A cup is a cup, right?
When I started seriously baking and cooking a few years back, I had no concept of proper ingredients measuring. For me, a coffee cup was enough to measure out a cup of flour and I thought I could eyeball half a cup of water quite well. It was no surprise then that my earliest attempts at baking fell flat. In the case of my first ever cream puffs, literally flat.
While cooking may be more forgiving of a few miscalculated ingredients, baking is not so merciful. One thing that struck me while I was desperately googling for tips to fix the cream puffs was this: Baking is a science. And, like any science, proper measuring is important.
At first I bought the traditional measuring cups and spoons, but the results I was getting were varied. In my utter frustration, I caved in, bought a simple weighing scale, and weighed my ingredients. I know most of us dislike math, but there’s no getting away from it if you want consistent results in baking and cooking.
The recipes that I have in this blog use a mixture of volume and weight measurements. Although I try to stick to metric weight measurements for dry ingredients (especially if the recipe calls for anything greater than two tablespoons), I don’t sweat it for teaspoons and I still use my trusty Pyrex measuring cup for liquid ingredients.
Here are some of the ingredients that are used in this blog with their corresponding metric and volume measurements.
Common Baking Measurements
|All Purpose Flour||1 cup||120|
|Bread Flour||1 cup||120|
|Cake Flour||1 cup||120|
|Granulated Sugar||1 cup||220|
|Brown Sugar, packed||1 cup||200|
|Baking Powder||1 teaspoon||4|
|Baking Soda||1/2 teaspoon||3|
|Icing/Powdered Sugar||1 cup||100|
|Coconut, sweetened flakes||1 cup||85|
|Coconut, desiccated||1 cup||100|
|Almond Flour||1 cup||96|
|Almond, sliced||1/2 cup||43|
|Cocoa, unsweetened||1 cup||85|
|Cheese, grated (cheddar, jack, mozzarella, Swiss)||1 cup||113|
|Cheese, grated (Parmesan)||1 cup||50|
|Cream Cheese||1 cup||227|
|Chocolate Chips||1 cup||170|
|Chocolate, chopped||1 cup||170|
|Peanut Butter||1/2 cup||135|
|Yeast, instant||2 1/4 teaspoons||7|
A thing about Oven Temps
Another important aspect in baking is the preheating of the oven. When preheating your oven, it helps to use a thermometer since a lot of our ovens are not calibrated correctly. While your oven may indicate that it has reached the desired temperature, I’ve found that it is usually off by 10 degrees or more.
In addition, most, if not all, American recipes use Fahrenheit oven temperatures. While this is no problem for ovens with Fahrenheit/Celcius displays, it does get a bit tricky for the rest of us laboring with Celcius displays. Here’s the oven temperature conversion that I use.
Enjoy baking and cooking!