Measuring baking ingredients is a crucial part of the baking process. In some recipes more critical than others. In today's tip Thursday we'll discuss how to measure your ingredients correctly so you can achieve the same results every single time.
Have you ever made the same recipe a few times and realized that every time the result is not exactly the same. Sometimes, it's moist while at another time it is a bit dense? Well, often the reason for this could be in the way you measure your ingredients.
How to measure ingredients correctly (Save/Pin)
Personally, I love to measure my ingredients by weight not volume.
Weight vs. volume
- If you pick an old recipe book, you will often find that they ask for large eggs. Have you seen the size of eggs today as compared to say when you were a kid?
I remember eggs use to be much bigger and when you say large egg it really was a large egg. Now, it's almost impossible to call a large egg large.
So, now if we use the same recipe from the old book, let's say the recipe said 3 eggs, which would be about 140 to 150 grams of eggs in those days. Today, if we use 3 eggs that would be about 90 to 100 grams of eggs. What do you think happens to the recipe which such a difference in the amount of eggs?
- You will notice on some website the conversion charts show 1 cup flour = 100 grams, and on another 1 cup flour is 120 grams. The extra 20 grams = more than 1 tablespoon.
For example, if a recipe calls for 4 cups of flour, I would use 400 grams of flour while someone else could be using 480 grams of flour. So, the same recipe could give two different people two different outcomes.
- When measuring flour in a cup – some could add 7 tbsp. while another would add only 5 tbsp. Because it depends on how the individual fills the cup. This again results in different outcomes.
So would be the case with sugar, cocoa, etc.
- However, 100 grams is 100 grams!! There is no confusion there. If a recipe says 100 grams flour – I will use 100 grams flour. The possibility of me being more accurate is greater.
How to measure dry ingredients correctly
While I won't stop you from using the volume measure lets at least discuss how to do them correctly.
- Spoon dry ingredients such as flour and sugar in a dry measuring cup. Make sure to have a bowl or parchment paper at the bottom.
- Fill the cup with a spoon. Never put the cup into the flour and scoop the flour out. The measurement will be different (test it).
- Fill the cup overflowing so you have more than a cup.
- Then take a spatula or the back of your knife and level the cup using a sweeping motion.
- You should now have a correctly measured cup of flour or sugar.
- Brown sugar - Some ingredients like brown sugar and vegetable shortening require that you press the sugar into the measuring cup. For this, it's best to firmly press the brown sugar into the cup with the back of a spoon. Then level the top for correct measurement.
How to measure liquid ingredients correctly
Dry ingredients are measured differently than liquid ingredients. Which is why it is very important to have both measuring cups on hand. To measure liquid ingredients like milk and oil correctly.
- Start by keeping the measuring cup on a flat surface.
- Then pour the liquid into the cup just below the right measure.
- Now bend down (kneel if necessary) so you are eye level with the measuring cup. If you stand and pour you will probably put more. Likewise, if you hold the cup higher and pour you will probably pour less. But, if you keep the glass at eye level you will be able to see the measure correctly.
- Tips - spray a measuring cup with oil before pouring in sticky ingredients like honey or molasses. It will pour out easily.
Measuring with a spoon
Measurings spoons are used exactly like the measuring cup. You fill the spoon, then level it off with a spatula or back of a knife. If you measure liquid it's best to pour it into the spoon.
The right tools for the right job
As you can see, measuring ingredients is crucial to baking. That is why having the right tool for the right job becomes crucial as well. While I am not a slave to brands, I highly recommend that you buy trustworthy measuring cups and spoons. There are plenty of cheap brands out there that unfortunately do not do an accurate job with measuring. Here are the four baking tools that I think are crucial but also good quality
- A kitchen scale - not really expensive but the best way to measure
- Measuring cups for dry ingredients
- Measuring spoons for liquid ingredients
- Measuring cups for liquid ingredients