4
   

Sifting flour by the seashore

 
 
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 01:12 pm
Well, never mind the seashore part - I was thinking of shifting sands.

I'm making some breakfast muffins with reconstituted dried plums using a recipe for cranberry muffins from a paperback book published in 1987. It calls for me to sift flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar together, and then sift a second time.

Huh. I haven't sifted any flour since at least 1980. I can't remember when I just tossed the sifter out or gave it to goodwill. I know I could google about sifting whys, but I'm wondering if any a2k cooks/bakers still do it, and why. I figure it is based on tastes for what I'd call fine toothed texture. Perhaps I'd do it for an elegant cake, if I ever tried to make one now.

Maybe a sifter has other uses than making flour especially fine - but I don't know about those - as a tomato press? cleaning those pesky herbs up?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 3,764 • Replies: 20
No top replies

 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 01:14 pm
@ossobuco,
flour settles in packing/transit/storage - sifting is done to get the right volume (I'm sure there are other reasons, but that's what I was taught)
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 01:15 pm
@ossobuco,
oh - and sifting together - I was taught that this is done to get things mixed without handling the ingredients too roughly
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 01:56 pm
It helps evenly distribute the minority dry ingredients amongst the flour. These days, some people just plop it into a food processor and distribute the ingredients that way, while also aerating the flour.

While living in Sacramento, when I had the moth infestation in my pantry, I sifted all dry ingredients to be sure that no stray infestation had been overlooked when I tossed everything, or that it had not repopulated.

I don't use a single-purpose sifter, I just use a wire mesh strainer and tap the side of it over some parchment paper.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 02:09 pm
@ehBeth,
I'm dumbfounded why this is somehow hard, but now that you mention it, that and the settling in the package thing twinkle my memory.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 02:10 pm
@Butrflynet,
That's useful, I can see doing it re the wee moths.
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 10:04 am
@ossobuco,
New baker (learning) and I used to sift. Now I just give the flour cannister a good shake before using the measuring cup to scoop it out.

Watching Giada make pastry crust the other day, she just gave her flour cannister a good stir before scooping and leveling with her finger. Final product was flaky and tender! (According to her aunt who tasted it lol).

I put my purchased flour in the freezer for a day or so to prevent mealy bugs. Works great.
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 10:21 am
@Irishk,
I only sift if I'm making something really fancy. I tend to use recipes as a suggestion more than anything else. I just used up a load of cream, some sour, some single, by using a cherry cake recipe that didn't have sour or any other cream in its ingredients. I didn't have any cherries either, so I used apricots, oh and I had the wrong sort of sugar as well. It turned out alright.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 01:08 pm
I haven't sifted anything since Home Ec in grade 9. Everything turns out just fine.
Swimpy
 
  2  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 02:25 pm
@Mame,
Yea, sifting went the way of high button shoes since they developed pre-sifted flours. Measure using a spoon to fluff up the flour and not packing it into a dry measure cup and then sweep the cup level with a knife. I use a whisk to mix the dry ingredients before adding to the wet ingredients.

I have my mother's sifter that is probably 80 years old. It is on display, not for actual use.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 03:02 pm
@Irishk,
I haven't had pantry moths in years - I think since LA but maybe once in Eureka, and I just threw some bay leaves into both the cupboards after cleaning and into the flours from then on. (I had four laurel bay trees, sigh). Haven't had them show up here at all, but sshhhhhh, they might hear me typing about them and perk up).
That freezer thing is a good tip!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 03:05 pm
@izzythepush,
There are similarities to our baking, kid.

The muffins turned out fabulous, by the way - I had added some freezer surprise, peaches I'd cut up and cooked for making ice cream and never got around to, later to say to myself, what on earth is in that container? Looking through the translucent plastic, it looked like some slices of yams. Brave of me to taste test.

Muffins to die for, I tell you. Oh, and I substituted a half cup of spelt in the total flour amount.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Oct, 2011 03:07 pm
@Mame,
Gurl after my own heart.. though my home ec was in the girl scouts.

I admit I did sift in my first serioso cooking decades (60's, 70's).
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 02:40 am
@ossobuco,
One thing, is 'sifter' just the American word for 'sieve', or is something completely different?
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 10:12 am
@izzythepush,
There are at least two versions.

http://www.chefdepot.net/graphics18/stainless_flour_sifter.jpg

http://www.allthingscupcake.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/5-cup-flour-sifter.jpg
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 10:21 am
@Butrflynet,
Thank you, that looks like it would take up a lot of room.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 05:38 pm
@izzythepush,
The first version is a much fancier version of what I am used to. So cute, colors . .
I'd guess the whole thing took up a 5 or less inch circle (plus the handle) and about eight inches high.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 05:55 pm
@ossobuco,
Thanks for links, butrflynet.
0 Replies
 
margo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 07:35 pm
I always sift. I hadn't thought of doing otherwise.

I've heard it aerates the flour, making for lighter outcomes. But that's not really why I do it.

I've never really given it a thought!
0 Replies
 
Irishk
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 08:34 pm
@ossobuco,
I have the second sifter...the one where you squeeze the handle. Your hand gets tired. The strainer method someone else mentioned is easier if one has to sift. You just knock it against your palm. Your palm gets sore lol.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Sifting flour by the seashore
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/27/2021 at 04:59:15