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Sifter recommendations: I am baking more with whole grain flours and would like a good, easy to clean sifter. Ideas? (I know some people use a sieve -- maybe mine was too fine, but it was painfully slow when I tried.)

asked by allie almost 8 years ago

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11 answers 1959 views
mrslarkin
added almost 8 years ago

Get a medium-sized mesh colander. Works like a charm.

I don't own a sifter. Honestly, sifting is not necessary. Just get your flour good and aerated with a whisk and then gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup (don't pack it), and level it off with the back of a knife or an offset spatula if you have one.

Even better would be to buy a kitchen scale and weigh your flour.

The only thing I sift occasionally is powdered sugar, and I use the medium mesh sieve for that too.

Good luck!

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Soozll
added almost 8 years ago

I think the best sifter is a regular wire strainer, or sieve. I've had all types of sifters and they are just so slow! The hand cranks on many of them don't work well and they are a pain to clean when you use cocoa or anthing other than white flour. That's my opinion, for what it's worth!

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allie
added almost 8 years ago

I also tend to think it's a waste -- but, my new favorite cookbook, good to the grain, keeps insisting on the importance of sifting, which is why I asked. Glad to see I am not the only one, but don't want hockey-puck whole grain baked goods,

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mrslarkin
added almost 8 years ago

I got that book for Christmas!! Can't wait to dig in. Looks like I might be sifting more than I want to!

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susan g
added almost 8 years ago

So if you sift whole grain flour, are you trying to eliminate bran and germ? I prefer some texture -- that's where the goodies lie as well as a lot of taste. (Yes, they can be finely ground, but why skip out on the nature of the stuff?)

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allie
added almost 8 years ago

Good to the Grain has you dump everything into the bowl, but using the sifting to eliminate lumps -- maybe I just try whisking and using my fingers to eliminate lumps and skip the pesky sifting??

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allie
added almost 8 years ago

I actuallly emailed the Good to the Grain author - she wrote back that she thinks whisking well should work. Joy!

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mrslarkin
added almost 8 years ago

Yay! I guess we're off the hook then!

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RobertaJ
added almost 8 years ago

Ditch the sifter. Go for a mesh strainer/sieve. Easy to clean, easy to store, a multi-tasker. If you want to make sure you get the extra "goodies" from your whole grains, go for a larger mesh, or a colander. All the sifters I've had hurt my hands to work (either crank or squeeze) and are a major PITA to clean. Strainers/sieves/colanders are cheap, easily available, and can go in the dishwasher.

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Terry
added 2 months ago

I'm on the hunt also for a fine-mesh, hand-crank sifter/sieve. I used a handheld sifter/seive (i.e., a mesh bowl with a handle) for years, for separating bran from the endosperm, for the purpose of soaking the bran in the liquid ingredients for a little while before adding it all to the flour for a better rise. But the mesh is really too coarse to hold back all of the bran, so recently I bought a "sieve" (or a round pan with fine mesh) which works better but makes a mess as I have only one (plastic) bowl large enough to really accommodate it. Many hand-crank sifters claim a "fine mesh" but when I read the actual descriptions they don't appear to be that fine. I'd like to find a hybrid between a basic hand-crank sifter (preferably with a lid to contain the flour cloud) and a fine-mesh "pan" sieve. Surely someone has thought of this - ??

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Smaug
added 2 months ago

I've had best results with one with a curved wire sweep turning in a half dome shaped piece of mesh very fast and easy to clean. The more commonly seen type with a flat screen and an x-shaped sweep are a pain to use and clean. Actually, a lot of ingenuity has gone into the design of these things over the years, but I'm not so sure what's available now- simple, practical items like this are evidently not very profitable, as businesses don't put a lot of effort into them anymore.

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