WHY IT’S TIME TO PUT AWAY THE MEASURING CUPS AND START USING A SCALE
When I first started to bake, I quickly learned the importance of using dry measuring cups instead of liquid measuring cups. I learned to fluff flour with a spoon before putting it in the measuring cup, and how to scrape off the top of the flour instead of packing the flour in. These were important things to learn – spooning fluffed flour into a measuring cup and scraping across the top to level it instead of scooping flour with a liquid measuring cup and shaking it even comes out to a several ounce difference. That’s big enough to substantially change the outcome of your recipe.
Feeling very wise and pleased with my measuring skills, I ignored all the bloggers that insisted that weighing ingredients was actually an even more accurate way of measuring. And then came Ecuador and a $4 scale that I spied in the window of a hardware store. With the scale also came spilled flour all over my computer and an hour long freak out session where I tried to understand how to convert my recipes for the scale. It wasn’t pretty at first. But then I took out my blackberry crumb bars from the oven and it was very, very pretty. Beautiful in fact. Because these things looked and tasted completely different than the exact same ones I had made just a few days before using my measuring cups.
Thursday night, I tried the recipe again, this time with my scale. It was not a painless process, as learning a new cooking technique never is, but it was so worth it.
Because this is how they looked. Beautiful and just the right amount of crumbly and you could see all the delicious layers of blackberries and sweet, sweet dough. I was happy. And so were all the people I fed them to.
Lesson of the week: Scales work. Really, really well. Go buy one, now.
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