Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weights and measures - more or less critical factors!

Dear faithfuls,

as you know if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, when baking I always weigh my flour (actually, I always weigh everything because that's easier than getting out measuring cups, and when I weigh I don't loose count!).  I emphasized this rather strongly when talking about bread.  

There is nothing wrong with eyeball cooking*; that's how I do most of my cooking.  Eyeball baking is fine too, if you really know what you're doing.  But if you want precise measurements, especially for flour, forget about measuring cups.  There are as many old wives tales about measuring flour as there are about determining the sex of a baby before birth.  

Just stick with the scale; unfortunately, it never lies! 

Here is a useful table of weights & measures for common ingredients.  Grams are generally more accurate.  Keep this table handy on the fridge or a cupboard (if you click the photo, it will open on a separate page if you wish to print.) Increase the quantities if, like I was growing up, you are part of a large family and have never used "one" cup of anything.  

There are many food-scale options available; some, like mine, are quite simple. Some will calculate calories, have pull-out displays, timers, or do backflips.  Most hold up to about 10 pounds.**

You can find these tables in many cookbooks, but I pulled this particular one from America's Best Lost Recipes

Thanks for letting me weigh in on this! 

Mrs H
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* Eyeball cooking: when you just dump ingredients in, either gauging the measurement with your eyeballs or willy-nilly.  
** I was kidding about the backflips.  



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