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General Discussion

Why does gelatin need to soften?

rworange | Nov 22, 200601:59 AM     4

Couldn't decide if posting on the General or Home Cooking board was best, but was hoping that someone who might not read Home Cooking might have the answer.

I've continued my home-made jello experiments that I started a few months back.
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/315519

Every recipe says to sprinkle gelatin on liquid and soften from one to ten minutes.

OK, so I know for a fact that the time doesn't matter. Sprinkling one minute yields the same results as ten.

So that got me curious if it needed to be softened at all. As far as I can see, it doesn't.

I boiled two cups of juice, dumped in a package of Knox gelatin, stirred and put in the fridge. Didn't make one difference. It still jelled.

So what's that all about?

Everyone says soften, but no one says why and it doesn't seem to matter.

Another question before I have to throw a batch out ... why do you need hot water in the process? Why not just sprinkle on the liquid, stir and refrigerate?

So far, there is only one thing that seems to matter in making jello ... liquid to gelatin ... two cups of liquid to one packet of gelatin.

Too little liquid and you get jello squares. Too much liquid and it doesn't jell.

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