Is Sifting Really Necessary?

Decorating By 4laynes Updated 22 Aug 2008 , 1:33am by sarahnichole975

4laynes Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 3:56pm
post #1 of 56

I see a lot of new recipes calling for sifted flour and p.sugar. Everything is pre-sifted, so is sifting again a good idea? What are your thoughts?

Beverly

55 replies
Texas_Rose Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:00pm
post #2 of 56

Sifting makes a big difference for me, especially cake mixes and flour. It doesn't seem to be as necessary for frosting.

I've noticed that when I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, if I don't sift the cake mix I end up with lumps. When I use my smaller mixer, the beaters will break up the lumps, so I don't have to sift.

Carolynlovescake Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:04pm
post #3 of 56

I've said it in many other sifting threads.

If you have found what I have in dry baking ingredients by sifting you'll never not sift again.

Screw head, hard plastic piece, odd metal thing that couldn't be identified and a few other things that I can't remember.

If it's a dry ingredient I sift it because paid cake or free cake the last thing I want is someone eating my cakes run across it in their piece.

Odd thing though... recently my son brought me a cupcake and on his firt bite he found a piece of clear silicone. All my items are bright red (so if any part or piece falls into the batter or frosting while mixing I can find it easily) so it wasn't from my kitchen.

It was definately in the cupcake and not the frosting (he licks all that off first). I sifted the cake mix and it couldn't have been the egg either so it had to be in the oil. That's the only possible place it came from.

kansaslaura Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:14pm
post #4 of 56

I absolutley sift. I put all dry ingredients in a large screen sieve over a large bowl and give it a few shakes and it's done. It not only mixes them, but my cakes come out with better texture and I swear they rise better.

It's worth the effort!

southerncake Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:14pm
post #5 of 56

My grandma would be so ashamed, but...I NEVER sift -- not even when scratch baking cake, bread...even biscuits.

vixterfsu Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:15pm
post #6 of 56

YES! Sift some p.sugar and see if you have any
hard particles. I always do even with the 10x.
I sift everything.

nanny4 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:22pm
post #7 of 56

I really agree with Texas_Rose I always sift. I can tell a difference since I got my Kitchen Aid last year. Sifting I agree, really works well for me. thumbs_up.gif

ssunshine564 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:24pm
post #8 of 56

I always sift.

kjt Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynGwen



If you have found what I have in dry baking ingredients by sifting you'll never not sift again.

Screw head, hard plastic piece, odd metal thing that couldn't be identified and a few other things that I can't remember.

If it's a dry ingredient I sift it because paid cake or free cake the last thing I want is someone eating my cakes run across it in their piece.
.




...small rocks, a dry black-eyed pea icon_confused.gif and various unidentifiable objects- I always, always, ALWAYS sift thumbs_up.gif

smbegg Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 4:41pm
post #10 of 56

I never sift and haven't has any issues. The only thing that I sift is BC cake mixes because no matter how long I mix them, they are lumpy. (I usually use DH, but got BC on sale! Never again!)

I don't usually have the time to sift.

Stephanie

maryj Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 6:55pm
post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by vixterfsu

YES! Sift some p.sugar and see if you have any
hard particles. I always do even with the 10x.
I sift everything.




so here's a stupid question kinda off topic...what is 10x sugar. I've read it a million times and have no idea what the difference is between powdered sugar and 10x.

milissasmom Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 7:03pm
post #12 of 56

I always sift...ALWAYS....it has made a big difference for me.

FromScratch Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 7:08pm
post #13 of 56

Always always always sift. Just because something was sifted at the factory doesn't mean that it arrives to you clump free. Everything settles when shipped and I have also found odd things in flour and sugar.. so I always sift. I aerate my flour.. scoop and level (if I'm not using a scale).. then sift.

rvercher23 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 7:25pm
post #14 of 56

I always sift except when making icing because I use Sugarshacks icing recipe. But everything else is sifted, it really makes a difference.

gabbycakes Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 8:08pm
post #15 of 56

Here's a question for all of you who sift:

What is the best sifter? I have a LOT of trouble with the ones where you squeeze the handle, but it seems like any sifter gets really, really to work after just one or two uses.

What type/brand do you recommend?

kjt Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 8:33pm
post #16 of 56

I use SS recipe AND I sift
I use a large strainer, a stiff spatula or restaurant size stirring spoon, a very big SS bowl, and sift 10# at a time-just get it done icon_wink.gif. I think the sifters with the squeeze or turn handles are a waste of time, but you'll probably hear from somebody else who swears by them!

kansaslaura Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:20pm
post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryj

Quote:
Originally Posted by vixterfsu

YES! Sift some p.sugar and see if you have any
hard particles. I always do even with the 10x.
I sift everything.



so here's a stupid question kinda off topic...what is 10x sugar. I've read it a million times and have no idea what the difference is between powdered sugar and 10x.





10X is the finest processed powdered sugar, it's all I use.

DiannaSue Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:34pm
post #18 of 56

I always sift, yesterday I had to do a cake and as usual I sifted the cake mix and in the bottom of the sifter there was a small hard piece of plastic, I know it came straight from the boxed cake mix D.H. I wipe out the sifter every time before I use it, and I cut the bag then I placed the chocolate cake mix into the shifter and shifted the cake mix and found the small plastic if I had not shifted the mix I would have never known it was there and someone could have easily broke a tooth, so I will continue to sift EVERYTHING.

dandelion56602 Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 9:59pm
post #19 of 56

I sift my mixes & usually my PS.

I do have a ? for everyone who does. I too would like to go ahead & sift everything. However, does this affect the measuring of it? E.g. Recipe calls for 1 c flour or PS, but I've already sifted prior to measuring---will it affect the recipe? I will go ahead & sift ahead of time (like when I buy my 7 lbs of ps b/c the recipe is in weight.)

alanahodgson Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 11:19pm
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

I sift my mixes & usually my PS.

