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What does it mean to "just barely combine"

What does it mean when baking when it says just barely combine. How do you know it's barely combined or totally combined. What happens if something is mixed too much?

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Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

added about 2 years ago

It's just a friendly way of saying: don't over-mix!!

nutcakes added about 2 years ago

If some baked goods are mixed too much they will toughen up. So mix together, but stop immediately when first combined.

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