The Scoop on Flour

Our test kitchen shares everything you need to know for successful baking.

Mary Allen Perry

Quick Bread Techniques
Several different methods are used when mixing the batters for muffins and quick breads, and each produces a unique texture. Beating softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy helps to create the delicate cakelike crumb of Lemon Tea Bread.

Parmesan Cheese Muffins and Whole Wheat Date-Nut Bread have a coarser, more breadlike texture. In this method, the liquid and dry ingredients are first stirred together in separate bowls. Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients creates a space so the two can be quickly and easily combined without overmixing.

A pastry blender makes fast work of cutting butter or shortening into small pieces and combining them with flour for light, high-rising Homemade Biscuits. When the dough is baked in a hot oven, the butter melts, creating tender, flaky layers.