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According to this article about Blumenthal's method, which also explains the other ingredient/method choices: https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/07/dining/07curious.html The key to the Fat Duck batter is the alcohol, which does a couple of very useful things. It dissolves some of the gluten proteins in the wheat flour, so no elastic network forms and the crust ...


2

The carbonation in soda water (or beer...or the use of a whipping siphon) is added so that the batter becomes more "airy", leading to a lighter and crispier final result after frying.


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