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Author Topic: Sifting  (Read 1893 times)

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Offline flagriller

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Sifting
« on: June 11, 2019, 07:33:15 AM »
Will sifting the flour prior to making dough do anything?  I remember my mom
had a sifter but I'm not sure why/when she used it.

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Sifting
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 11:41:20 AM »
As it pertains to making yeast leavened doughs, it will remove insects and larvae (worms) from the flour, it will remove any non-flour material (paper, string, etc.), it will give you a little exercise (could be a good thing) but aside from that, no, sifting flour today serves no real useful purpose.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Sifting
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 12:40:26 PM »
Tom,

Does sifting help flours that have settled and have developed clumping?

Also, when I tried sifting flour, I thought it would allow increasing the hydration value. However, in my case, I used only the stir speed of my home KitchenAid mixer and I also used all three attachments. Maybe that allowed better hydration of the flour and permitted the increased hydration value.

Peter

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Sifting
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 01:27:01 PM »
Peter;
Sifting doesn't impact the total flour absorption, it can, and I say that cautiously, allow the flour to hydrate more quickly as there can be a greater surface area exposed to the water, but the amount of water actually absorbed (total absorption) is not affected. Lumpy/clumpy flour is a result of exposure to high humidity or Indian Meal Moth infestation (their webbs result in clumping of the flour), both of which are good signs that the flour should probably be discarded. While flour may clump as a result of packaging, the clumps readily break-up so they really don't create a problem, even when mixing totally by hand. While nobody wants to talk about it the main reason for sifting flour goes back to when baking at home was not just a hobby, but part of everyday life, the flour was stored in a metal lined deep drawer, or metal lined box and it was too valuable to through out (for any reason) as a result the flour became infested over time and sifting made it all good again (my, how times have changed). I was raised on home made bread, the store bought bread, which was bought when we went into town every two weeks, was a treat for us kids (because it was soft) but it was an act of kindness for the women who got a reprieve from needing to bake bread for a couple of days, did I mention that our kitchen cook stove was dual fuel? Yep, dual fuel, corn cobs or wood. Mostly corn cobs as we were a small dairy farm. Now think of this, an Illinois farm, summer, hot and humid, no air conditioning and no fans and baking bread with that cook stove three times a week (need I say more?) The house was heated by dual fuel too, either corn cobs or coal (both burned long and hot, but in the winter it was always coal at night as the huge pieces that we burned lasted through the night). The farm is now a subdivision and those who live there don't have a clue about what the land once was. Sorry to digress.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Offline charbo

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Re: Sifting
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 05:25:08 PM »
There is one other reason to sift, if you don't have a scale.  If you sift into a cup, you will get the same amount of flour each time, probably about 120 g/cup.

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