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According to this article about Blumenthal's method, which also explains the other ingredient/method choices: 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 ...


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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