Baking Basics: Folding

By Cook's Illustrated Published October 2003

Folding is an important baking technique. Here's how to do it correctly.

Folding is used to mix delicate batters and mixtures; the aim is to incorporate ingredients or components without causing deflation. Folding is required, for example, when incorporating beaten egg whites into a soufflé base. The usual tool for folding is a large, flexible rubber spatula. An adequately large bowl is also important. Begin by gently stirring about a quarter of the lighter mixture into the heavier mixture until almost fully incorporated. This lightens and loosens the heavier mixture. Scrape the remaining mixture onto the lightened mixture and now you are ready to start folding.

1. Cut through the center of the two mixtures down to the bottom of the bowl.

2. Pull the spatula toward you, scraping along the bottom and up the side of the bowl.

3. Once the spatula is out of the mixture, rotate it so any mixture clinging to the blade falls back onto the surface.

4. Spin the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until mixture is just incorporated.