AnnieCahill Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 2:33pm
post #1 of

Just curious how many other scratch bakers use a scale when they bake. I don't use one currently but I'm thinking of buying one and switching over some of my recipes. I just wanted to see what you guys do.

annie

30 replies
brenda549 Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 2:36pm
post #2 of

I am starting to transfer my recipes to weight rather than volume. It just makes things so much easier to evaluate if there are problems with getting a consistent product.

AnnieCahill Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 2:41pm
post #3 of

I agree Brenda. Scales are pretty affordable so I might get one. Any good recommendations for cookbooks using weight to bake?

leah_s Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 3:02pm
post #4 of

Professional recipes are by weight, so I've been baking by weight for a long time. It's just so easy to put the mixing bowl on the scale and start throwing ingredients in. Of course, tare the scale for each new ingredient.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 3:05pm
post #5 of

I just found a scale the other day and tried it out. It's just a small one that will hold up to 8 lbs. It was soo much easier and faster I am sure I will be able to get more consistent results. Now I am in the process of converting all of the recipes over.

ILoveDaffodils Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 3:19pm
post #6 of

I am an amateur who only recently began baking from scratch. I started using a scale several months ago and find it is so much easier and I get more consistent results. I bought the Cake Bible and found it really helpful. It gives the recipes by weight and by measure so you can do them either way.

LisaPeps Posted 8 Oct 2011 , 3:45pm
post #7 of

In Europe all we use are scales. When trying American recipes for the first time, it's such a pain in the arse using the cups... and messy! I don't know how everyone hasn't converted to weighing yet, it's so easy to weigh everything out in one bowl (less washing up icon_biggrin.gif) and it's so easy to scale recipes as well!

scp1127 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 2:42am
post #8 of

I only use weight. I have a conversion chart hanging on my refrigerator to convert any recipe not already in weights. I'm starting to weigh wet ingredients too. So much easier and less cleanup.

Some of the newer baking cookbooks are using grams instead of ounces. These are great to work with.

imagenthatnj Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 3:02am
post #9 of

I only use weight; and prefer grams to ounces since they're more exact (and probably because a lot of my books come from the UK and I'm more used to them).

jules5000 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 3:36am

Ok, I have heard a lot about cooking by measuring by weight, but here is the deal, the only thing I know of is how much a cup of all purpose flour is supposed to weigh and even on that I have heard different things so how in the heck do you know who's weight is right? Does the cake bible have all the other ingredients by what they weigh? For example, what I get frustrated at is I was taught that a cup of liquid was 8 oz, but that is not true for all liquids. a cup of Honey weighs more than a cup of water. Who is the cake bible by? I have a set of scales and know how to use them. I just don't have a consistent way of knowing what is supposed to weigh what. Plus like if a recipe calls for a tablespoon of Baking powder how much is that supposed to weigh? Also when you get down to 1/8tsp. I am not sure that my scale will go that low. WOUld love to learn more about this, but need some big help. Don't have the money to go buy the cake bible, but since we are not so far from Christmas may put it on my wish list. I know that when you have the right information and a good set of scales that cooking by weight is better. Thanks.

scp1127 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 4:04am

Water is 8 oz by volume. Different from weight. You don't need The Cake Bible, just any chart off of the internet. Some charts are different, but not by much. The chart I learned from is a little off from some, but because I change almost every recipe, I end up writing in my own amounts.

For the tiny amounts of dry inredients, I use the most accurate measuring spoons by All Clad. I also exclusively use their measuring cups. I freehand the extracts.

Many of the books by more accomplished bakers already have the measurements. You just use their recipes.

I put my mixer bowl on the scale and tare the ingredients. I put my sifting bowl with the strainer and the whisk right on the scale, tare it to 0, add my flour, tare, sugar, tare, etc.

I get a big measuring cup, add milk, tare, oil, tare, and anything else. It is so much easier.

I usually measure chocolate chips in a measuring cup because the bowl is already on the mixer.

I keep forgetting to weigh and make notes of my cocoa powder weights, so I still make a mess using the measuring cup, but cocoa is subjective. It can be manipulated.

tbkimber Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 5:27am

I always measure by weight. I found it to be so much more consistent. I did a lot of research on scales and I prefer a digital scale to a balance scale. I found the best prices at www.oldwillknottscales.com. I bought the My Weigh 7001DX about five years ago and I still love it. It will go up to 15 pounds which I did not find on many other scales. It also goes to two decimal places for more accurate measures. You can choose between grams, kilograms, ounces, and pounds so it is very versatile. I found this exact scale at a store for $120 and I paid $40 because I also ordered the plug for it. The website has a huge variety to choose from.

tigachu Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 6:25am

I use my scale to weigh ingredients. Best thing ever.

Nusi Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 10:26am

ohh yeah a scale im much easier specially if measuring butter "which i despise" i dont mind measuring anything in cups as long as i measure the butter by wieght

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 3:23pm

Ditto for me. Scale/weigh all the way! No more scraping butter, sour cream, yogurt, etc out of a measuring cup....or washing the measuring cup between each ingredient. But I don't do it quite like some others have said, in that I don't put my mixer bowl on the scale and add directly to it. I use a separate bowl and weigh each ingredient by itself, then add to my mixer bowl. That way, if I measure out a little too much of something, I can easily remove it without removing something I shouldn't.

saapena Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 3:40pm

I started weighing ingredients when I received Toba Garrett's "The Well Decorated Cake". Whenever I bake now, I convert the cups to weight. My baking is much more consistent this way.

Jennifer353 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 9:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaPeps

In Europe all we use are scales. When trying American recipes for the first time, it's such a pain in the arse using the cups... and messy! I don't know how everyone hasn't converted to weighing yet, it's so easy to weigh everything out in one bowl (less washing up icon_biggrin.gif) and it's so easy to scale recipes as well!




