How to Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients for Successful Baked Goods Every Time
Proper measuring doesn't just apply to home improvement projects. In the kitchen, baking is a science so it's just as important to correctly measure your ingredients to ensure terrific results every time. So when that chocolate cake recipe you just started has directions to mix the dry ingredients (i.e. flour, baking leaveners, and salt) in one bowl and to cream the wet ingredients (i.e. butter, milk, and sugar) before combining them together, there's a reason for it. Before you get started, make sure you have the proper measuring tools and techniques down for measuring the dry ingredients and liquid ingredients.
How to Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients
Once you've got the baking recipe and ingredients gathered, measure the dry ingredients and wet ingredients into separate mixing bowls ($20, Bed Bath & Beyond). From there, follow these steps for mixing wet and dry ingredients:
Step 1: Stir Together Dry Ingredients
Stir the dry ingredients (flour, leavening, salt, spices) together. Then use a spatula or wooden spoon ($5, Target) to gently push the dry ingredients against the sides of the bowl to make a well (pictured above). Once you've made a well in the dry ingredients, gently pour wet ingredients into the center.
Step 2: Slowly Stir Together Wet and Dry Ingredients (aka Folding Ingredients)
When the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined using the method your recipe calls for, pour them into the well. Use a rubber scraper ($10, Target) to mix. Run the scraper around the edge of the bowl and reach to the bottom of the bowl, pulling dry ingredients over and into the wet ingredients. If you've ever wondered what it means to fold in baking, this is it.
Step 3: Mix Ingredients Until Combined
Stop mixing when the batter is just barely combined. If you stir out all the lumps, your finished product may have peaks on top and tough texture.
As noted above, a rubber scraper is a must-have tool when it comes to mixing ingredients. Make sure your kitchen is properly stocked for every type of recipe with our essential list of baking tools to have on hand.