It's a weekend, and you are craving cookies. Instead of buying, you decide to bake some. You open a sugar container and get disappointed. Your soft fluffy sugar has already turned into solid rock. Don't discard it since it's still fit for consumption. Since using it at that state is tricky, look for ways to soften it again.
Whether you are using brown or white sugar, clumping occurs when exposed to heat and humidity. Note that the difference is that brown sugar contains molasses. Once you expose the sugar container to the heat, your molasses will evaporate, making the sugar clump. Excess moisture affects white sugar and causes it to clump. That means, if you are using brown sugar, you should keep it away from heat. You should store the white sugar in a dry place.
Preventing Sugar from Clumping
Use The Right Container
Even if you love putting the sugar in a bowl, you need to change and find an airtight rust-free container. Maybe when visitors come, you are mindful of the presentation. That's why you prefer to put salt and sugar in shakers. If that's the case, put a few small holes in that shaker to protect your sugar from humidity. But what happens if the sugar still clumps?
Add Moisture Absorbers
One of the most common ways of preventing your white sugar from turning into solid is by adding moisture absorbers. Remember, prevention is always better than cure. If your locality is humid, try these moisture absorbers.
- Add White Bread
Since your sugar has dried out due to excess air, a slice of bread should absorb the excess moisture. Note that humidity causes the bread to have molds. So, leaving the bread for long in the sugar container can result in contamination due to mold. So change the slice regularly. Once bread absorbs humid, you can shake your sugar. It will become soft and fluffy again.
- Add Some Rice
You can visit a health food store and buy a cloth tea bag. Put a spoon of rice in the cloth teabag and place it at the bottom of the sugar container. It can stay for months and help to absorb humidly. After a while, you can change the rice. If the cloth teabag is not available, add it in a cloth and tightly tie it. Put in on the bottom of the sugar shaker/ container. Are you afraid that rice will mix with sugar? If the shaker's holes are small enough, only sugar will come out and not rice.
- Cream Cracker
A cream cracker is another moisture absorber. Put it in a sugar bowl or container and avoid shaking since it breaks easily. Within a short duration, your sugar should be okay. Other than solving the problem, it prevents clumping.
Where do you store your sugar? If you put it near a heat source or sink, clumping will occur. Avoid putting it near the window. Instead, you can place it in a cupboard and close it well.
Add some moisture
If you have brown sugar, remember when it gets exposed to heat, molasses evaporates. So, what can you put in the sugar jar to keep it from clumping? The best preventative measure is adding some moisture. Here is how to do it.
- Terra Cotta Sugar Saver
The disk is available in kitchen stores and comes in different shapes. It's affordable and convenient. Put your sugar in an airtight container or a plastic bag. Leave the disk in water for 15 minutes. Place it in the sugar and leave it. After a few hours, your sugar should soften.
- Carrot Peels
Do you know that a few carrots peels can soften your solid sugar within a few minutes? Now you know. Clean your carrot and peel it. Add the peels to your brown sugar. The peels will increase moisture content, thus softening your sugar.
- A Damp Cloth
If you don't want to use the sugar immediately, use a damp cloth. Cover the sugar container with it and leave it for some hours or even overnight. The moisture will help it to soften.
- Add Whole Citrus Fruit
Another method is adding citrus fruit to the sugar container. Whether you are using an orange or a lemon, it should release enough moisture to soften your sugar.
- Slice Of Apple
An apple is sweet, but there is no harm sacrificing a slice for the sake of your clumping sugar. When putting the slice in the brown sugar airtight container, avoid removing the peel. Within a short time, your apple will release enough moisture making your sugar soft.
Easiest Ways of Un-Clumping Sugar
If you must make your cookies immediately, put the hard sugar in your blender/ food processor. Puree it until it softens. It will become grainy, making it easy to use.
Put the hardened sugar in the safety microwave plastic bag. Dampen a paper towel and put it in the sugar. Heat it for 20 seconds. Check if it has softened. If it's yet to, leave it to absorb the heat for a few minutes.
After preheating your oven up to 200 degrees, place the sugar baking pan. Bake it for five minutes and check if it's soft; if it's not, bake it again.
You should avoid sugar clumping disappointment by taking preventative measures. Among them includes storing the sugar well in an airtight container. Avoid placing the container in heat or water sources. If the sugar is brown, add moisture to prevent it from clumping or soften it once it clumps. If the sugar is white, add humid absorbers such as a bread slice and rice. If you want to un-clump your sugar faster, use a food processor/blender, oven, or microwave.