Why You Should Use A Whisk When Making Popovers

In baking, success is often found in the details. Sometimes it's about the choice of ingredients. A recipe that calls for caster sugar, or superfine sugar, for example, probably won't have exactly the same results if you substitute regular granulated sugar. And powdered sugar? That's another ingredient entirely, with different applications. Brown sugar won't perform just like granulated sugar, either, so understanding ingredients and selecting them carefully matters.

Other times, it's the technique you use that matters. Learning what it means to fold ingredients into a baking batter, for example, can be the difference between light, fluffy baked goods, and disappointing flops. Even simple recipes like popovers — which MasterClass describes as "light pastry rolls made from flour, eggs, butter, and milk" — can require certain tools and techniques in order to achieve the ideal consistency.

Popovers aren't fancy, but they're amazingly versatile, and it's worth learning how to make them properly, as they're the ideal side for a variety of dishes, and they can accompany any meal, from a fancy brunch to a simple dinner at home. One way to ensure your popovers achieve the height and volume you're looking for, according to MasterClass, is to use a popover pan, which is similar to a muffin tin, but with straight, rather than angled sides. And the technique for combining your ingredients? That requires another kitchen tool.

Whisks ensure the batter has a nice consistency

Popovers, along with their cousin across the pond, Yorkshire pudding, are meant to have a big rise, with the dough expanding out the top of the popover pan. That expansion often comes — as it does in our luscious Gruyere and Black Pepper Popover recipe – from putting the properly blended ingredients into a pan that's been preheated in the oven. Those ingredients hit the hot muffin or popover pan and bloom, popping up and out, leaving a largely empty center.

King Arthur Baking explains that how you combine your ingredients matters as well. Using a whisk to combine the ingredients gives you control over the consistency of the batter. Whisk until all the big lumps are gone, stopping when only small lumps remain. The site also reported that using a blender to combine ingredients resulted in "sodden, heavy, doughy blobs," far from the desired consistency. Likewise, using a stand mixer didn't yield the perfect popover explosion of batter that gives the side dish its characteristic shape and consistency.