Dried mushrooms perfectly retain their taste and aroma until the next season and take up little space.
However, not all edible mushrooms can be dried. Many lamellar mushrooms contain bitterness that does not disappear during the drying process. Such mushrooms are not suitable for drying.
Fresh, strong, healthy mushrooms, not damaged by worms, are selected for drying.
If possible, it is best to choose certain types of mushrooms for drying: aspen mushrooms, boletus mushrooms, stitches, morels and, of course, porcini mushrooms. Before drying, the mushrooms need to be processed in a certain way. First, they are thoroughly cleaned of dirt and sand. Then the mushrooms are cut into thin slices for drying. At the same time, it is strictly forbidden to wet the mushrooms in water!
Drying can be done in various ways: near the stove, in the oven, or in direct sunlight, strung on a string or laid on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Ready-made mushrooms should be packed in cloth bags and stored in a place protected from moisture and light.
In cans, boxes, plastic bags and other containers where air does not pass, dried mushrooms will quickly become unusable. And it is best to use such mushrooms for making aromatic soups.
In order to avoid contamination, it is better to dry the mushrooms on special devices: sieves, grates, braids, strung on a thread or on pins installed on wooden racks or on the spokes of a mushroom dryer.
Mushrooms are considered dried if they feel dry, light to the touch, bend slightly, and break with some effort. Well-dried mushrooms have a taste and aroma reminiscent of fresh ones. The "yield" of dry mushrooms averages 10-14% to the mass of raw peeled. Thus, from 10 kg of fresh mushrooms, only 1–1.4 kg of dried ones are obtained.
All tubular and lamellar mushrooms and tinder fungi can be dried in the Russian oven. Do not dry morels in the oven.
DRYING MUSHROOMS IN THE OVEN
When drying in the oven, the mushrooms are laid out in a thin layer on specially made or ready-made racks that are installed in place of ordinary baking sheets. The temperature in the oven should be in the range of 60–70 ° С, and in order for the air to circulate in it constantly, the door should be kept ajar. As the mushrooms dry up, the grates are swapped from top to bottom.
In urban settings and for modern kitchens, this method of drying mushrooms is probably the most common and simplest: ovens (and grills in them) are in every home. If there are few grates (or there are none, it happens), then you can independently make 2-3 grates according to the size of the oven so that they can be installed instead of trays. Grilles can be made from any coarse wire mesh.
Baking trays can also be used if there are no grates. Mushrooms are selected by size (large ones are cut into pieces) and laid out on baking sheets. In this case, the mushrooms should not come into contact with each other, and in the oven it is necessary to ensure air circulation (open the door a little).
First, the mushrooms are dried at a temperature of 45 ° C. At a higher initial temperature, protein substances are released on the surface of the mushrooms and then dried, which impairs the further course of drying and gives the mushrooms a dark color. At the same time, the mushrooms become so soft that it is impossible to use them for food. Only after the surface of the mushrooms dries up and they stop sticking, the temperature can be raised to 75–80 ° C.
The duration of drying and drying of mushrooms cannot be accurately determined. If the mushroom caps and plates are the same size, they dry out at the same time. Dry mushrooms are removed, and the rest are dried, turning them over from time to time.
STORAGE OF DRIED MUSHROOMS, PRESERVATION OF DRIED MUSHROOMS
Dried mushrooms are very good at absorbing moisture from the surrounding air (especially if they are prepared in the form of mushroom powder), easily damp and moldy. In addition, they quickly absorb extraneous odors. Therefore, dried mushrooms should be stored in dry, well-ventilated areas, and best of all in moisture-proof bags or tightly closed glass or metal jars. Dried mushrooms can also be stored in gauze or linen bags, but strictly - in a well-ventilated place and separate from products with a pungent odor.
If for some reason the mushrooms become wet, they should be sorted out and dried.
To preserve the mushrooms for a long time, it is more convenient to put the mushrooms in hermetically sealed glass jars immediately after drying (while they still retain their fragility and warmth). Banks are sterilized at a temperature of 90 ° C: half-liter - within 40 minutes, liter - 50 minutes.
The following method can be used to suck air out of cans. A little alcohol is poured onto the inner surface of the lid, light it and immediately close the jar. When alcohol burns, almost all the oxygen in the can is consumed, as a result of which the mushrooms do not grow moldy, even if they were not sufficiently dried and they were laid in a damp room.
Before preparing food from them, the mushrooms are washed with a brush, cleaning dust and dirt, and poured for several hours with water to swell, and then boiled in the same water.
Better yet, soak dried mushrooms in milk or milk and half with water. Mushrooms that have turned black during drying should be rinsed well before being put into the soup so that they do not give the soup a black color. The broth of morel mushrooms is poured out without trying; in other cases, it is left for settling possible sand, filtered and used to make soups, sauces or gravies.