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Why do you mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately when baking? click and find out

Why Do You Mix Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients Separately?

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Hi Bold Bakers!

I am often asked “Why do you Mix Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients Separately?” Even the best bakers get ahead of themselves, working in the order of recipe ingredients. You might think if all the measurements are correct you can just throw it all in the same bowl and mix, but it isn’t true. Baking is a science, but it’s not anything like rocket science. It really is important that you mix your dry ingredients all together in one bowl, your wet in another bowl, and then you can whisk all together.

Why do you mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately when baking?

The general rule of baking, whether it be cookie dough, cake mix or pancake batter, is as follows: dry ingredients should be combined together thoroughly in one bowl BEFORE adding liquids.

Liquid ingredients should ALWAYS be mixed separately before they’ve been added to the dry ingredients.

Mixing the dry ingredients by themselves means you will evenly disperse the raising agents, spices, sugar etc throughout which is important for an even batter.

The Reason Behind It?

Over mixing batters and dough will toughen and strengthen the gluten in the flour. Doing this to the gluten will yield you tougher baked goods, not a light and tender bake, like you want.

Mixing the dry ingredients together first, and then doing the same with the wet ingredients, means that once you combine the two, you will have to do very little mixing. The less you mix the flour the less gluten has a chance to develop meaning you end up with a  fluffier and light end product.

A perfect example is Pancake Batter. It is so very important that you don’t over mix pancake batter. You want those thick, fluffy pancakes right? then resist the urge to keep mixing until you have all the lumps out.  Lumps are ok, they will work themselves out in the resting period so don’t worry about them. If you are worried about over mixing then I say aim to under mix and you will probably have the perfect batter. Trust me, leave the lumps be.

The Results?

This method of mixing everything separately will yield you the best results and a more even texture in your baking.

When in doubt, just remember these tips, and you will find you can always achieve your desired texture, allowing you to be a far more consistent baker.

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Katherine Cowgill by Teren Oddo Oct. 2015

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Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I’m passionate about sharing my years of experience to show you how to make game-changing baking recipes with over-the-top results! Join more than 1 Million other Bold Bakers in the community for new video recipes every week!

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10 Comments

  1. Zia on November 19, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Gemma, I was wondering about the lumps. If I leave some of them (in a cake batter), will those be little dry spots/pockets where they didn’t get any moisture on them? (After the cake is baked)
    Thank you so much, I’m learning quite a bit on your site.

    • Gemma Stafford on November 20, 2017 at 1:21 am

      Hi Zia,
      I really do not discriminate, I use what ever I have to hand, and I always have a bottle of white vinegar of some sort.
      When I say ‘do not over mix’ I mean do not beat the life out of the batter so that the gluten in the flour has been developed, which will toughen the cake.
      For pancakes this is particularly important, though resting the batter before cooking will help to relax it.
      For a cake, you mix the wet into the dry until the wet is incorporated. Not big lumps of flour, just barely incorporated.
      There is a figure of eight movement around the bowl and through the batter which is worth mastering. It works very well to get the batter right.
      It is all practice, and learning from the results.
      I hope this helps, carry on baking,
      Gemma 🙂

  2. Monica Madan on November 14, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Thanks dearo for the nice tip. I also want to try ur fondant recipe but pls can u suggest me what to use instead of eggs? And what type of colours should be used to colour the fondant. Gel colours or nirmal liquid colours.

  3. Amna on November 14, 2017 at 12:58 am

    Hello Gemma

    I have been following ypur recipies for quite a long time now. Thanks for this information!

    I just have a question regarding your traditional fondant recipie. I followed everything but it turned out to be inelastic and broke. It was kind of like a texture of batter. I tried adding more sugar but it did not work. I also added more glycerine and gluco syrup to make it elastic but to no avail.
    Please help me out here

    • Gemma Stafford on November 14, 2017 at 4:46 am

      Hi there,
      If you altered this recipe in any way you will not get a good result. fondant is a tricky thing!
      I am not sure what went wrong for you, and I cannot figure it out. If the texture was like batter are you saying it was too wet? If it was not elastic, then it was dry.
      Do let me know, others have managed this recipe well,
      Gemma 🙂

  4. Chaitra Niwaskar on November 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That was really helpful thankyou so much for sharing this

    • Gemma Stafford on November 14, 2017 at 5:08 am

      Hi there,
      Thank you for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

  5. Naima on November 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for the explanation

    • Gemma Stafford on November 13, 2017 at 1:54 am

      Thank you Karen for being with us,
      Gemma 🙂

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