To Sift Or Not To Sift?

Business By missmeg Updated 26 Oct 2007 , 12:42am by beachcakes

missmeg Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 3:57pm
post #1 of 40

For those who use powdered sugar, do you sift it prior to adding to your BC?

I always have. Occasionally I still get a clogged tip from some PS pebble stuck. It certainly takes longer to make BC that way (especially if doing a large cake) but I like knowing my BC will be as smooth as possible.

What about you?

39 replies
Carolynlovescake Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 5:03pm
post #2 of 40

I sift everything including box mixes.

I've found foreign objects in both box mixes and powdered sugar bags.

It take a touch more time but is well worth it to catch things before it's baked and sold.

sgilmer Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 6:07pm
post #3 of 40

I also sift everything. If I don't sift my cake mixes, my sister says she gets clumps of "flour" in her mouth. No one else does, but if someone notices, then I think it's something that needs to be done.

Carolyn, what do you mean by "foreign objects"? Kind of scares me...

tyty Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 6:15pm
post #4 of 40

I sift powdered sugar for BC. I find that it makes a much smoother BC when the sugar is sifted.

johnniekake Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 6:57pm
post #5 of 40

I dont sift anything...................pd sugar,flour...it takes up to much time! icon_razz.gif

imnamor95 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:18pm
post #6 of 40

I ALWAYS sift my powdered sugar, I was taught that to avoid little bumps and easier flowing bc to do that. I don't sift the cake mixes or flour, though.

mommyandlovinit Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:12pm
post #7 of 40

i don't sift either, but after hearing about the foreign object thing i might change my mind

doughdough Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:31pm
post #8 of 40

One of my dirty little secrets is that I have a brand new sifter in my cabinet that has never been used...I never have the time to sift anything with a toddler running around!

When the day comes that I do cakes for paying customers, I will take more time and do things like sifting. But right now when I am just doing cakes for pracitice for friends & family, I just don't have the time.

Carolynlovescake Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:35pm
post #9 of 40

I know of a few others who have found things in box mixes and I'm sure when they see this they'll post.

In box mixes I've found a scew head, hard plastic, and occasional strands of hair.

In powdered sugar I've found a piece of hard plastic, a small bolt, an acrylic nail tip (not mine I can't afford to get them done), and small clumps of crystalized sugar.

The funny part this was just recently since the last thread about this where I wasn't consistantly sifting my powdered sugar and I had never sifted my cake mixes from the box.

Since my first find after that thread I am now a dedicated sifter of everything that isn't a liquid.

Since I am not a hobbyist and am in the process of getting my home kitchen legalized for a home bakery I can't afford for something like this to pass through my baking process and be found by a customer.

tonedna Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:48pm
post #10 of 40

i hate the pellets on bc when you don't sift...I am a sifter!

aswartzw Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:45pm
post #11 of 40

I can't believe you've found foreign objects in your cake mixes. Just curious, have you noticed it worse in a particular brand?

I always sift my powdered sugar. Growing up, my mom would get after me if I didn't it and I still hear her voice in my head when I even think about being lazy. icon_biggrin.gif It does yield a much smoother icing because anytime I ignore the voice I pay for it later with clumps.

am2pm Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 7:54pm
post #12 of 40

I just sifted all my ps last weekend for two cakes. Now my hand is so sore that I am having problems with it - shooting pains etc. There is nothing worse then standing there squeezing that little handle for half a day! How do you all do it?
Peggy

Carolynlovescake Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:03pm
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswartzw

I can't believe you've found foreign objects in your cake mixes. Just curious, have you noticed it worse in a particular brand?




I only use one brand. icon_lol.gif

tyty Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:07pm
post #14 of 40

I just sifted 6 lbs of ps last night for my next 4 cakes. I have never found any objects in sugar or flour but I use vanilla waffers for my cheesecake crust and I found a small metal object in a box once.
It was a little scary to my, the things people said they found in the ps so I sift.

justsweet Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:12pm
post #15 of 40

I sift my powder sugar - never found anything it. I usually will 8 - 10 lbs to get it out of the way. Then treat my self to a nice soak in a warm bubble bath and relax.

sweetreasures Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:18pm
post #16 of 40

I only time I've ever sifted was when I was growing up and learning to cook. Some how just grew out of it. I've recently - 2 weeks ago, started to sift again to see if there may be a difference.

kaecakes Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:26pm
post #17 of 40

I never use to sift my ps but lately I have found small lumps in my ps. I always use Domino ps and the lumps have just shown up in the last year or so. I don't know if this is something else they have changed the formula on and now it clumps easier or not. I don't normally sift my cake mixes, but I do put them in the mixer and run it for a minute or so before adding anything else to it. That seems to break up any lumps in the mix and tends to insure a smoother batter.

