, 02:51 PM
Ya know... I'm a Southern Living subscriber and they actually sent me an e-mail to the effect of, "Ohmigawd, do NOT make the icebox thingys because of DANGER DANGER DANGER Will Robinson!!! Your house could burn down, you won't be able to have orgasms, your car won't start, your kids will fail all their classes and your bank account will re-set to a zero balance. Do NOT, we repeat, DO NOT MAKE THE ICEBOX THINGYS!!!"

Since I'm trying to eat healthy right now, I wasn't terribly interested in trying the recipe, but I've been trying to figure out what the big danger is ever since. Glad I didn't just try to make them!

Reeder
04-02-2004, 02:52 PM
Nametag called it right.

That's how I heard it explained on NPR.

picunurse
04-02-2004, 03:22 PM
I have a receipe for cream puff I've made many times. It calls for melting a stick (1/2cup) in 1 cup of boiling water. I've never burned down a single house with it.
Does this mean I can never make cream puffs again? :confused:
Oh well, I don't need all those empty calories anyway.

Maus Magill
04-02-2004, 03:23 PM
Nametag called it right.

Yes, thank you Nametag for properly explaning what I had left unintentionally murky.

tremorviolet
04-02-2004, 04:13 PM
It's definitely mondo dangerous. Check out this ABCnews reoprts account (http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/Living/exploding_recipe_040401.html) of testing the recipe and the accompanying photo of the result. Wow :eek:

pulykamell
04-02-2004, 05:15 PM
I have a receipe for cream puff I've made many times. It calls for melting a stick (1/2cup) in 1 cup of boiling water. I've never burned down a single house with it.
Does this mean I can never make cream puffs again? :confused:
Oh well, I don't need all those empty calories anyway.

If they are cold when you heat them together, yes. If you're adding the butter to the already boiled water, then you should be fine.