I do have a ? for everyone who does. I too would like to go ahead & sift everything. However, does this affect the measuring of it? E.g. Recipe calls for 1 c flour or PS, but I've already sifted prior to measuring---will it affect the recipe? I will go ahead & sift ahead of time (like when I buy my 7 lbs of ps b/c the recipe is in weight.)


Yes, sifting first will effect how much of that ingredient will make it into your recipe. Watch directions closely. If it says "1 cup sifted flour" then sift first. If it says "1 cup flour, sifted" then measure first, then sift. As a general rule you should scoop your flour into the measuring cup with a spoon so that it's not too compact.

As far as sifters go, I had TWO pretty shiny new sifters that have the squeeze handle and I HATED them. My hand hurt! I found my grandmother's old sifter with the crank handle in my dad's basement and that's what I always use now. So fast and easy! I think the do actually sell those new, but I've already got one and it works awesome!

indydebi Posted 27 Jul 2008 , 11:46pm
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by smbegg

I don't usually have the time to sift.




I used to think that. When I read on here that folks sifted their cake mix, my thought was "omg, SOME people have too much time on their hands!"

But I tried it. And to be honest, I tried it so I could see what a big waste of time it really was.

Slap me silly and paint me blue, I will NEVER not sift ever again!! I also use Betty Crocker and what KansasLaura said is SO true ... the texture comes out SO much better .... more dense and "sturdy", fewer air holes. It's beautiful!!!

It was this tip that convinced me that if a CC'er suggests it, then it has merit ... and I will at least give it a shot to see how it works for me.

Please give it a try ... you will be AMAZED!!!

(And get a good sifter ... one with the handle that you turn round and round ... not one of those useless squeeze-handle things.)

Deana Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:22am
post #22 of 56

I have found that the easiest and best sifter to use is a very fine sieve - I dump all dry ingrediants in it and then use a spatula to kind of stir it and push it through... saves quite a bit of wear and tear on the hands... and only takes a couple of seconds.

I have major guilt if I don't sift when I'm making something for the family... it's sort of like not wearing your seatbelt to drive around the block.. it just doesn't feel right.

CakeMakar Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:44am
post #23 of 56

I always sift - the cake mixes and powdered sugar lumps are a pain to try to break while stirring if not.

But the most important thing I've learned is to sift when making MMF!! I'll get hard lumps of powdered sugar in the finished fondant and never get it smoothed on the cake! I've had to dump entire batches of MMF - so heartbreaking when you've worked so hard to make it!!

4laynes Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:34am
post #24 of 56

Okay, okay! I will definitely give it a go the next time I bake icon_biggrin.gif . The funny thing is that I don't sift because it seems messy to me - BUT I really mess up the kitchen baking! Go figure icon_confused.gif !

BTW-I made the best cake I've tasted in a long time todayfor my great grandmothers 91st b-day. WASC with fresh strawberry puree swirled in before baking. Strawberry Cream filling from CC, cream cheese frosting basketweave on sides and rope borders. More cream filling piled on top. Tossed on a few fresh strawberries for garnish and MAN was it good. My brothers were in the kitchen fighting over who got to scrape the cake plate before I washed it! thumbs_up.gif

dandelion56602 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:41am
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by alanahodgson

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelion56602

I sift my mixes & usually my PS.

I do have a ? for everyone who does. I too would like to go ahead & sift everything. However, does this affect the measuring of it? E.g. Recipe calls for 1 c flour or PS, but I've already sifted prior to measuring---will it affect the recipe? I will go ahead & sift ahead of time (like when I buy my 7 lbs of ps b/c the recipe is in weight.)

Yes, sifting first will effect how much of that ingredient will make it into your recipe. Watch directions closely. If it says "1 cup sifted flour" then sift first. If it says "1 cup flour, sifted" then measure first, then sift. As a general rule you should scoop your flour into the measuring cup with a spoon so that it's not too compact.




I know this (not being a smarta$$), but what if the recipe doesn't specify? Should I just not sift until after I've measured for every recipe? So, is it ok to go ahead & presift my ps since my recipe calls for weight instead of cups?

PinkZiab Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:49am
post #26 of 56

If you do a lot of large batch baking, get a tamis sifter. It looks like a cake pan but the bottom is fine mesh. It makes short work of sifting POUNDS of ingerdients ina snap. I use a 14" at home.

Gefion Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:54am
post #27 of 56

Sifting the flour does actually make a difference - the cake will rise better. I am not sure why, but I read it in some book once. Something about more air. Unfortunately I am usually too lazy, but I really should start sifting.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:55am
post #28 of 56

as much as i hate sifting, i have to, just to be sure that my batter does not have any undesirables mixed in it. i sift box mixes too. icon_smile.gif i learned that here.

cakequeen50 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:57am
post #29 of 56

I really, really want to be a sifter, but I just can't bring myself to do it! I, too, have a case of the lazies. I try to be good and sift but the little devil on my shoulder keeps whispering in my ear, "Don't do it, don't do it... take the easy way, it doesn't matter"..... someday I will swat him off my shoulder and he will be the lump in the batter!

LindseyLoocy Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 6:20am
post #30 of 56

Sifting is only unnecessary if it used in anything, but a cake. For example it's not necessary in muffin batters and cookie doughs. When something is labelled as "pre-sifted"... all that means is that the flour/sugar was sifted to ensure that unwanted items are not present such as stones or anything else you would not want to consume. I haven't found anything in my flour or sugar, but the day I do, I will be very thankful that I am a devout siftericon_smile.gif

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