MacsMom Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 8:32pm
post #18 of 40

Does anyone use the strainer method I see several cooks on th eFood Channel do? Just pour in a strainer and tap the sides. Seems much easier than squeezing the handle on a sifter.

lanibird Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 9:25pm
post #19 of 40

I never sifted my PS for BC, until last month. Made some BC, tinted it red, and found these nifty sugar clumps all over. icon_mad.gif So I thought, ok, I'll let it sit as the color develops, and maybe the lumps will absorb moisture and go away! icon_rolleyes.gif Nope, and since I was without transportation and short on time, I ended up pushing it all through a strainer with my bowl scraper. Messy, and a lot less time consuming than sifting the PS to begin with. My lesson learned. icon_biggrin.gif

Cassie2500 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:30pm
post #20 of 40

I don't usually sift-just occasionally, but I think I might start sifting more often now because of the lumps in the powdered sugar, like kaecakes said. Last time I sifted, I put my metal strainer over my KA bowl-fit perfectly-and sifted that way, just knocking the side of the strainer until it was all sifted. Another way that I have seen on Food Network is have a piece of parchment paper at your workplace and sift your powdered sugar or cake mix onto the paper, then bring up each end to make a "fold"
in the paper, then pour it into your mixing bowl-doesn't cause a big mess either. Another thing-nothing to do with sifting-I made a cake last weekend-2 9x13 put together to make 1 big cake-and I beat the eggs, oil and water first, then poured in the cake mix (wasn't sifted) and the batter came out perfect! Smoothest batter I have ever seen, just by beating the liquids first! I did not do that with the other cake I was doing and noticed a big difference with the lumps.

indydebi Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:30pm
post #21 of 40

Sifting does not just remove lumps. The difference between a cup of sifted flour and a cup of flour, sifted, is about 1/4 cup, per this link:

http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=1193
Flour :
- level off with straight not the curved edge; there is difference between a spatula and knife
- sifted - a difference between sifted and non-sifted exists (1/4 cup extra/cup)


For those who go by weight, this site shows the diff between sifted and non-sifted flour in grams:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/flour.html
All-Purpose Flour:
1 cup = 140 grams
1 cup sifted = 115 grams

Cake Flour:
1 cup = 130 grams
1 cup sifted = 100 grams

crazy4sugar Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:42pm
post #22 of 40

Funny you should ask: I just started sifting my box cake mixes (usually Dunkin Hines brand) last week because I read another post that said it'll make a smoother batter.

Today I found a little flour bug and several small bits of an unidentified substance...I'll assume that they are just hardened pieces of cake mix. I tasted them to see if it was salt or whatever, but they were so hard that I couldn't bite into them and they had no flavor. Who knows? icon_confused.gif

I gave up on the hand sifter long ago because it's frustrating and a lot of work. I use a piece of parchment paper and sift the powdered sugar or cake mix onto the paper.

Jenni2383 Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:41pm
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom

Does anyone use the strainer method I see several cooks on th eFood Channel do? Just pour in a strainer and tap the sides. Seems much easier than squeezing the handle on a sifter.




I do that sometimes but I think it takes longer than my crank sifter.

b-radz Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:53pm
post #24 of 40

I always sift my box mix with a large strainer over the mixing bowl. Very quick and easy! I find that it really improves the texture of the cake. I normally don't sift for buttercream but do for my RI. Not sure why, just have always done it that way.

b-radz Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:54pm
post #25 of 40

I always sift my box mix with a large strainer over the mixing bowl. Very quick and easy! I find that it really improves the texture of the cake. I normally don't sift for buttercream but do for my RI. Not sure why, just have always done it that way.

FromScratch Posted 24 Oct 2007 , 11:46pm
post #26 of 40

I sift PS (and all dry ingredients).. the one time I didn't sift my PS I ruined a batch of gumpaste because there were these pebbles in the PS.. big ones too.. like 1/4 inch and smaller. It sucked. I was picking pebbles out and just gave up because there were so many.. I sifted the other bag I bought and the same thing.. they were white and some were grey and looked rock-ish. I use a fine mesh strainer to sift.. those squeeze models are torturous to use. Just put it in and shake-a shaek-a shake-a. icon_biggrin.gif

jenlg Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 12:04am
post #27 of 40

I never sifted anything I used. When I definetly had to sift I used a small strainer, killed my wrists. But for the cakes and icings now...never sift.

Cassie2500 Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 12:43am
post #28 of 40

I was just looking on KitchenKrafts.com website and saw that they have a battery-powered sifter-$19.95 and requires 1 AA battery (not included). This would probably be a life saver for those of you wearing your hands out or don't have time! Also, it says it holds 4 cups-that is a box of powdered sugar!! Just thought you might like to know! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 12:57am
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassie2500

I was just looking on KitchenKrafts.com website and saw that they have a battery-powered sifter-$19.95 and requires 1 AA battery (not included). This would probably be a life saver for those of you wearing your hands out or don't have time! Also, it says it holds 4 cups-that is a box of powdered sugar!! Just thought you might like to know! icon_smile.gif




I told hubby weeks ago that I wanted a battery powered one for Christmas .... or sooner!!

Right now I use the crank kind ... I think it's much better than the squeeze-the-handle kind. Besides, it's the kind I remember seeing my gramma use! icon_wink.gif

sgilmer Posted 25 Oct 2007 , 3:06am
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen

Quote:
Originally Posted by aswartzw

I can't believe you've found foreign objects in your cake mixes. Just curious, have you noticed it worse in a particular brand?



I only use one brand. icon_lol.gif




Now what brand is that? Just curious...

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