Friday, March 20, 2009

Weighing in...

I have mentioned on more than one occasion that I converted to weighing ingredients when I bake. It is much more consistent and ensures accuracy with your baking. I resisted the idea at first, however after reading several cookbooks and articles (and with Alton Browns prompting), I realized this was the way to go.

It can be a bit tricky since not all recipes include weight. I was able to find weights for AP flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Now that I am making a switch to whole grains for baking, I will eventually have to find weights for whole wheat, and white whole wheat flour. Luckily "King Arthur Whole Grain Baking" uses weights.

To illustrate the benefit of using a scale, I conducted a little experiment. A cup of all purpose flour should weigh 4 3/4 ounces. I had Jim measure out 1 cup of flour (scooping out of the flour canister and then leveling off by sliding the knife across the measuring cup), I measured 1 cup of flour as I normally would in the past (same method as Jim), and I then measured 1 cup of flour using the scoop method recommended on websites and food blogs. This method tells you to fluff the flour, scoop it in to your measuring cup, and level it with the scoop.

We weighed each of the three measurements and here are the results:
Jims "cup" of flour weighed 5.3 ounces
My "cup" of flour weighed 4.6 ounces
My scooped "cup" of flour weighed 4.4 ounces

None of these weighed 4.75 ounces and my scooped cup weighed nearly one full ounce less than Jims.

Convinced? Give it a try. It really will make a difference in your baking.

Here is my scale. It was around $20. My recommendation is a scale with a tare function. This means you weigh your flour, hit tare and the scale goes back to zero. Now you can weigh the next ingredient in the same bowl. Keep weighing, taring, and weighing in the same bowl. One bowl is surely better than eight measuring cups to wash.


♥ Kathy said...

That's pretty cool..I'll have to try it. I have a scale but I rarely use it.

ckrae said...

Thank you for the baking tips. I will be sure to use them. (you know how much I bake.) You have a very special gift. Your mom would be proud of you following in her footsteps in the baking arena.
on another note. Your hands "OMG"
I got goose bumps when I saw them.
Love you

Heather said...

plus with all the flack regular old white flour is getting it sounds like there could be too much going into recipes that add to the unhealthiness. Thanks for the idea. :)

WillowLakeScents said...

Stopping by from SITS to say Hi~ I'm going to have to try this!!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Wow, this is really interesting. I had no idea! Love that scale - I think I'll have to get one. :)