? Fresh Baked Bean Question ?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by schoolchef, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. schoolchef

    schoolchef

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    All,
    The "New" chef instructor and I were discussing the issues with the tenderness of fresh baked beans when there done cooking. My questions are:

    1. "Do you almost have to over-cook the beans, then add all the mollassas, brown sugar, ketchup, etc., to end up with an acceptable product thats tender??

    2. "Does the addition of an alkaline, such as baking soda added the beans boiling in water, help maintain the tenderness when all the sugar stuff is added"??

    I know when sugar is added to beans it acts as a sealer to moisture or something like that. Please let us know what you have heard in industry, test kitchens, or from experience. Thanks so much!
    schoolchef
     
  2. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I have made "Baked Beans" both by the traditional baking and by the boiling method (much easier when making huge batches). In the traditional method the beans (uncooked), water, and all the seasonings are added to a dutch oven and baked at a medium-low oven for many hours. This overcomes the issues of adding salt, sugar, etc. to raw beans.

    When I make "baked beans" by the boiling (simmering) method, I first precook my beans until 3/4 done. The I pour off about 1/2 the remaining water, add all my other ingredients and then simmer until the beans become tender once again. This is about the same time that they are just slightly on the soupy side. No problem. Once they have cooled donw and the starch from the beans has had time to diffuse thoughout the liquid they end up perfect when reheated.

    I have used the boiling method when making 30+ pounds of baked beans, but I really do prefer the baking method, as I feel that the flavor has a chance to penetrate more into the beans, but that is just my opinion.
     
  3. schoolchef

    schoolchef

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    Thanks Pete, While reading your note I thought that maybe I haven't been allowing them to cook long enough? I usually boil the beans till they are soft to the "squish", then add all the stuff and some water, (but maybe not enough), then bake them for about 2 hours adding water two or three times along the way. I think I might present this as a control & variable for my students to test out and see what happens! Thanks.
    schoolchef
     
  4. armand

    armand

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    Hello,

    having read the messages above with great interest: Is there a recipe for baked beans somewhere around here to be found?

    Thanks

    Armand
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    Armand, check out the Recipes forum. We have had baked bean recipes in the past I believe. Also try the search function and that should get you to any recipes for baked beans here on CT.
     
  6. thebighat

    thebighat

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    Cook's Illustrated did an article recently on baked beans and explained all this stuff about acid and sugar. Personally I've never made a batch that was as good as anything out of a can but would like to be able to.