What does flour weigh?
Posted: 03 March 2008 01:13 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I just got a Myweigh KD7000 digital kitchen scale and was excited to start weighing ingredients for bread when I realized, I don’t know what flour is supposed to weight!!  If I wanted to convert a recipe that had, say, 1 cup of ww flour, what would that weigh? Or all purpose?  Or pastry flour? Or bread flour?  Argh!  I just don’t know!

So, can anyone help me?

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Posted: 03 March 2008 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I think the idea is that you use recipes that state weights not measurements.  That is the only accurate way to do it , in my opinion for what it’s worth.  I am speaking as someone brought up with weighing, it is the normal way over here in the UK.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Chocolatelover - do you have a copy of The Cake Bible?  Rose included a chart with this info.  I’ve seen similar charts online, but I don’t know if they are as accurate.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 12:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Oh heck… I have the day off so here are some Gram Weights Per Cup from The Cake Bible page 439 (US edition):

FATS
butter 227g
clarified butter 195g
cocoa butter 256g
vegetable shortening 191g
mineral oil 196g
safflower oil 215g
walnut oil 215g

FLOURS
cake, sifted 100g
cake, lightly spooned 114g
cake, dip and sweep 130g

all purpose, sifted 114g
all purpose, lightly spooned 121g
all purpose, dip and sweep 145g

bread, sifted 121g
bread, lightly spooned 130g
bread, dip and sweep 157g

buckwheat, lightly spooned 115g
buchwheat, dip and sweep 125g

whole wheat, sifted 125g
chestnut, sifted 109g
cornstartch, lightly spooned or sifted 120g

Dutch-processed cocoa, sifted 75g
Dutch-processed cocoa, lightly spooned 82g
Dutch-processed cocoa, dip and sweep 95g

non-alkalized cocoa (such as Hershey’s), sifted 75g
non-alkalized cocoa, lightly spooned 82g
non-alkalized cocoa, dip and sweep 95g

LIQUIDS
heavy cream 232g
milk, buttermilk, sour cream, half & half 242g
molasses 322g
corn syrup 328g
glucose 336g
honey 336g
refiner’s syrup 340g
water 236g
lemon juice, strained 250g
orange juice, strained 242g

NUTS
almonds, slivered 120g
almonds, sliced or coarsly chopped 85g
almonds, finely ground 107g
almonds, powder fine 89g
walnuts and pecans, halves 100g
walnuts and pecans, coarsely chopped 114g
hazelnuts, whole 142g
pistachios, whole 152g
almond paste 284g
hazelnut praline paste 308g

SUGAR
granulated or superfine, dip and sweep 200g
powdered, lightly spooned 115g
light brown, packed 217g
dark brown, packed 239g

Additional items - weight per item
1 large egg, in shell 56.7g
1 large egg, no shell 50g
1 large egg white 30g
1 large egg yolk 18.6g

1 teaspoon baking powder 4.9g
1 teaspoon baking soda 5g
1 teaspoon cream of tartar 3.1g
1 teaspoon gelatin 3.1g
1 teaspoon gycerie 6g
1 teaspoon salt 6.7g
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract 4g
1 teaspoon grated citrus zest 2g

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Posted: 03 March 2008 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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THANKS FOR THIS! I DON’T HAVE THE CAKE BIBLE SO THIS IS VERY HELPFUL.  I AM TRYING TO CONVERT SOME OF MY FAVORITE BREAD RECIPES THAT ARE IN VOLUME MEASURES BECAUSE IT IS MORE ACCURATE AND I GET VARYING RESULTS. I KNOW WEIGHTS ARE MORE ACCURATE AND I JUST NEEDED A STARTING PLACE. THANKS AGAIN.

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Posted: 03 March 2008 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Oh great, glad to help!  Happy Baking!

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Posted: 03 March 2008 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think that all the suggestions here are good ones.  If the author of a cookbook states weights, like Rose does, hooray!  If not, well, you are in a pickle.

I would suggest that you measure out a cup of flour as you normally would do, then weigh the contents.  If your ‘cup’ of flour is working in your recipes, then you need to know what YOUR cup of flour weighs for YOUR recipes.  I would do this at least 2-3 times, measure your ingredient, weigh, and again and again. Take an average of the three weights.  Hopefully they will all be very close.  For me, a cup of flour weigh 4.5 ounces, sugar 7 ounces.  But not all recipes or cookbook authors use the same weights, which adds to the confusion.

MrsM

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Posted: 03 March 2008 07:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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MrsM - 03 March 2008 10:49 PM

But not all recipes or cookbook authors use the same weights, which adds to the confusion.

MrsM

It sure does! I always try to find out if the author gives you a standard weight for a cup of flour—or at the very least, tells you what method they use (sifted, spooned, dip-and-sweep). You may have to do a bit of digging around in the front and/or back parts of the book, where they talk about ingredients, measuring techniques, and so on.

Cook’s Illustrated / America’s Test Kitchen generally uses the dip-and-sweep method for most recipes. For them, you want to use that one cup of unbleached all-purpose flour is 5.0 ounces, unless they tell you otherwise.

Most cookbooks use large eggs, but I’ve come across a few that call for extra-large or jumbo eggs. A good one will say “large eggs” right in the recipe, but in some cases you have to look around to find out exactly what they mean when they say “one egg.” (I always buy medium eggs, so I end up doing a lot of weighing of eggs for baking recipes. Extra egg gets put in a small container in the freezer, then is eventually defrosted and used.)

Some recipes not only don’t tell you how they measured the flour, they don’t even tell you what sort of flour it was (cake, all-purpose, bread, bleached, unbleached). Then you just have to guess and hope. No wonder so many of us like Rose’s books!

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Posted: 03 March 2008 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Something I read recently about eggs…. they are no longer measured by individual weight, but rather are now being sold by package weight - so a package of large eggs can contain eggs that are both tiny and large, and everything in between.  If this is true (and I belive I’ve noticed that it is), weighing your egg yolks/whites would be the most reliable method to ensure good results.

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Posted: 04 March 2008 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Barbara makes a good point - different cookbook authors test their recipes according to their preferred way of measuring flour.  Somewhere in the introductory chapters or the back of most cookbooks will be a mention of preferred measures by volume.  (E.g., Cooks Illustrated is dip and sweep, Martha’s Baking Handbook is dip and sweep, most of Martha’s other baking recipes are spoon and sweep, Dorie Greenspan [if I remember correctly] does what Julia Child taught her and fluffs her flour in the container then dips then sweeps, RLB’s Cake Bible tells you to weigh or sift directly).

I recently started switching from volume measures to using my rickety scale.  The results are better if subtle… the biggest draw is that it is definitely easier especially when the recipe uses brown sugar that needs to be packed (heck, what’s tight and what’s light packing? Weighing makes better sense).

Also, Patrincia - you are right.  I have noticed lately that there is quite a variation in size among the eggs that I buy in a carton.  I’ve also started to weigh my liquid ingredients.  The only volume measures I retain are for the leavening (because my scale is not that precise… the smallest division is 1 oz.)

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Posted: 04 March 2008 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi Julius - long time no see smile.

I should have specified that the weights listed from The Cake Bible are speciifcally for TCBs recipes, and you’re right… most reputable baking books will make mention of the method of measure used to develop the recipes within.

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