Weight Versus Volume

Hope your day is finding you well. This week I believe Spring has finally sprung around here. Its been a beautiful mid 60s all week with plenty of sunshine. The hosta are pushing up through the ground, the peony plants are reaching for the sky and the grass is taking on a beautiful green hue.

Today we are going to discuss the benefits of weighing out ingredients as opposed to measuring them. Precise measurements are not necessary in cooking, but are a critical part of baking success. I’m sure you’ve heard “baking is a science!” more than once in your life. Thats why a lot of chefs are afraid of baking. They see it as this insurmountable item that requires perfect accuracy. Not exactly but you need to be in the ballpark.

I’m sure you learned to measure the same way most others have: Scoop your 1 cup measure into the bag of flour, level it off with a knife and boom! A cup of flour goes into your bowl. The problem with that is, most recipes are weighed out using a spoon to spoon in the flour and then level it off with a knife. The scooping motion compacts the ingredient and it can add as much as an extra 3 tablespoons to a recipe, in flour’s case. A bit of extra flour can toughen bread, make your cookies rock hard and ruin the fluffy texture of your cake, making it heavy and dense. So what are you supposed to do now? Weigh it!

You will need a scale for measuring accurately. It should have a gram denomination on it as that is what you will convert your recipes to. These don’t have to be expensive. My first one was a postal scale from a big box store, like this one.

Next you will need to convert your recipe. Luckily for us, King Arthur Flour has a great chart that is very handy, as it has several pages of ingredients used in every day baking. Click here to be taken to the chart.

Thats all there is to it! Try converting some of your own recipes or use mine below to make No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. To help you make the transition, this recipe has both the volume and weight measurements.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No_Bake_Chocolate_Cookies_3678

Yield: 24 cookies

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
2 cups (397 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (120 ml) whole or 2% milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup (135 grams) peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups (267 grams) quick-cooking oats
DIRECTIONS:
Add the first five ingredients (through the salt) to a 4-quart saucepan.
Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 1 minute.
Remove from heat.
Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until smooth, then stir in the oats.
Using a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
Let cool until set, about 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) for up to 2 weeks.

See? That wasn’t so hard! And now you have some delicious cookies to snack on!

Until next time, Happy Baking!

Christopher

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