Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday's Tips, Tricks and Tid-Bits ~ Correctly Measuring Ingredients

It's happened to all of us.  You follow a recipe to a T and it still somehow flops.  Did you use baking powder instead of baking soda?  Nope.  Did you use self rising flour instead of all purpose?  Nope.  Hhhhmmm maybe you forgot to add the salt or vanilla?  Nope.  [Bangs head with rolling pin]  WHAT HAPPENED?!

A lot of things can go wrong along the way, but one mistake that is commonly made is the incorrect measuring of ingredients.  This applies to both the tools and the methods used to measure them.  It sounds kind of dumb because, I mean, how hard can it be to measure???  But add in an extra 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 C less oil all by accident and your recipe is sure to turn out slightly different than intended.

Below is a quick and easy outline to guide you through the measuring process.....

Dry Ingredients
Graduated measuring cups are used for larger amounts of dry ingredients.  Measuring
spoons should be used to smaller amounts of ingredients.

My fave graduated measuring cups that I received as
a wedding gift.

My measuring spoons just after being used during the making
of some yummy scones. (*The Tablespoon is missing here.  Oops!)

Flour should be spooned into the measuring up and then leveled off.  If you scoop flour straight out of the bag with the cup it will be compacted and you will end up with too much flour and a dry baked good.

Sugar can be scooped straight from the bag and then leveled off with a knife.

Baking Power and Baking Soda
Use the measuring spoon to stir powder or soda in the container.  Then scoop and level with a knife.

Brown Sugar
This type of sugar should be packed into the cup (it will retain its shape when dumped out).

Semi-Liquid Ingredients
Ingredients such as butter and lard should also be 
measured in graduated measuring cups just like dry ingredients.

Wet Ingredients
You need a clear glass or plastic measuring cup with a pouring spout.  Get down to eye level with the cup as you pour to ensure that  you indeed are only getting, say 1/2 cup instead of an amount somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 cup.

Happy measuring!

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