The Importance Of Sifting Flour


Have you ever seen sifted flour noted in a recipe, and just kinda skipped over it? I know I have before, until I learned The Importance Of Sifting Flour. It truly is a very important step that could result in a dry baked good if skipped. 

The History of Sifting Flour

Ever wonder how cakes and biscuits used to be so light and fluffy before all of the modern tools were available? The Importance Of Sifting Flour historically was a common thing in order to make light and fluffy cake, or biscuits. Most recipes that included flour needed sifting before it was added to the mixture.

Sifting flour was needed in order to remove any lingering seeds or husk that might have snuck through. It was even needed once in a while to take care of a stray insect or to remove lumps. While thankfully, we don’t typically have the problem of extra things in our flour, it can still be beneficial to sift your flour today.

People don't hardly use these anymore.

Do you know what it is and what it's used for?

— Chris: The Nuclear Cowboy From The Abyss 😜⚓🆘 (@HacksawIs) November 19, 2020

Why to Sift Flour

Sifting your flour is still beneficial in your cooking and baking endeavors today. The main reasons are that it loosens up the flour that has been sitting for a while and adds more air into it, so that it actually takes up more volume than it did when it was packed together. By fluffing up the flour and adding more air, it also improves the gluten composition of your flour and gives a better texture. 

Ultimately by sifting flour, you are removing any clumps your flour might have and adding air into your flour. If the recipe you are using calls for sifted flour and you don’t sift it, you will end up with too much flour, potentially making the item too dry. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy a moist fluffy cake, not particularly a dry one.

How to Sift

You might ask, if you wanted to start sifting your flour, how do you do it? Do you have to try to find an actual flour sifter? It is completely okay if you do not have a flour sifter and still want to sift your flour! There are many different ways you can remove any clumps in your flour and fluff it up, in addition to running the flour through a flour sifter.

Mesh Strainer

One way is by shaking the flour through a sieve or a fine mesh strainer. You will hold the strainer over a bowl and add the flour while you gently tap the strainer against the bowl. Once all the flour has gone through, repeat the process until you have enough flour for your recipe.


Another way to get sifted flour is to use a whisk. Many people even keep a whisk right in their flour container and whip it up before measuring out their sifted flour amount. This works well to remove any lumps and fluff up the flour.

Food Processor

Another way you can sift your flour is by placing your flour in a food processor and pulsing it a few times. This helps to add air to your flour and activate the gluten elements. This is also a good way to combine all of your dry ingredients together before adding to your complete mixture. Your food processor will make sure that they have been mixed together thoroughly.

Sifting flour!#baking #food

— Catherine McBride (@McBrideWriter) September 15, 2019

What is The Importance Of Sifting Flour? If you don’t sift your four and a recipe calls for it, you will be adding to much four and will end up with dry food. If your recipe does not call for sifted flour, and you sift it, you will not have added enough flour to the mixture.

What do you do? Comment below and let us know what works best for you!

Learn more helpful cooking tips such as Why Should I Soak Wooden Skewers, as well as learning The Difference Between A Sardine and An Anchovy. Check out these easy reads to help you learn more, so that you can be smarter in your kitchen!

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

3 thoughts on “The Importance Of Sifting Flour”

  1. I want to bake banana bread and googled for some great recipes online. One recipe would say sift the flour and found another recipe not to sift the flour. Hhmmm…I don’t understand.

    • By sifting flour in essence you’ll be fluffing up the flour and adding more air, it also improves the gluten composition of your flour and gives a better texture to whatever you’re making. Hope that helps.


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