If you are planning to make muffins, pancakes, waffles, or quick breads, pay close attention. The order and manner in which the ingredients are mixed in a recipe can make a huge difference in the quality of your results. The best way to ensure your food turns out tender and fine grained is to not overmix the batter. Follow these guidelines on how to correctly measure and combine wet and dry ingredients.
Proper measuring doesn't just apply to home improvement projects. In the kitchen when you are cooking and baking, it's just as important to correctly measure your ingredients to ensure terrific results. Always start with the right tools. Use dry measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid measuring cups for liquids.
Measure liquids into a glass measuring cup set on a level surface. Make sure you are at eye level with the cup, and fill just to the measuring line. If you are measuring sticky ingredients, such as honey or molasses, use a spatula to scrape everything from the cup. If you are measuring 1 tablespoon of liquid or less, fill the appropriate-size measuring spoon to the rim without spilling over.
When measuring dry ingredients, such as flour, first stir it in its original container. Use a large spoon to gently fill a dry measuring cup or measuring spoon without shaking or packing. Use a spatula or knife to level it off into a bowl you're not using or back into the original container.
Pack brown sugar firmly into a dry measuring cup. Use your fingers or the back of a spoon to press it into the cup.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, then gently pour wet ingredients into the center.
1. Stir the dry ingredients (flour, leavening, salt, spices) together. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently push the dry ingredients against the sides of the bowl to make a well.
2. When the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined, pour them into the well. Use a rubber scraper 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.
3. 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.
A rubber scraper is the must-have tool when it comes to mixing ingredients.