Do you believe everything you’re told? I guess I don’t! That’s why I had to test out the premise that sifting is better than whisking in cookies.
The class I’m taking is Craftsy: 25 Essential Baking Techniques by Colette Christian, and she says to always sift the flour. Chef Christian is a well-credentialed certified pastry chef with lots of experience, who’s long been a culinary instructor at some very good professional schools. You’d think I’d just follow her guidance. After all, I paid for the Craftsy class! And I (think I) want to learn. (LOL)
But oh, no, not me! I have to know for myself if sifting beats whisking. I want to see the difference. I want to have personal knowledge of what that difference is. I’m a bit surprised at how strongly I feel about this, but my husband Doug tells me I never believe anything he says until I see it for myself. I thought he was exaggerating, but I guess not.
I used the recipe that I published on this blog before Christmas – Sugar Jumbles. It’s a simple cookie (I used no add-ins) with few ingredients. The differences in flavor, texture or shape would be reasonably obvious in this recipe.
Not really. Surprisingly (to me) there actually was a difference in cookie size between the two methods.
Cookies made with the Sift method:
- Width: average 2.78”
- Height: average 0.59375”
- Width: average 2.625”
- Height: average 0.516”
As for texture, I really couldn’t tell a lot of difference. The sifted cookie seemed a bit more tender, but it was a small and maybe imaginary variation.
You ask, what have I decided? If I want a nice puffed up round cookie- I’ll sift. Otherwise, I’ll just whisk. Or maybe I’ll do more testing, hummmmm.
By the way, did you know that sifting doesn’t actually mix the ingredients well? Like the salt and baking powder we frequently sift with the flower for cookies. I’ve seen this when I include unsweetened cocoa or cinnamon with the flour- even after sifting there are streaks of brown and white. I found that same information in a book (BakeWise by Shirley O. Corriher), so it must be true (ha!). Now, because of seeing those streaks, I always whisk the ingredients together after sifting when things like baking powder, salt or seasoning are included with the flour.
A while back I noticed that Penzys (my favorite source of ground cinnamon and ginger) has a big campaign going about love, inclusion and some other very nice ideas. As part of that campaign they included this bumper sticker with one of my shipments. I’m not putting this on my car, even though it’s made to remove easily and cleanly, but I do love it and probably will frame and hang it in my baking kitchen.
If you like the sentiment, I have 6 of the bumper stickers to give away to the first 6 people who comment on this post! Your comment can be anything from a simple “hello” to information you want to share with me, feedback on the post, requests for information, or whatever you can think of.
The give-away will end on January 16, so get your comment in now!
Thanks! Until next time, share your love with cooking and baking!