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1.2.3: Mixing Technique and Methods

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    64284
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    Mixing Techniques

    Mixing is a general term used in cooking to describe the process of combining two or more ingredients. The goal of mixing is to evenly disperse one ingredient in another. Different methods are used in varying cooking applications and are as follows:

    1. Stir
    2. Beat
    3. Blend
    4. Bind
    5. Cream
    6. Whip/Whisk
    7. Fold

    Note: There are additional mixing techniques such as kneeding and cutting that apply to yeast bread and pastry production. These techniques will be discussed in later sections.

    Stir: to mix all ingredients using a utensil (most likely a spoon) in a circular motion. E.g. stirring a pot of soup

    Beat: ingredients are moved vigorously until they are smooth. An electric mixer may be used or this can be done by hand. e.g. eggs are typically beaten in the preparation of scrambled eggs

    Blend: mixed ingredients are combined thoroughly until they become one. e.g. putting fruit in a blender to make a smoothie

    Bind: This is when ingredients adhere to each other. This can be observed in the process of making fried chicken or in the case of breaded fish. Usually done in a process where first the raw food is dredged in flour, then coated in egg, and finally coated in bread crumbs. While these may seem like all separate processes, these three ingredients will be indistinguishable from one another in the final product.

    Dredged: the term dredged in cooking means to coat by sprinkling to coat food (e.g. chicken coated with flour or cornmeal)

    Cream: fat and sugar are beaten together and air is incorporated making a light texture. Fat sources can be from oil, butter, or eggs and sugar can be white or brown.

    Whip/Whisk: the process of incorporating air into a food. Typically done with a whisk or hand mixer and the ingredients are vigorously mixed. e.g. whipping cream until it is light and fluffy 

    Fold: this is a gentle form of mixing where one ingredient is incorporated into another with a large spoon or spatula. e.g. folding chocolate chips into a batter to make chocolate chip cookies.

    Mixing Methods:

    Dependent on the product being made there are several mixing methods that may be used in order to get the outcome desired. These are explained below: 

    Muffins Method

    This method is used for batters that are low in fat and sugar. They tend to be a little drier because of this. These batters have a tendency to be over mixed thus making the product tough. In this method, the dry ingredients should only be mixed until moistened. Over mixing to the point where the batter is smooth will lend to a dry and tough finished product. The finished batter should have visible lumps in it that will disperse in the cooking process.

    Creaming Method

    This is used for batters that are higher in fat and sugar because it gives a more complete mix of the ingredients. This will give the finished product a more cake like texture. This is usually a cake mixing method but can be used to make some quick breads.

    Biscuits Method

    This is used to make biscuits, scones and other similar quick bread products. When making biscuits some kneading is required but over working the dough will cause it to become hard. The small amount of kneading lends to a flakier texture of the finished biscuit. The dough is soft and can be rolled out and cut into shapes depending the shape and size you want. If there is some kneading the biscuit will rise more. Dough that has not been knead will tends to spread more and the texture if more cake like.

    Mixing Methods Procedures

    Muffin Method

    1. Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and then sift on parchment paper. Add this back to the mixing bowl and then set it aside.
    2. In a bowl, add your liquid ingredients. You will also add any fat such as oil or melted butter.
    3. The liquid ingredients are then added to the dry ingredients.
    4. You will mix this until the dry ingredients are all moistened. Your batter should still have lumps in it. Be careful to not over mix the batter. If your batter is smooth and lump free it is over-mixed.
    5. Once the batter is mixed, pan it up and bake. Do no let the batter sit.

    Creaming Method for Muffins

    1. The sugar and fat are added to the bowl of a mixer. If spices are added, they will be added at this time also.
    2. Using the paddle attachment, you will begin to cream the ingredients until they are light, white and fluffy.
    3. Next, you will add the eggs in stages. Scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. This ensure even mixing of the ingredients.
    4. Sift the dry ingredients onto parchment paper.
    5. Mix the liquid ingredients until they are combined.
    6. The dry and liquid ingredients are then added in an alternating pattern starting with ¼ of the dry. Remember to scrape the bowl between additions.
    7. Once the mixture is combined, next add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients. Keep this up until all the ingredients have been added.
    8. Once the mixture is smooth and all ingredients have been added, pan up and bake.

    Biscuit Method

    1. Scale out all of your ingredients.
    2. In a mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together.
    3. Add the butter and using the paddle attachment (with mixer) or pastry blender or by hand until the mixture has pea size bits of butter in it. This adds to a flakier biscuit.
    4. The liquid ingredients are then added and combined to form a soft dough. Be careful to not over mix it.
    5. Turn the dough out on the bench and lightly knead the dough. Using the heel of your hand push into the dough and with your fingers fold it and turn it counter clockwise 90 degrees. Continue this for 3 to 4 more folds.
    6. Pin the dough out to about 1-inch thickness. Cut the biscuits to your desired shape.

    Creaming Method for Biscuits

    1. The sugar and fat are added to the bowl of a mixer. If your recipe calls for milk powder, it would also be added at this time.
    2. Using the paddle attachment, you will begin to cream the ingredients until they are just combined. Extra mixing will change the texture of the biscuits.
    3. Next, you will add the eggs in stages. Scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. This ensure even mixing of the ingredients.
    4. Sift the dry ingredients onto parchment paper.
    5. Mix the liquid ingredients until they are combined.
    6. The dry and liquid ingredients are then added in an alternating pattern starting with ¼ of the dry. Remember to scrape the bowl between additions.
    7. Once the mixture is combined, next add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients. Keep this up until all the ingredients have been added.
    8. Once the mixture is smooth and all ingredients have been added, then turn out onto a floured surface and roll out.

    Tips for success with Biscuit making

    1. Do not over handle the dough. Knead just enough to make them flaky. Over working makes for a tough biscuit.
    2. When cutting press down with the cutter. Do not twist. Cut as close to the last cut to avoid excess scraps. Having to rework the dough will make the dough tough.
    3. Placing the cut biscuits upside down allows for a better rise.
    4. If you want a crust around the entire biscuit place then on a parchment lined sheet pan about ½ to 1 inch apart.
    5. If you want soft sided biscuit then put the cut biscuits touching each other.

    This page titled 1.2.3: Mixing Technique and Methods is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tammy Rink & William R. Thibodeaux via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.