In this short tutorial, I will explain step by step, how you can build a solid carbohydrate source. You will find the bill of materials and all required tools. I will use SI units to simplify all measurements.
This is no quick build, the substances require long reaction and activation times. For this reason, the tutorial is split into a preparation phase, a mix and build phase.
- Oven (for heat treatment)
- Two steel and/or plastic bowls for mixing the substances
- Airtight plastic foil in the right size to cover the bowl
- Refrigerator, set to a temperature of 5ºC
- Steel sheet in the right dimensions for the used oven
- Silicone treated paper as release layer while the heat treatment
- Scale with a one gram precision, minimum range zero to one kilogram
- Optional: heavy-duty mixer with a hook
- 450g tap water
- 600g Wheat flour, with grinding yield 85%, type 1050.
- 150g Whole-wheat flour, with grinding yield >=98%.
- 7g dry yeast
- 14g table salt
- Put the first bowl on the scale to measure the right amount of substances.
- Add 150g whole-wheat flour to the bowl.
- Add 7g dry yeast to the bowl.
- Measure 150g tap water.
- Before adding it to the bowl, make sure it is in the temperature range between 21ºC and 32ºC.
- Heat or cool the water, until it is in the valid range.
- Add it to the bowl.
- Mix all substances thoroughly for 20 seconds.
- Cover the bowl with plastic foil.
- Make sure it encloses all substances in an airtight manner, otherwise, evaporation will reduce the correct amount of water in the mixture.
The next step requires a room temperature above 21ºC and below 32ºC.
- Put the bowl with the mix on an even surface in a room with a valid temperature.
- Wait for 2.5 hours.
- An initial chemical and biological reaction will happen in the bowl.
- Check the bowl visually after the waiting time – do not remove the plastic foil.
- The mixed substances should have visually tripled in size.
- Monosaccharides and disaccharides get reduced.
- Carbon dioxide and ethanol is generated in the mixture.
Before the reaction gets out of control, we need to slow it down.
- Put the bowl into the refrigerator at 5ºC.
- Check if the foil closes the bowl airtight.
The bowl needs to stay in the refrigerator for 10-14 hours. In a slow but important reaction, all components of the mixture will get altered.
Do not underestimate the chemical and biological reactions in this preparation phase. While you can create carbohydrate sources without this step, the overall gain in quality is always worth this preparation step.
- Take the first bowl, with the mixture from the preparation step, out of the refrigerator.
- Put the second bowl on the scale.
- Add 600g wheat flour, with a grinding yield of 85% (type 1050) to the bowl.
- Add 14g table salt to the bowl.
- Measure 300g tap water.
- Heat this water to 32ºC.
- Add the prepared mixture from the first bowl to the second bowl. Use a scraping tool to ensure the whole mixture is removed from the bowl.
- Add the heated water to the bowl.
Next, you have to mix all substances thoroughly. You can use a heavy-duty mixer with a hook or mix them with your hands. With the heavy-duty mixer, you need to keep mixing everything for at least seven minutes. If you mix the components with your hands, it will take longer.
Important: This step is not to get a homogeneous mixture. While mixing the components, an important chemical reaction happens. The mechanical work will release a combination of prolamin and glutelin, which are required in the next steps.
After mixing, make sure to keep/put the resulting elastic paste in the bowl.
- Ideally, put the bowl for 1.5 hours in a room at 32ºC with 80% humidity.
- Alternatively, cover the bowl with plastic foil or wet cloth, put it at a warm (between 21ºC and 32ºC) location, and wait between 1.5-2 hours.
- Carbon dioxide is built in the paste.
- Check the size of the elastic paste in the bowl, if it doubled its size, this process is finished.
- Prepare the steel sheet with silicone-treated paper.
- Remove the elastic paste from the bowl, using a scraping tool.
- Split the elastic paste into two equal parts. Use a scale with precise measurements for best results.
- Form two equal spheres using the paste using your hands.
- Stretch the surface on one side of the paste and fold the rims back into the middle of the sphere.
- Repeat until the top surface of the sphere looks smooth.
- This step is important to create the correct internal structure of the final object.
Next, put both prepared spheres on the silicone-treated paper you put on the steel sheet. Make sure there is 5cm space around the spheres. Orient the spheres with the smooth surfaces on top.
Cover the objects with a large damp piece of cloth, put them at a warm place and wait 20 minutes for more carbon dioxide build in the spheres.
- Turn on the oven and enter a set temperature of 180ºC.
- Wait until the oven reach the set temperature.
- Remove the wet cloth from the two spheres.
- Optionally, use additional tap water and wet the surface of both spheres.
- Optionally, use a sharp knife and cut a cross into the top surface of both spheres.
- Put the steel sheet with the objects into the oven.
The duration of heat treatment depends on the accuracy of your oven, it will take between 20-40 minutes. Use a visual inspection of the surface with PANTONE colour 18-1244 TCX for the best results.
While the heat treatment, the size of the spheres will raise by 30-40%. This is normal and is part of the process.
Remove the spheres from the oven and let them cool down to room temperature.
As you can see, building carbohydrate sources is a simple process. I focused in this tutorial on a basic version. Additional components can greatly increase the overall quality, but will require additional steps.
If you have any questions, missed information, or simply want to provide feedback, feel free to comment below. 😄