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Re: [BKARTS] Rice Starch Paste



Hi Mary, Sorry I missed this question until someone pointed out to me that I hadn't answered you yet. I use Laura Young's Recipe in "Bookbinding and Conservation by Hand", where in the Appendix she states : "[Rice Starch Paste] is made in the same way and in the same proportions as wheat paste. Substitute rice starch for the flour." Since I do not have a source of rice starch but the local China Town has lot's of rice flour, I have been using that in her flour recipe as follows...
"Wheat Flour Paste (10 tbsp)
2 Tbsp. bleached flour (not self-rising)
10 tbsp. water
Mix the flour and 2 tbsp. of the water together (in a pan or bowl that can be heated) and stir to a smooth creamy consistency. Add remaining water and stir again. Place the pan holding the mixture in a larger pan of boiling water. Keep the water boiling keep the water boiling slowly. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the water, cover the paste with a damp cloth placed directly on the paste, and set aside to cool." Etc... more directions about refrigerating etc.
After typing this out I realize that over the years I have varied considerably from this recipe in the following ways. I usually make a double batch up at a time and I don't bother dividing the water since I find the rise flour mixes in really easily. I also tend to cook the stuff for 10 - 15 minutes stirring constantly. I also add calcium carbonate to my water before the process so that the paste is alkaline rather than acidic. I just use a squeeze bottle with calcium carbonate in the bottom which I shake before measuring out the water for the recipe. Calcium carbonate doesn't dissolve in water readily but I find that either enough dissolves or remains in suspension that my paste is always basic when tested.
People also talk about having to strain their paste through a nylon or somesuch but with the rice paste I have found that it thins readily without lumps if you stir a bit of water into it and when I use 50-50 with PVA I blend it using a Braun hand mixer that my wife and I retired from the kitchen years ago.
Hope this helps.
Dave






Mary Yordy wrote:
In the lab where I work, we use wheat starch paste, but at home I have been
trying Belgian rice starch paste.  I have made good, working consistency
pastes with this in a double boiler after soaking the mixture for a while,
but proportions were a bit of a mystery, and I often had to cook it quite a
while to get the consistency I wanted.   A couple of weeks ago, I made the
best paste ever by pouring a slurry made of 1/8 cup poured into just
boiling water.  Almost immediately I had wonderful, clear, slightly thick
paste.  However, when I tried to repeat this, it did not have the same
wonderful result.  The slurry didn't disperse well.   Rather hard fragments
formed, almost like wax in water.  I managed to get something I could use
out of it with some work, but I wonder what was different.  I'm sure the
proportions weren't, but timing and temperature may have varied.  Any
thoughts or directions?

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***********************************************
The Guild of Book Workers' Centennial Celebration:
October 12-14, 2006, New York City, New York.
<http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/byorg/gbw/centennial.shtml>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
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