"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-08-2007, 10:30 AM   #1
Head Chef
 
Chopstix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,323
Sifting flour question

When a recipe says to sift dry ingredients together (say, flour & baking soda), I first stir them together thoroughly then run them thru a sieve. It's a pretty tiresome step, especially if the recipe says to sift three times!

Then I saw a Martha Stewart episode where she just used a wire whisk to 'sift' dry ingredients together in a bowl. She actrually called it 'sifting them together'.

So do any of you guys use Martha's method and is it as effective as the ol' sieve ? Thanks!

__________________
'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
Chopstix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 10:56 AM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,088
I do both depending on how much time I have or how lazy I feel. I haven't had any problem. The only difference is that when using a sieve/strainer, any lumps would be left in the sieve/strainer. Of course, those could be broken through the mesh with a spatula or spoon.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2007, 11:01 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
AllenOK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Oklahoma
Posts: 3,463
I cheat. I just whisk the flour, salt, leavenings, and other dry ingredients a few times.

Sifting serves two different purposes:
1) To add air to the mix to aid in baking.
2) To remove small foreign particles from the flour.

Unless I'm trying to remove weavils from some flour, I see no real reason to run flour through a sifter when I can accomplish the same thing with a whisk.
__________________
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!
AllenOK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 05:43 AM   #4
Head Chef
 
Chopstix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,323
Weevils/weavils! I'd throw out the whole lot, never mind sifting! Those nasty things lay eggs your sieve won't filter out........
__________________
'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
Chopstix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 06:18 AM   #5
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Posts: 5,912
Send a message via Yahoo to Barb L.
I don't sift either, just whisk, works for me with no problem I see.
__________________
Grandma's Boys - Isaiah (11) Cameron (3 )
Barb L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 09:50 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
skilletlicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 2,021
I don't mind so much when the recipes says "sift three cups flour" but hate when it says "three cups sifted flour." Sifting significantly increases the volume so a cup is more than a sifted cup, and sifting into a cup is a real nuisance. To make it a little easier I weighed a cup of of sifted flour (124 g) and taped that to the canister.
__________________
Food fuels the body. Good food fuels body and soul.

"Recipes don’t have to be followed EXACTLY and creative diversions can taste great! But too much diversion and you have ice cream in your broccoli." Mike Israetel
skilletlicker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2007, 10:38 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 16,088
Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
I don't mind so much when the recipes says "sift three cups flour" but hate when it says "three cups sifted flour." Sifting significantly increases the volume so a cup is more than a sifted cup, and sifting into a cup is a real nuisance. To make it a little easier I weighed a cup of of sifted flour (124 g) and taped that to the canister.
That's one of the reasons I love cooking by weight. I use an electronic scale for almost all my measuring/weighing and love it. A bonus to this method is that far fewer measuring cups/spoons/bowls are dirtied up, which allows me to cook cleaner and more efficiently.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 09:25 AM   #8
Senior Cook
 
wysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 446
Send a message via MSN to wysiwyg
Along the lines of some of the replies; I don't sift but had the equivalent weights listed on the door of my refrigerator.

I was told that Martha Stewart learned that trick while in jail LOL
__________________
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
wysiwyg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 10:59 AM   #9
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Metro New York
Posts: 8,763
Send a message via Yahoo to ChefJune
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
That's one of the reasons I love cooking by weight. I use an electronic scale for almost all my measuring/weighing and love it. A bonus to this method is that far fewer measuring cups/spoons/bowls are dirtied up, which allows me to cook cleaner and more efficiently.
so do you sift after you've weighed? or just whisk?

fwiw, try both in two bowls, side by side, and see if the results you get are the same. It won't take very long, and you won't waste anything....

I measure by weight and then sift -- using an old fashioned sifter!

Some cakes need to be lighter than others. If it's not for a cake, you probably don't need to sift, anyway.

