Measuring by Weight – Flour and Other Things

Flour

The best way to be sure that you’re using the correct amount of flour especially is to go by weight.  I weigh mine in a bowl and then dump it onto a piece of parment paper, place a sifter over the bowl, and funnel the flour back into the sifter, adding any other dry things like sugar, baking soda and powder, salt, spice, etc.  Then I sift it all together so it well combined and well aerated.  It makes for a much more consistent product.
 
If a scale is not in the budget, spoon the flour into the cup and level with a knife. 
 
1 cup of flour = 5 ounces
1 cup of milk = 8 ounces
(As you can see, there is a difference between dry and wet weight measurements.  I have not as yet confused them, but I bet I’d only have to learn that lesson once.)
 
Sometimes I list cup measurements in the recipes, sometimes I use ounces.  It depends on the recipe I’ve adapted.  I always weigh mine, regardless of how the recipe reads.  Here’s a chart to make it easier:
 
FLOUR
1/4 cup – 1.25 ounces or 1 1/4 ounces
1/3 cup – 1.66 ounces or 1 5/8 ounces*
1/2 cup – 2.5 ounces
3/4 cup – 3.75 ounces or 3 3/4 ounces
1 cup – 5 ounces
 
*5/8 is an approximation based on my digital scale read outs.  It’s close enough for non-industrial baking
 
WATER (and other liquids)
1/4 cup – 2 ounces
1/3 cup – 2.66 ounces or almost 2 5/8 ounces**
1/2 cup – 4 ounces
3/4 cup – 6 ounces
1 cup – 8 ounces
 
**Again an approximation based on my digital scale read outs.  It’s close enough for non-industrial baking, and if you’re doing this measuring by liquid measuring cup, there is generally a line for this.
 

Digital Scales vs. Spring Loaded Scales

I have a digital scale.  I don’t use measuring cups/spoons unless I have to.  A spring loaded scale is alright, but unless you buy commercial grade, they can’t measure more than 6 ounces and they have a greater variance than digital scale.  It’s very difficult to measure 1 ounce or less with a spring loaded, and again, unless you buy commercial grade you can’t zero it out to add other ingredients in the same bowl.  Digital scales can be had for $30 or less. One of the best investments I ever made.

Other Things

The digital scale is not just a good way to portion meat.  It’s a good way to weigh any ingredients, portion snacks, and check serving sizes. 

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