Converting volume recipes to weight
Posted: 15 January 2011 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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You suggested I weigh my ingredients but how do you convert a recipe which uses volume measurements like
1 cup of butter and 2 cups of flour to a weight.  I know 1 cup of butter would weigh more than 2 cups of flour but I don’t know the calculation or tables to use to do this.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 15 January 2011 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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sandy - 15 January 2011 07:13 PM

You suggested I weigh my ingredients but how do you convert a recipe which uses volume measurements like
1 cup of butter and 2 cups of flour to a weight.  I know 1 cup of butter would weigh more than 2 cups of flour but I don’t know the calculation or tables to use to do this

You won’t be able to make such conversions with any degree of assurance; how much a cup of flour weighs depends on the technique of the person writing the recipes.  The only two competent techniques for volume measurement that I’m aware of are “dip and sweep” and “spoon and sweep”.  Many cookbooks will tell you which the author uses and some of them even say how much their cups weigh.  If they don’t, simply perform the technique on a cup of flour and see how much it weighs.  Worst case, you won’t be any worse off than following their volume measurements, but you’ll become a lot more consistent and it will give you a solid reference point for adding or subtracting flour quantities as you tinker with the recipe.  For me, a cup of all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method weighs about 130 grams, so that’s where I start.  It usually works.

Other substances don’t pack like flour does, so it’s easier.  For a stick of butter (1/2 cup), just read the label on the package.

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Posted: 15 January 2011 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi, Sandy!

I just look up a recipe in Rose’s that use that ingredient.  So if the cake calls for 1c. sugar, I find sugar in one of Rose’s recipes and convert it, since she gives both volume and weight.  I’ve done this a few times, and it’s always worked great!  It’s possible that one person who says 1c. uses “dip and sweep” and another uses “spoon and level,” but using Rose’s as a reference works great for me.

If you need any help with this, you can post your recipe ingredients, and I’ll show you what I’d do and which recipe(s) I used as a reference.

You’ll find it’s really easy when you do it once or twice!!

—ak

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Posted: 15 January 2011 04:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi Sandy, Although it’s true the conversion will depend on the writer of the recipe and what flour measurement technique they use, I think a good rule of thumb is that 1 cup of flour = 5 oz.  I’d try that and see how it comes out.  As a for a “cup” of butter, I’d think a cup would be 8 oz (i.e., two sticks).  There are lots of math whizzes on the board here so I’m sure they’ll be very helpful!

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Posted: 16 January 2011 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Rose’s Bread and Cake and Pastry Bibles have an appendix that lists the weights for everything. Baking by weight is so much easier and more accurate than the volume method. Once you do it, you will never go back. I’ve used her weights in many volume recipes with great success.

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