Soaking Times Depend on Temperature

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Medium-sized beans absorb more than half of their total water capacity in the first two hours of soaking, and plateau at about double their original weight after 10–12 hours. As the soaking temperature goes up, absorption accelerates; and if the beans are first blanched for 1.5 minutes in boiling water, the subsequent water absorption takes only two to three hours in cool water, because the blanching rapidly hydrates the seed coat that controls water movement.