Batter is a
semi-liquid mixture of one or more grains
used to prepare various foods. Many batters
are made by combining dry flours with
liquids such as water, milk or eggs; batters
can also be made by soaking grains in water
and grinding them wet. Often a leavening
agent such as baking powder is included to
aerate and fluff up the batter as it cooks,
or the mixture may be naturally fermented
for this purpose as well as to add flavour.
Carbonated water or another carbonated
liquid such as beer may instead be used to
aerate the batter in some recipes.
The viscosity of batter may range from very
"heavy" (adhering to an upturned spoon) to
"thin" (similar to single cream, enough to
pour or drop from a spoon and sometimes
called "drop batter"). Heat is applied to
the batter, usually by frying, baking or
steaming, in order to cook the ingredients
and to "set" the batter into a solid form.
Batters may be sweet or savory, often with
either sugar or salt being added (sometimes
both). Many other flavorings such as herbs,
spices, fruits or vegetables may be added to
The word batter comes from the old French
word battre which means to beat, as many
batters require vigorous beating or whisking
in their preparation.