Monday, July 16, 2012

To sift, or not to sift . . .

. . . That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler to make the effort or to just bung it all in there and hope it all works out . . .
                   -- What Hamlet would have said, if he were a baker.

I used to not sift my ingredients. Then my husband got a mouth full of baking soda in a banana muffin. It's ok if it happens to him, but since I didn't want it happening to someone else, I started sifting my leaveners (baking soda, baking powder) and spices. The reason I sift my spices is because I grind my own whenever possible (more on that later), and the coffee grinder isn't perfect.

More recently, I also started sifting my flour. This was because I had a coupon for a free bag of flour (we're talking the BIG bags here) and I had to use it before it expired, which resulted in a bag of flour sitting in my basement since January (I don't bake THAT often). I live in Canada. It's humid here. So the flour became a little clumpy. How clumpy?

You don't want to eat that.
So should you take the time to sift your ingredients? The real question is; Does your ingredient need sifting? If you think it might, do yourself (and others) a favour and take the extra 30 seconds. You can measure straight into the sieve over your bowl and be no worse for wear.

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