Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baking Tip - Sifted Flour

When a recipe calls for sifted flour, just what exactly does that mean? Well, it depends on how it is worded. And, if you're using an old, vintage cookbook, well, that can be a whole 'nother thing.

1 cup of sifted flour means that you first sift the flour, then measure. So place a one cup measure on top of a piece of foil or waxed paper, grab your sifter, put that on top of your measuring cup and sift the flour directly into the cup until it fills the cup. Level that off and put it into a separate bowl, and repeat until you have measured out all of the flour for your recipe. Be sure to pick up the spillover excess flour on the foil and use that too because that has been sifted! Pour that excess into your measuring cup or if you've sifted all the flour you needed, simply return it to the flour canister.

1 cup of flour, sifted, is measured totally different. This means that you scoop flour from your canister using a separate spoon or scoop and placing that flour into your one cup measure, level it off and then place that one cup of flour into your sifter and sift it into a bowl underneath.

It really makes a difference in baking so be sure to carefully check the directions and when passing on a recipe of your own, be sure to indicate which method you used!

When using older, vintage cookbooks, you will often have to make a judgment call, because very often when they say 1 cup of sifted flour, what they actually mean is for you to measure out first, then sift. 

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  1. This is a good point. For someone who is just starting out and learning to cook this is something that's not always easily understood. You explained it well. Good job!

  2. Thanks! I'm trying to put down tips as I use them or think of them.

  3. Valuable information here. I always wondered what that meant. I knew there was a difference but couldn't ever figure it out. I read through (I say read, mostly skimmed really) Julia Child's, The Art of French Cooking at Barnes and Noble on Monday and she offers some of these kinds of tips too. Saw the book mentioned in another post of yours so I wanted to check it out! Thank you for the tip and introducing me to a new book!

    1. Much of the way we cook down here is influenced by the French - not surprising I suppose when you think about the heritage of this area!


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