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snopes
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Comment: I've always heard from the
great cooks in my family that if you make home made bread or make
preserves, jam when the weather is threatening or rainy, the product will
fail. Bread will not rise; preserves will not set. It seems to hold true,
but I wonder if it's because I live in the Northwest...and expect failure
if I try to do either when it's rainy [often...but not as bad as our
reputation].

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HollowMan
Deck the Malls


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I wonder if it could be the extra humidity in the air. From what I can tell, that would not affect the bread dough proofing, but might be enough to interfere with the jam. Other than that, I dunno.

--------------------
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ILS
Deck the Malls


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Both of those process can be sensitive to humidity and temperature. Rainy days also tending to be cooler days.
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Frozen Charlotte
I Saw Three Shipments


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IME, bread rises just fine during wet weather, however, yeast requires a certain amount of warmth to do its job properly. If I bake bread on a cold day, I usually put my dough to rise in a covered bowl in the oven (which has been warmed up for a minute and then turned off). Setting it near a radiator or other heat source works as well. "Quick" breads, which are made with baking powder or soda, seem to turn out fine regardless of weather or kitchen temperature.

I don't make jam or preserves so I can't say for sure if weather affects them, but I can see where it might. Some types of candy (taffy and candied orange peel, for example) are more difficult to make in humid weather--the moist air tends to make them stickier and the finished product can be too soft. I also seem to recall that dishes that include whipped egg whites are more difficult to make when it's rainy or humid.

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jimmy101
The First USA Noel


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Just a wild ass guess.

Rainy days are associated with lower barometric pressure. Lower pressure means bubbles of traped CO2 in the rising bread will expand farther and are more likely to burst resulting in the bread falling.

Lower barometric pressure will also lower the boiling point of water by a degree or two. So, if the cooking process involves boiling you will need to boil longer on a rainy day.

A rainy day might have a barometric pressure of 29 inHg (compared to the normal 29.92) resulting in boiling point is that is lowered about 1.9°F. A clear sunny day might have the barometric pressure at 31 inHg and water will boil at 213.6°F, 1.6°F higher than normal. (The preceeding calculated at an altitude of 100 feet above sea level.)

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FrogFeathers
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quote:
Originally posted by Frozen Charlotte:
IME, bread rises just fine during wet weather, however, yeast requires a certain amount of warmth to do its job properly. If I bake bread on a cold day, I usually put my dough to rise in a covered bowl in the oven (which has been warmed up for a minute and then turned off). Setting it near a radiator or other heat source works as well. "Quick" breads, which are made with baking powder or soda, seem to turn out fine regardless of weather or kitchen temperature.

I don't make jam or preserves so I can't say for sure if weather affects them, but I can see where it might. Some types of candy (taffy and candied orange peel, for example) are more difficult to make in humid weather--the moist air tends to make them stickier and the finished product can be too soft. I also seem to recall that dishes that include whipped egg whites are more difficult to make when it's rainy or humid.

I lived in Savannah, Georgia and I used to bake all the time. My breads always did fine, but my candies never set. I couldn't get fudge or divinity to set at all. Even if the day was clear- it was still so humid that the divinity wouldn't take.

Not scientific, just my experiences. [Wink]

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smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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My mom taught me to never make anything with whipped egg whites or whipping cream whenever there was any humidity in the air. Of course, I had to try it for myself and the egg whites did not whip up and form peaks.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
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smackmac, if you chill the bowl you're going to whip the whites or the cream in, as well as the beater(s) for about 1/2 hour or so, humidity can't touch 'em.

I have some difficulty getting my pie crusts to be the right amount of moist, as opposed to crumbly or too doughy, when it's really humid.

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
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quote:
Originally posted by jimmy101:

Rainy days are associated with lower barometric pressure.

And the possibility of Thunder [Wink]
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smackmac
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
smackmac, if you chill the bowl you're going to whip the whites or the cream in, as well as the beater(s) for about 1/2 hour or so, humidity can't touch 'em.

I have some difficulty getting my pie crusts to be the right amount of moist, as opposed to crumbly or too doughy, when it's really humid.

Typically, I do chill everything. But it's still ingrained not to do the stuff when it's humid. [Smile] Not that I whip egg whites anymore, anyhow. I couldn't even tell you the last time I whipped anything but potatoes.

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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invisigoth
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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lol. i know the feeling. i live in florida and its a pain trying to make fudge at christmas time. as to the breadmaking, i think i read someplace that it was just humidity that caused it not to rise. we used to have this bread cookbook and i used to love the idea of making bread, but alas, it never worked for me. anyways i think thats where i read it at.
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SuperSlug
Pumpkin carver


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The only trouble i've ever had cooking in the rain is that if it's coming down heavy,it rattles my little trailer,so anything that is supposed to rise in the oven has a harder time doing so.
Or the power goes out.

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Doug4.7
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Anytime I cook in the rain, my burgers get soggy... [Wink]


In real life, I make bread all the time, and the humidity makes a big difference. It is not as bad as "not rising", but I do have to add more or less liquid, depending on the weather.

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And now for something completely different...

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Singing in the Drizzle
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Never had a problem cooking bread here in the Northwest. Leaned bread making from my Grandmother. Around here you put dough in a large heavy ceramic bowl and then on a *warm stove to rise. Also you need to cover with a couple of towls. Basicly keep it warm and dry.

*Turn the oven on so and find a warm spot on the top, but not a hot location.

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