The Simple Tip To Avoid Going Overboard When Flour Dusting

It's one of the easiest and most insidious mistakes a baker can make — over-flouring your surface. Perhaps you were working with a particularly sticky dough or maybe you went overboard with your sprinkling. Either way, your surface has turned snow white, risking your dough to absorb too much flour and, in turn, become unbearably tough. From pasta to pie dough, this can prove to be a fatal mistake. 

Luckily, there's a quick and relatively easy way to avoid this hassle in the future. Instead of relying on your hands, break out the sifter. With just a few clicks of the handle or shakes of the sieve, you can scatter a fine dusting of flour onto your surface without caking it on. Not only will it help you apply a thin coat, but it'll also help you cover the surface evenly. To use this method, you'll just need the correct type of flour and the right kitchen tools. 

How to use your sifter to flour your surface

First, make sure you're grabbing the right flour. All-purpose flour should be your product of choice, even if it's a bread recipe that uses bread flour. This is crucial for keeping your dough tender. Second, only flour your surface if you're diving or shaping the dough, not kneading it. If you're kneading it, use wet hands to keep it from getting too sticky. Now that the basics are covered, we can jump into the way to flour it. 

There are three kitchen tools you can use for this hack — a sifter, a sieve, or a colander. The sifter works the best as it gives you the most amount of control. The sieve is the next best bet, as you can still use it to scatter flour over the counter fairly evenly. A colander is the least effective due to its larger holes, but it'll work better than just your fingers. Then start by sifting or sieving one to two tablespoons of all-purpose flour, increasing as needed. It's always better to err on the side of less flour rather than more, as a sticky dough can be saved. With these tips in mind, you'll never have to worry about over-dusting again.