Just my 5 cents.
__________________
Wine is the food that completes the meal.
ChefJune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2007, 01:46 PM   #10
Cook
 
Avlynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: California
Posts: 55
Clearly i don't watch enough tv.:) I have never seen that trick. The whisk sounds way better then my sieve. Next time i may try that. But i do wonder if it is for a cake it would not be best to use the sieve.

Av
Avlynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2007, 11:08 PM   #11
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Midland, MI, in a house built in 1915.
Posts: 7
I read an article about a baker in Texas who makes very appealing cakes, muffins, etc. She said that she never sifts, even when the recipe calls for it.
__________________
"Putting off" is not procrastinating. It is rescheduling! PattyAnnie
PattyAnnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 12:21 AM   #12
Assistant Cook
 
KellySeven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Queensland, Oz
Posts: 32
How can just whisking add air? Sounds easy though, but even for a cake?
KellySeven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-2007, 02:42 PM   #13
Head Chef
 
Caine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: CHINATOWN
Posts: 2,314
Send a message via MSN to Caine
I just throw the dry ingredients into a strainer and bang it with my hand until everything is either in the bowl or bouncing around in the bottom of the strainer.
Caine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2007, 04:58 AM   #14
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Midland, MI, in a house built in 1915.
Posts: 7
Kelly, ya, the article I read (and it had pictures of huge muffins, cookies, wonderful-looking cakes) quoted the baker as saying she never sifts. I don't think it's the sifting that adds air, but the mixing.
__________________
"Putting off" is not procrastinating. It is rescheduling! PattyAnnie
PattyAnnie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2007, 06:36 AM   #15
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
Posts: 45
I only sift baking cocoa and icing sugar, both of which can have very persistent clumps that whisking would not remove, and potato starch and cornstarch when adding straight to hot liquids, as they tend to clump otherwise. I only ever sift flour to search for bugs. I have never found flour lumps in any of my cakes or bread and I never have trouble getting them to rise.
__________________
Edo, ergo sum
CrémeBrulée is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2007, 06:53 AM   #16
Assistant Cook
 
thymeandthymeagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: On the outskirts of London, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 42
I always, always sift, sometimes even if the recipe does not call for it.........maybe a hold over from baking when I was a very young and persistent assistant, to my Mother. I was following her around the kitchen with a very strong desire to help in the kitchen from a very young age.

I would wake up every Saturday morning and bake for the whole day, probably to get out of the chores that I did not like to do. we lived on a farm, so there were lots to do...think barn, horses, cows and pigs!!!!

I have NEVER found any weevils in my flour....ever!!!! I sift to add air, but then again maybe it is just air between my ears.
__________________
To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but believe!
thymeandthymeagain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-22-2007, 09:15 AM   #17
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 1,129
Send a message via AIM to college_cook
I defintely do NOT use the whisk. You'll probably get most of the lumps out that way, but I feel like recipes that call for sifted dry ingredients do so in order to achieve a certain texture and refinement, and I'd rather do it the right way and experience the dish as it is meant to be.

For recipes that call for sifting that probably don't need to be sifted, then I use the whisk. Particularly stuff that uses the muffin method.
college_cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 05:37 PM   #18
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: E. Pa.
Posts: 8,281
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
I cheat. I just whisk the flour, salt, leavenings, and other dry ingredients a few times.

Sifting serves two different purposes:
1) To add air to the mix to aid in baking.
2) To remove small foreign particles from the flour.

Unless I'm trying to remove weavils from some flour, I see no real reason to run flour through a sifter when I can accomplish the same thing with a whisk.
try bay leaves in the flour... it keeps those weevils out. It works for me.
LadyCook61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 08:15 PM   #19
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: S. W. Minnesota
Posts: 157
I remember weevils in the pancake batter in Boyscouts many years ago.
We didn't notice until the batter was ready to cook.
Fried them extra dark and didn't tell anyone about the extra free meat until breakfast was over!
Walt Bulander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2008, 09:11 PM   #20
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Culpeper, VA
Posts: 5,803
If a recipe calls for it, I always sift. I just use a fine-mesh kitchen strainer. No big deal.
BreezyCooking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.