Cooking Tools Archive

Thursday, August 20, 2009

why weighing ingredients is better

I hope you’re sitting down for this. Depending on how you measure a cup of flour, you might end up with as little as 4 ounces and as much as 7 ounces in it, a terrifying thought when using a recipe that demands accuracy. The generally accepted measuring method–and the one you should use for the funny reason that it is the one that the person who wrote your recipe used–is to lightly fluff a canister of flour with a spoon, then scoop the flour into your cup until it is over the top and level it with something flat, trying your very best not to compress it in any way. The most accurate way to measure flour, however, is to weigh it, so if you have a recipe that includes a weight, consider it a plus.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

parchment versus waxed paper

Is there any difference between parchment and waxed paper? Briefly, yes: Parchment has been coated with silicon so it can be used at high temperatures and virtually eliminates the need for greasing a pan. Waxed paper will smoke at high temperatures — and the wax will come off in your food — and is therefore less versatile. I do not recommend swapping the two when lining a cake or roasting pan.