wheat paste

by aspen&pine

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Wheat paste is used in bookbinding to glue the end-pages to the inside of the cover. This process is called casing in. To make wheat paste all you need are wheat starch and water. I bought my wheat starch from Talas, but you can get it from specialty food stores as well.  The first time I ever made wheat paste I actually used regular flour. This works, but you do end up with a better product if you use refined wheat starch.

To make the paste you mix 1 part wheat starch with 4 parts water. Here I used 1 Tbsp wheat starch and 4 Tbsp’s water. I find it is better to make small batches when I need it because it does go bad after a while. Whisk to remove lumps and let sit 1 hour.

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Now it is ready to cook! I placed this bowl over a pan of boiling water to make a double boiler. This helps prevent it from burning and forming lumps. The package from Talas says to cook it for 15-25 minutes until it turns thick and translucent. However, mine usually turns thick and translucent after only about 5-7 minutes. Make sure to stir constantly because when it starts to thicken it is fast, and lumps can easily form.

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Let the paste cool, then strain into an airtight container. To use, mix with a little water to achieve a creamy paste. Store in the fridge if you have extra leftover.

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