Tag Archive for: sifting ingredients

Tips for Better Baking – Sifting Ingredients (#49)

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Tips for Better Baking #49 – Sifting Ingredients

When it comes to sifting ingredients, I have a few tips that help get the best results:

  1. Invest in a fine-mesh strainer. It is the best tool for sifting but can be used for many other kitchen tasks as well.
  2. As a general rule, I sift ingredients 3 times to ensure the ingredients are evenly mixed and perfectly smooth.
  3. Sift onto a piece of parchment paper. The parchment paper can be used to easily transfer the ingredients back and forth between the bowl and the strainer when sifting multiple times. When you’re ready to incorporate the sifted ingredients into the recipe, just pick up the piece of parchment paper and slide the ingredients into the mixing bowl in one easy motion.
  4. If a recipe calls for something to be sifted, do so.  I don’t sift flour unless the recipe calls for it or if I notice some lumps.  I always sift cocoa powder.
  5. When a recipe says, ‘sift together the flour and cocoa powder,’ pour them into the strainer together and sift them onto the parchment paper. Repeat at least two more times or until they are thoroughly combined.  (Flour and cocoa powder were just examples, this tip applies anytime a recipe instructs you to sift multiple ingredients together.)


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Tips for Better Baking: Always Sift Cocoa Powder (#38)

Tips for Better Baking: always sift cocoa powder before using it in a recipe.

Cocoa powder is notoriously clumpy. If you add it straight to a recipe, it can be nearly impossible to break up the clumps and you’ll end up with dry spots in your finished product. In order to avoid this frustration, I always sift cocoa powder (at least once, sometimes twice!) before using it in a recipe. I find it’s easiest to sift onto a piece of parchment paper but into a bowl works well too.

Tip for Better Baking: Always sift cocoa powder. Measure the required amount, pass it through a fine mesh strainer onto a sheet of parchment, and then use it in the recipe as called for. 

If you have an old-fashioned flour sifter you can use that but I prefer to use a fine mesh strainer.