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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.

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2 comments on why weighing ingredients is better

  1. Matthew

    Last week when I made the chocolate layer cake (in the Ding Dong cake recipe page, my goodness it was delicious btw) for my son’s birthday, I needed to measure out 3 oz of chocolate, and I remembered I had a digital scale in my basement that I had used for soap-making. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of using the scale before, because it made the process so much easier and more accurate. And if any of you need another excuse to buy a scale–you can also use it to weigh packages and save time by printing shipping labels or postage at home.

    Anyway, my question is, suppose your recipe doesn’t include weight; is it worthwhile to convert the volume measurements, or do you just measure by volume? Perhaps I should just make some notes to keep on the fridge of common conversions. I don’t imagine that many ingredients other than sugar and flour would be used in enough quantity to be useful to measure by weight. I don’t think I can afford a scale that can give me a more accurate measure of a teaspoon of baking soda than an actual teaspoon.

  2. Laura

    I’m curious about the effect of dry or humid climates on weighing flour (or other dry ingredients) for recipes. I live in a fairly dry climate, and my brother told me recently that when he makes pizza dough, he has to add significantly more water than the recipe calls for. Doesn’t that mean that our flour has less moisture in it than flour in other places? So if I weigh out 100 grams of flour, aren’t I going to end up with too much flour because of the lack of moisture?