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Mar 19, 2011 06:30 PM

Whisking vs Sifting?

Is it true that I can whisk the dry ingredients for a cookie recipe instead of sifting them together? I don't own a sifter and I didnt know if to just not bother sifting or try the whisking which a couple of websites mentioned.

Thanks for any help!

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  1. Whisking is wholly effective for cookies and most quick breads and muffins, where you are not looking for the lightness of a cake. I never sift dry ingredients for cookies, and rarely for quick breads.

    1. I don't have a specific sifter. I use a wire mesh strainer ( I only have wire colanders for this specific reason) to sift.

      1. I don't have a "real" sifter, either. When I want to be precise, I'll use a fine-mesh sieve. One of my favorite tricks for making brownies, though (the Ghirardelli recipe on the canister is my go-to), is to keep an empty Ghirardelli canister, add the dry ingredients and shake the living daylights out of it! :)

        1. Yes--but make sure to "fluff" the flour before measuring so it's not packed down and you get an accurate measure, if you're not weighing your ingredients.

          1. I have sifted and I have whisked. The only difference i can see is that sifting makes the flour more fine. If you are just wanting to incorporate all the dry ingredients, I think whisking is fine.

            2 Replies
            1. re: vafarmwife

              While sifting does not create a finer texture in the flour (that would require additional grinding) it does incorporate air into the flour to make it lighter and fluffier, thereby increasing its total mass while reducing its bulk. A sifted cup of flour will weigh less than a scooped cup of flour.
              That said, as you pointed out, if you're simply incorporating ingredients you can be confident that thoroughly and gently whisking instead of sifting will work just fine.

              1. re: todao

                " thereby increasing its total mass while reducing its bulk" - you should patent this process! :)