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I was looking at some recipes online that included dried mushrooms (mostly porcini). All those recipes and this question mention soaking them in warm water.

Why warm water? Would there be a difference if you would use cold water?

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Some instructions I've seen call for hot water. –  Jeff Axelrod Mar 24 '13 at 14:31

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Rehydrating dried fruits and vegetables in warm water is fast - mushrooms might take 15-20 minutes, though some varieties take longer, and it of course depends on how hot your water is. It would take a lot longer with cold water. You can still do it, and possibly more of the flavor will remain in the mushrooms (since you're not effectively cooking them slightly), but it'll take hours - not the kind of thing you can do without advance planning.

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So why do people soak dried beans in cold water (or should I ask another question for that)? –  Mien Feb 5 '12 at 20:11
    
@Mien: Because whether water is initially warm or not doesn't make much of a difference if you soak for as long a time as you soak beans - the water cools down after a while anyway. If I flavour the bean soaking water with garlic or other aromatics, I never let it cool down before soaking beans in them. –  Erik P. Feb 8 '12 at 5:45
    
@Mien: If you want to soak beans in warm water, you can - it's often called "quick soak". You just cook them for a couple minutes and then let them soak for an hour, and it does approximately what a long cold soak does. (Sorry, I somehow missed your comment.) –  Jefromi Feb 8 '12 at 5:50
    
@ErikP., soaking dried beans in cold water takes hours. Soaking mushrooms in hot water takes a few minutes. If you would soak mushrooms in cold water it would take (according to Jefromi's answer) hours. So I just drew the line further. –  Mien Feb 8 '12 at 8:41
    
@Jefromi thanks :) (and np) –  Mien Feb 8 '12 at 8:42

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