Have you ever wondered what the purpose of sifting flour for a recipe was?
I always wondered what the reason was, but never really thought about looking into it. When I lived in America, I really only sifted my flour when a recipe called for it; generally an angel food cake type recipe. Those types of recipes always have a very even and light texture. I never really put the connection between sifting and that outcome. However, since I moved to Israel I have to sift all of my flour and keep it refrigerated! Between the climate and altitude change it is difficult to tell how sifting the flour in particular affected my baking, especially since I was unaware how it should be affecting my baking.
When a recipe says to sift multiple ingredients together like the baking powder, flour and salt that is to make sure the ingredients are mixed extremely well. This allows for the ingredients to be spread evenly throughout the batter.
But, when a recipe says to only sift the flour (before or after measuring) it is for a different purpose.
With a bit of research I discovered that sifting flour is actually a great tool to help all of your dry and liquid ingredients blend together better. While you are sifting the flour you are aerating the flour particles to allow for better absorption of wet ingredients. Also you standardize the density of the flour, helping you measure more accurately. Baking is really a science so having the correct amount of every ingredient is important for proper chemical reactions ie the yummyness factor.
Even when a recipe doesn’t call for sifting you can quickly aerate your flour by giving it a few stirs with a whisk. After being condensed and compacted together during packaging and shipping most flour can use a little pick me up.
It may be a bit time consuming and messy, but the little things can help your recipe turn out just right!
~Love From Our Kitchen to Yours