In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to fix too much flour in cookie dough?”. We will elaborate on different tricks that will help you counteract too much flour in cookie dough.
How to fix too much flour in cookie dough?
Cookies are baked products which generally contain three major ingredients, i.e. flour, sugar and fat, and have low final water contents (1–5%). Cookie quality assets are their size and tender bite and the cookie diameter is related to the quality of soft white wheat flour. Also, cookies baked from soft wheat flour must display not only a large spread, but also a uniform surface cracking pattern. In cookie production, mixing disperses ingredients evenly and promotes water absorption, rather than developing a true dough structure. Due to the high levels of fat and sugar, the development of the gluten network is limited. However, too much flour will result in too much gluten and may have a negative impact on the dough (3).
If you have accidentally added too much flour to your cookie dough and are searching for ideas to solve the problem, no need to fret, here we have made a list of different approaches which you can work to fix too much flour in your cookie dough.
- Add Liquid
- Add Fat
- Use Your Hands
What happens if extra flour is added to cookie dough?
Who doesn’t love cookies, but a definite cookie dough consistency that makes cookies that are neither too chewy nor too soft can be difficult to achieve.
This can be a test for indeed the most skilled bakers and of course for a fresh baker too. Having knowledge of how the ingredients work mutually is the initial step in baking the ideal cookie.
Flour is one of the main ingredients while baking cookies. It provides the bulk of the composition in a cookie. When it gets hydrated with a liquid, it creates a protein called gluten which gives structure to the cookies. Gluten is a protein that appears in foods processed from wheat and other cereal grains, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. There are two main groups of proteins in gluten, called the gliadins and glutenins. The demand for cereal grain products labeled as ‘gluten free’ has grown over the past few years. One cause for the demand is the increase of people diagnosed with celiac disease, which is a gluten-sensitive enteropathy, nontropical sprue, and celiac sprue, is a genetic disorder in which people are predisposed to an autoimmune response that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten proteins are contained in certain foods (1).
Both the variety and the quantity of flour used will affect the consistency of the cookies.
Increased flour means less sugar available. Cookie diameter is determined by spread rate, which itself is controlled by dough viscosity and spread rate linearly decreases with gluten level. This can be explained in terms of water availability. Indeed, gluten has a high water binding capacity. A decrease in free water induces a decrease in total solvent, not only per se, but also because less sucrose is dissolved. Indeed, since the dissolution of 1.0 g sucrose/ml water creates 0.6 ml extra solvent (2).
Adding too much flour with a ratio of 1.3 to 1 or more with your butter can leave you with dry, crumbled cookies that hardly spread at all when baked. The cookies will be more viscous than normal.
The center of the cookies will be dense and dough-like, even when you bake them completely. That means, adding excess flour will make a dry cookie and with decreased diameter (2).
Different ways to counteract too much flour in cookie dough
If you have used too much flour in cookie dough, you can add more water to counteract it. This will increase available water that can plasticize gluten in the flour and enhance cookie properties, because cookie dough setting is related to the mobility and availability of the plasticizing diluent (3).
Add 1 tsp at a time and add more as required. Other than water, you can add milk, water, and also egg whites, these will not change the flavor of your cookies.
Knead the dough completely after you add a teaspoon of liquid until you achieve the consistency you desire.
Another option to counteract too much flour in your cookie dough is to add fat. Among the fat, you can add butter and/or oil to the cookie dough. This will make the dough soft and decrease the dryness.
Fat decreases the viscosity of the cookie dough and increases spreadability of the cookie. It will also result in softer and less brittle cookies (3).
Be cautious when adding fat to moisten your cookie dough as adding too much extra fat can change the cookies’ consistency and make them flatten out greatly during baking.
For instance, to add more tenderness, add two to four tbsps of melted butter, or a quarter cup of sugar, to the mix.
Use your hands
Even if after adding extra fat or liquid your cookie dough has not attained the desired consistency, use your fists to mix and knead the dough.
Using your fists to knead the cookie dough is better than using a spoon or blender.
This will prevent over kneading, as you would sense when the dough has reached the right texture. Over kneading the cookie dough can result in flattened and tough cookies.
Tips to make perfect cookies
Follow the below-mentioned tips to ensure your cookie dough has the best shot at transforming into delicious and uniformly baked cookies that the consumers will enjoy:
- Be sure to measure all the ingredients accurately.
- Always ensure the use of fresh ingredients.
- Keep the ingredients at room temperature before starting.
- Whisk butter and sugar until the mixture turns light and fluffy.
- Scrape the sides of the container as required to make sure all ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Add dry ingredients and whisk until blended, do not over blend.
- When making a cookie recipe that demands cutting the dough, use an ice cream scoop to cut your cookie dough smoothly. Using this single tool will make sure that your cookies are evenly divided, uniform in configuration and will get out of the oven uniformly baked.
- Bake one tray at a time, on the center rack. This allows avoiding hitting hotter points in the oven that could result in random baking.
- Let cookies rest in the pan for 10 minutes and then shift to a cooling rack.
We hope these approaches will work for you and you will not have to discard your dish. Still, if nothing helps, do not be worried. Learn from your mistakes and try again.
Other FAQs about Flour that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we have answered the question, “How to fix too much flour in cookie dough?”. We have also elaborated on different tricks to help you counteract too much flour in cookie dough.
- Motarjemi, Yasmine, Gerald Moy, and Ewen Todd, eds. Encyclopedia of food safety. Academic Press, 2013.
- Pareyt, Bram, et al. The role of gluten in a sugar-snap cookie system: A model approach based on gluten–starch blends. J Cereal Sci, 2008, 48, 863-869.
- Pareyt, Bram, Kristof Brijs, and Jan A. Delcour. Sugar-snap cookie dough setting: the impact of sucrose on gluten functionality. J agric food chem, 2009, 57, 7814-7818.