Weighing flour
Posted: 10 July 2008 12:31 AM   [ Ignore ]
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TCB calls for sifted cake flour.  What I usually do is weigh the flour first then sift it.  It suddenly dawned on me that I may be doing it wrong.  Maybe I should be sifting the cake flour first then weighing it.

Which is correct -

(1)  sifting first followed by weighing; or
(2)  weigh then sift

Out of curiosity, how many times do you sift the flour for cakes - once, twice, .........???

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Posted: 10 July 2008 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I put my mixing bowl on a scale (for butter cakes or any cake using Rose’s two-stage mxing method where the dry ingredients are placed in the bowl first and mixed) and sift directly into the bowl until it reaches the specified weight. I have an old hand sifter from my grandmother that isn’t perfect, but I am sentimental and just enjoy using it.
smile

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Posted: 12 July 2008 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Just wanted to share my observation.

I had recently baked 2 cakes after posting this question.  This time I had sifted the flour first before weighing it.  I note that the cake mixture is not as thick as when I weighed the flour first before sifting.

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Posted: 13 July 2008 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Matthew - 10 July 2008 12:11 PM

I always weigh, and the only cakes I bother sifting for are sponge-type cakes.  In that case, I sift into the weighing bowl—so I measure while sifting I guess, but I have an battery sifter, so it happens quite quickly.  For butter cakes, I just weigh and don’t sift.

By volume, for Rose’s recipes, you should sift into the cup, and then level off as Barbara says.

I agree with Matthew. I weigh my flour and do not bother with sifting unless I’m making a sponge-type cake.

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Posted: 18 July 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Jilllyn ~

How did the two cakes differ after baking?  Or did they differ?

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Posted: 21 July 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Could the difference in scales be the reason two different people are getting two different results?  Maybe one is more “sensitive” than the other.

I made the All-Occasion Downy Yellow last night and used my scale for the first time!!  I noticed when I weigh by grams it only registers an even number.  So for vanilla extract I could use 8 or 10 grams but not 9 grams like the recipe called for, and I had the same issue with the baking powder.  Is 1 gram difference an issue??

I used Softasilk and sifted into the bowl.  Then returned the scale to zero, and poured in the sugar fearlessly until I got to 300 grams, and repeated the same for the other dry ingredients.  Is this how everyone else does it?  I was very trusting until I got to the baking powder and kept pouring and pouring.  It seemed like I was pouring quite a bit more than what I would have used by volume.  But I just trusted it and kept going. 

Anyway, the cake turned out awesome - light, airy, fluffy, melt in your mouth goodness.  I did have quite a bit of crumbs when I cut it, which I don’t mind for an old-fashioned-no-frills-keep-at-home cake.  But I think it would be hard to carve it.  I did put it in the fridge, so we will see if that helps with the carving ability. 

Although I had some temp issues.  My oven bakes hot anyway, but I had just baked two lbs. of meatloaf at 375 for an hour, so it wasn’t cooling down like it normally does.  And I didn’t have 9x1.5 pans, so I used 8x2 pans.  Due to the oven running hot, the edges got done a little faster than they should have, but not to a crisp though.

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Posted: 21 July 2008 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Good to know about the leavening.  Thanks!! 

I was thinking about the cake strips but thought I would try the recipes without them for a while.  I haven’t really had issues with my sides using other recipes since I got the oven thermometer.  Do the cake strips help with the texture/crumb?  From some of the other posts, it looks like a couple others had issues with it being a little too crumbly.  Other suggestions were to sub bleached AP flour and mix a little longer than suggested.

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Posted: 21 July 2008 10:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Now, really.  Is 2/100ths of a GRAM really going to make any difference at all.  Which weighs more?  A pound of feathers or a pound of lead?

Our grandmothers’ are probably all rolling their eyes at us. rolleyes

For the record; I tend to weigh then sift, or sift into a bowl that is on the scale.  It depends.  When I tackle a genoise I might be a bit more picky. 

What I love about weighing ingredients is the elimination of the variations in weight over the dip and sweep vs spoon lightly into vs sifted before or after.  A pound is a pound is a pound, and by any other name would still weigh 16oz.

Happy experimenting.

JennyBee

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