Ditto!

I use a jug for liquids and a teaspoon or tablespoon (or the half versions) for very small amounts like baking powder otherwise its scales.

Panel7124 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 4:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer353

Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaPeps

In Europe all we use are scales. When trying American recipes for the first time, it's such a pain in the arse using the cups... and messy! I don't know how everyone hasn't converted to weighing yet, it's so easy to weigh everything out in one bowl (less washing up icon_biggrin.gif) and it's so easy to scale recipes as well!



Ditto!

I use a jug for liquids and a teaspoon or tablespoon (or the half versions) for very small amounts like baking powder otherwise its scales.




Ditto ditto icon_smile.gif

I have a combo jug - liquids and solids (sugar, flour)

Tea42 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 4:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I only use weight. I have a conversion chart hanging on my refrigerator to convert any recipe not already in weights.




Where did you find your conversion chart? I am moving more toward weights instead of measuring but have problems finding the conversions. Many from internet have only a few ingredients.

I am also moving toward weighting my batter in each pan to avoid having too much or too little. But, does anyone else find they have to use more that the recommended amount to get the full 2" layers?

scp1127 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 11:55pm

Tea42, if you have recipes that work for you, weigh your own amounts in the measuring cups. This will keep your recipes your own. Sometimes those variances from a recipe are what makes it a success.

All lists are small. You just need to start your own. For example, shortening... weigh it once and never use a cup measure again. Just lay wax paper over your scales and plop it on. When you start weighing water, honey, milk, etc., your baking life will be so much easier and consistent. I would recommend weighing liquids in grams. For example, my sticky bun sauce is water, honey, and heavy cream added to the butter and sugar. I get one big 4 c measure and measure all individually right in the same container. No eye level and no mess.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 12:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea42

Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

I only use weight. I have a conversion chart hanging on my refrigerator to convert any recipe not already in weights.



Where did you find your conversion chart? I am moving more toward weights instead of measuring but have problems finding the conversions. Many from internet have only a few ingredients.

I am also moving toward weighting my batter in each pan to avoid having too much or too little. But, does anyone else find they have to use more that the recommended amount to get the full 2" layers?




This is the one that was recommended to me by someone on cc:

http://www.joepastry.com/category/baking-basics/ingredient-weights/

I was thinking of the same thing with my batter. But the answer to your last question is yes I do use more the recommended amount.

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 12:12am

http://www.joepastry.com/category/baking-basics/ingredient-weights/

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html

http://www.veganbaking.net/resources/baking-ingredients-by-weight.html

Smore4us Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 12:35am

Great information! Thanks for posting this topic. I like the idea of weighing the batter in the cake pans. I'm assuming this would help all of the layers to bake up to an even height? I do tend to overfill my pan so that when I level them, I can make them all even, but maybe weighing the batter would help with that without so much wasted cake. Thanks!!

scp1127 Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 12:39am

By the way, weigh your cake pans first. Some pans change slightly and the weight will be different. I use WS Goldtouch and they are always improving, and making heavier, their pans. Just know your pans.

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 12:47am

I do three layer cakes most of the time. So knowing the mixer bowl's weight, I weigh it again with the mixed batter and divide by 3 (in grams), then I place the first pan in the scale and tare/zero it and pour the exact amount of batter. Take it off, place the second one, tare/zero it, and pour the second part of the batter in...exact amounts in the 3 of them.

scp1127 Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 1:28am

Good idea imagen... sometimes I have to do the spoon shuffle to equal it out... and those pans being off are like the three cup shuffle when you forget where you put the heavy one.

infinitsky Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 1:48am

I started baking only and only by weighting in grams since the beginning. Everything is easier and more accurate.
To make the matters easier for myself I made a table in words program and wrote all the conversion from volume to weight of most common ingredients used in baking so I do not have to go back to online sources for conversion every time I am baking a new recipe.
I also note the weight measurement of recipes in front of the volume measurements as I go through recipes baking one by one so when I want to bake a recipe I have the conversions already on the recipe.

Edited to add;

I uploaded the table conversions as photo in my album, hope someone would benefit from it. icon_smile.gif

I am not sure if I can upload a chart or not?! icon_confused.gif

I used the below site for my conversions.

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/index.html

ReneeFLL Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 2:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

http://www.joepastry.com/category/baking-basics/ingredient-weights/

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/master-weight-chart.html

http://www.veganbaking.net/resources/baking-ingredients-by-weight.html




I checked Joe Pastry and the Vegan Baking site for the weight of 1 cup of AP flour. They differ by 1/2 ounce. How do you know which chart is the best?

imagenthatnj Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 2:51am

Yes, some places have 4 1/4 oz, some 4 1/2, some 5. As SCP said before, make your own chart.

I weigh in grams and I've found weights for a cup of flour that go from 115 to 123 to 125 grams, I sometimes just choose the middle ground, it will be 120 grams for me.

That's why at the beginning, you'll have to compare charts and other conversion systems out there to compile your own. Even measure your own and weigh, as SCP advised.

scp1127 Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 3:01am

My first chart weighed AP flour at 5. I just kept with it. Since I adjust all of my recipes anyway, the 5 isn't an issue. So if you make your own recipes, it doesn't matter. Now that I'm converting to grams, I'm using the measurements of top chefs. For example, if Joanne Chang has it at xx grams, I just add it to the chart. I don't measure and weigh myself.

Get a top-rated cookbook that has both grams/oz. Try it out with confidence and you won't go back.

I use my wonderful All Clad measuring cups as scoops.

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