3 Reasons Why This Mixing Technique Makes You A Better Baker
Exercise your arms and leave the equipment alone.
No, you don’t have to use your mixer for every baking project. Give your arms a workout by mixing your cake batter, cookie dough, or buttercream frosting by hand. Not only can it be easy—especially with a few tips and tricks to make it so—it is also a great way to see exactly how your mixture is progressing without overmixing.
When you’re mixing by hand, be it with a wooden spoon or a whisk, you are more aware of what you’re doing and how the ingredients transform into the smooth, cohesive mixture that is the start of your baked product.
Still unconvinced? Here are three reasons why you should keep your equipment inside your kitchen cabinets and do your mixing by hand:
1 Mixing can be fast and easy.
The key here is to ensure that all your ingredients are at the right temperature. That means butter should be softened and not cold, eggs are at room temperature, and whipping cream is chilled thoroughly. When all your ingredients are softened, it’s easier to incorporate into a homogenous batter.
In the case of whipping cream and other ingredients that should be chilled, make it easy on yourself by chilling the bowl and whisk to make whipping faster and easier. This will also ensure that your mixture stays cool no matter what the temperature is outside.
2 When mixing by hand, you are in full control of your mixture.
There will be no more over-whipping chilled heavy cream into butter or over-beating batters into a tough-textured cake. If you’re whisking or beating by hand, you can stop to check your mixture frequently, so you are always aware of the consistency of your mixture.
3 Mixing by hand is more gentle and thorough than a stand mixer.
The beater of your mixer, whether a stand mixer or hand mixer, will not be able to truly mix your batter as thoroughly as you can than if you mixed by hand. That's why you fold using a spatula and need to occasionally stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. There's no need to stop and scrape the bowl if you're mixing by hand because the motion you use to mix should already be scraping the sides, bottom, and all around the bowl.