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Ok, so recipe after recipe says that you should sift your flour.  So a few months ago, I bought a sifter.  Silly that I never owned one before in general, but for some reason it’s a kitchen tool that I never felt necessary enough to go pick one up.

First, I’ll say that it is in fact a necessary tool.  It makes for a fluffier finer texture of cake, which became important as we were working on perfecting our very own cake recipes.

Second, I will say that it’s easier than one would think to break your sifter.  If you bake occasionally, you might not have this problem.  But when your sifting 8+ cups of cake flour on a given day, the efficiency of your sifter suddenly becomes important.

So, this is the first sifter I picked up…

 

Pretty standard.  You power it by squeezing the handle and the flour falls through the shifting layers below.  This one worked perfect the first time.  But after washing it once and attempting use #2, the rate at which it sifted flour diminished ridiculously.  Figuring it was just the norm, I kept sifting away… until the handle broke.  Maybe my muscles are just too big (yeah, right), but I don’t think the handle should have broken too easily.  Figuring it was a faulty brand, I grabbed a new one.

Again, it worked flawlessly the first time.  Washed it.  It slowed down.  The handle broke.  Hmm… this is when I realized I must have been doing something wrong.  After some google searches, I found that you should avoid using water to clean your sifter.  Duh!  When the flour and the water mix, it creates a paste that is hard to get out of all the crevices.  Instead you should wipe it out with a dry cloth.  I also read some forums that suggested you use compressed air or a vacuum to clean it out if you’re really struggling.

So feeling like a dummy, I headed to the store to buy a third one.  This time, I’d be a little more gentle with the handle and clean it more wisely.  But while I was there, I found this…

This sifter changed my life.  Ok, maybe not.  But it did make sifting flour SO much easier.  First of all, there is only one grid and fewer contraptions the flour has to make its way through, allowing for easier access when cleaning.  Secondly, check out the crank!  Maybe you’ll miss the forearm workout you got from squeezing the handle of the first sifter I showed you, but I sure won’t!  This easy to turn little crank makes the job effortless and I love it.  And since I’m cleaning the sifter without water, it’s been efficient for all of it’s uses instead of just the first one!

I can hear some of you thinking or worrying about not cleaning with soap and water.  One suggestion I might make is that if you’re worried about cross contamination between different flours or cocoa powder, get a few different sifters and label them for the different products.  I only see this to be necessary if you’re taking allergies into consideration.  Otherwise, I think detailing it with a dry cloth is a fine way to do the job.