Do you HAVE to sift flour when it calls for it?

Avatar for demecafe
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Do you HAVE to sift flour when it calls for it?
3
Fri, 02-21-2014 - 2:02pm

Often a recipe I use will call for sifted flour (or confectioners sugar). You'd think at this point I'd have bought a sifter (but I always forget). So I usually end up using a small strainer and stand there banging it through. What exactly would happen if I didn't sift it?


demecafe

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 02-27-2014 - 12:55pm
Also, powdered sugar tends to get clumpy in the bag, so sifting it prevents a lot more frustration when combining it with liquids so that its combines better.
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Community Leader
Registered: 02-27-1999
Tue, 02-25-2014 - 11:56am

You don't HAVE too, but it makes the flour behave better.  AS IN it will hydrate more evenly and prevent dense spots in your baked goods.  The way you are doing it with a mesh strainer is the way pros do it.  A sifter is not necessary and IMHO a waste of space and money.   

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Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 02-21-2014 - 2:20pm

In older days, before modern grinding, tupperware and refrigeration, the MAIN reson for sifting flour was to remove any unwanted things from your recipe.  Things like twigs, stones, and critters.  Sifting also raises air into the flour, and prevents it from being compacted.  The reason you don't want it compacted, is then you add too much flour to your recipe--especially when it is humid.  If you don't have a sifter tho, never fear.  BEFORE you measure your flour, stir and lift it with a metal (sharp edged) spoon, so it is lighter.  Then spoon it carefully into your measuring cup till it mounds a little, not banging the cup, or making the flour settle. Level the cup with a knife or the flat of the spoon handle.