Baking Mixture: Wet to Dry or Dry to Wet?

We’ll discuss whether it is better to mix a recipe wet-to-dry or dry-to-wet and explain why.

When Baking Do You Go From Wet To Dry Or Dry To Wet?

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients to avoid having any dry pockets. The goal is to have all ingredients mixed in and not have areas with dry spots. For example, pouring wet into dry runs the risk of having dry areas at the bottom of the bowl. Mix your wet ingredients first and then add the dry into the wet and it’s easier to mix.

When adding wet ingredients to dry it’s very easy to have some of the dry ingredients not mix properly because of the order. It’s very common to even alternate between wet and dry ingredients. You would mix the wet ingredients first then add in some of the dry ingredients and then add in some of the wet ingredients until you add in all everything that’s required of the recipe and mix thoroughly. 

We’re going to talk about if an egg is wet or dry and in what circumstances it will be depending on the recipe. The stages of a beaten egg, and the importance of understanding wet versus dry ingredients.

Wet Ingredients VS DRY Ingredients

You’ll be surprised to find out what’s really wet and what’s really dry just because of the purpose of the ingredients in a recipe. Here’s a table below outlining what common baking ingredients are wet versus dry and a little explanation where needed. 

Wet Ingredients In BakingSpecial Purpose of the IngredientDry Ingredients In Baking
EggThe egg acts as a binder. Without it, the cake would crumble. It also acts as a fat.Baking soda or powder
Sugar Though it is dry in texture it’s treated as a wet ingredient as it mixes well. It is usually mixed together with the other wet ingredients.
It also helps slow down gluten to avoid a chewy cake.

Are Eggs Considered A Wet Or Dry Ingredient?

Egg is about 75% water but it is also considered a fat. Some baking recipes don’t count egg towards hydration. But it’s mostly treated as a wet ingredient. It’s usually added with flour, butter and sugar, especially when using the creaming method. Depending on the recipe it can also be a dry ingredient depending on the order of the ingredients.

Egg helps bind ingredients together and makes them more cohesive. It is especially useful when combining dry ingredients with wet ingredients since it easily combines both types.

Honey and sugar may not be listed as hydration in recipes, but they are forms of liquid that blend well with wet ingredients.

Why Do You Alternate Dry And Wet Ingredients?

It helps to control the amount of gluten being developed while mixing. Mixing the flour will create lots of gluten which causes the batter to be chewy or denser. You also get a more even mix that way. It also prevents the dough or batter from being overworked.

Common practice is to mix the wet ingredients separately and then the dry ingredients separately and gradually alternate between the two while mixing to avoid having any clumps.

Which Is Added First The Eggs And Vanilla Or The Flour?

Egg is a common emulsifier, so it’s often helpful to use when combining dry ingredients with liquids. Typically this means adding the egg one by one then the vanilla while gradually mixing in the flour.

Doing it in this exact order it helps you to avoid creating flour lumps within the batter. And it slows down the gluten development and also allows all ingredients to be incorporated so no liquid is going towards the sides of your bowl because everything is well mixed together. 

Can You Overbeat Eggs?

When eggs are overbeaten it becomes grainy, it’s dull in color and if you were to test it on a whisk you’ll notice that it’s all mushy and almost looks messy. There is a way to bring an overbeaten egg back by simply adding another egg white. The fresh white protein helps restore stiff peaks back into your batter!

There are three other stages that an egg goes through when it’s being mixed before it gets overbeaten.

Soft Peak

The first stage is quite common to use especially before adding the sugar. If you were to pull a whisk out of the beaten egg batter upside down you’ll notice that the egg beaten batter would be very flexible and slanted almost falling over.

Firm Peak

The egg-beaten batter in this stage will be a little bit firmer and if you were to hold the Whisk upside down you’ll notice that it will start to be a bit straighter but still slanting over a bit compared to the soft peak.

Stiff peak

At this stage, it usually will be standing in a straight-up motion if you were to hold a whisk upside down. It’s customary to use this method when making meringue.

See the table below explaining each stage when an egg goes through the stages of being over-beaten.

Stages of an Overbeaten EggThe texture of The Overbeaten Egg:Beaten egg is used in the following stages of food preparation:
Soft PeakThe batter is flexible and is not stiffThis stage is used for adding the sugar and combining the recipe.
Firm Peak The batter is firm and if you were to turn your whisk upside down the egg mixture would be able to stand at a slant.
Stiff PeakThe batter is stiff and if you were to turn your whisk upside down the egg mixture would be able to stand straight up.Used for making Meringue.
OverbeatenThe egg batter will look like mush and very grainy. At this point you have beaten your egg too much. To revive it, add an extra white and beat again until stiff peaks form.

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