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Can you use carbon dioxide/nitrogen directly to provide leavening? It's known that vegetable shortening is actually pumped with nitrogen bubbles to aerate it, so maybe there's a way you could use them like this in baking? The two options I see are either injecting them in or using them as solids or liquids. Thoughts on this please, thanks.

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It is not uncommon to use an ISI whipper for this purpose. For example, tempura batter can be placed in a whipper, and it can be charged with CO2. I'm not sure if that is more advantageous than simply mixing rice flour with seltzer water, but it is done. Liquid nitrogen would freeze your batter, as would dry ice. Dry ice would leave your batter somewhat carbonated upon thawing. Your approach likely depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I don't think this would be an effective approach dough, and for baking. It might make sense for some batters.

  • Ah so if you used dry ice or liquid nitrogen, the gas would escape before it got unfrozen? – CrackerJacked Aug 17 at 17:43
  • If you are talking about a dough that will bake, yes...probably. CO2 will take longer than N2, but I doubt it would be useful as leavening in a baking application. – moscafj Aug 17 at 18:13
  • @CrackerJacked - well, the dry ice or liquid nitrogen would either be too hard to get into a dough (or even most batters) or too easy to get out. If it mixes in easily and quickly, the gas will likely separate and escape a loose batter more easily... if the dough or batter has got enough strength to hold in gas bubbles, it'll be too stiff to mix dry ice or liquid nitrogen in evenly before it starts evaporating out, and with uneven mixing, well, its easier for large bubbles to escape than small ones. – Megha Aug 21 at 8:27
  • Thanks for the explanation. So it seems that using dry ice/liquid nitrogen is out of the question, but what if you injected the gases into the dough/batter instead? Would that work? – CrackerJacked Aug 21 at 9:38

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