This may be a total coincidence, but I think I had an accidental no-fail discovery!
I do not typically have the "Crumbly" trouble that so many people talk about with the NFSC dough, mine typically comes together just fine. But, the last 2 times I made the dough (over the last couple of weeks) I did have a problem with the dough being really crumbly. I added a little extra extract, which did the trick, but I started to wonder why....
My theory was the eggs... I usually get XL eggs and use them exclusively, but the last time I bought eggs I bought L (not XL) because I was trying out some new cake recipes and I wanted to follow the recipes exactly. So the last 2 times I made the NF dough, I was using large eggs and both times it was crumbly(only 2 times ever for me since I started using this recipe).
I just finished making a batch of dough... I finished that carton of eggs last week and am now back to XL... and it wasn't crumbly at all, it was perfect!
I think the size of the eggs makes a difference! OK, maybe it's a complete coincidence, but that's the only thing I did differently. I wonder... for those of you that have "crumbly" issues - what size eggs are you using?
I use xl eggs and never have a crumbly texture. But also, I think people rush the butter and sugar creaming process, hence the crumbly texture
I blame the butter sugar process as well. I've never had a problem with this recipe.
I would have thought that too, but I cream my butter and then my butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes - every time. I was so surprised the last 2 times that the dough was crumbly... I've not had that happen - ever - in the several years that I've been using this recipe.
Literally the only differences in these times I made the recipe were the date and the size of the eggs.
LaBellaFlur - what size eggs do you use?
I just went and looked. Large eggs.
I use large. I found that egg size can make a big difference with my last batch of dough when I picked up some eggs and although they were marked "large", they were a bit bigger than I usually use and I had even picked out the smallest of the box. I think their scales were off. My dough was definitely not as firm as I normally have.
Crumbly has not been a problem with me with large eggs. I do weigh my flour each time and have found that once I found the right weight, I have been all set. It just took some experimenting with different types of flour and 'to scoop or not to scoop' in order to get the right weight.
I do spend a lot of time developing recipes and your posting makes me think that next time I am working on one and it is a tad too crumbly, to reach for that carton of extra large eggs rather than automatically pulling back on the dry ingredients. Thanks for pointing out the obvious (as I hit my forehead in a "I could have had a V8 kind of way" ). I will blame it on lack of sleep.
I wonder if this has something to do with altitude.
One of the changes suggested in my research on high altitude baking indicated that at high altitudes one of the things that needs to be different is the amount of liquid, and part of that equation is the eggs. Since it's rather hard to add 1/4 of an egg, using the next size larger egg(s) than called for in the recipe was suggested.
So, I wonder if those who are getting fine results with large eggs might be living at a lower altitude than those who are getting better results when they use XL eggs.
I use large, and have had no problems with crumbly dough. I weigh my ingredients.
Oh, I live at about 1600 feet above sea level.
I read an article on sugar cookies a while back, and it said the one most common mistake made by bakers is to not cream the butter and sugar enough. I thought it would be over-mixing the flour, as that's the one I have to work hard at to remember! I always use large eggs...never had a problem with crumbly dough.
I gave my Mom the recipe and she had the problem with the crumbly dough. I noticed that she scoops her flour with her measuring cup packing the flour instead of using a small scoop to fill up the cup (do you understand what I'm saying - for some reason I can't find the right word this morning!). I told her that she's adding too much flour. Once she corrected this the crumbling is gone. The right way to measure flour is to weigh it but I haven't gotten around to getting a scale. My cousin a CIA grad told me that I should be doing this!
I always use large eggs and I never have a problem. Interesting observation though. Thanks for sharing!
I never have crumbly issues an use large eggs..........HOWEVER, I don't measure the flour lol.....I just add until it's the right consistency and stop! I'm one of THOSE bakers!
well, I guess I didn't make any grand, helpful discovery after all, did I??
I'm not sure what changed for me those two times then... I creamed the butter and measured the flour exactly the same way that I always do. I'll just chalk it up to an anomaly, I guess - thank goodness I don't typically have that problem and I love that recipe.
I hope the info will help someone else who does have crumbly dough, maybe egg size will make a difference for you.
thanks for the input!
Bonnie, I'm glad you shared this because it could make a difference for someone! I think it was a great discovery!!!
i used large eggs as well. ♥
I also use large eggs and don't measure the flour. Never had a crumbly problem. But will definitely keep egg size in the back of my mind. Thanks
well, I'm glad my faulty hypothesis may help someone at sometime int he future!
Your hypothesis may not be faulty--if the way you measure results in more flour than the recipe writer intended, then the larger eggs would counterbalance that, resulting in the perfect dough. Anyone else with the same problem (crumbly dough) might want to try using the extra large eggs. Whatever works to get the right consistency is the right thing to do.
What Repanda said is what I was trying to say. You hit the nail on the head Redpanda.