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    How to Measure

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    Dame Katrin Karlsdottir

    Posts : 28
    Join date : 2011-06-02
    Age : 50

    How to Measure

    Post  Dame Katrin Karlsdottir on Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:38 pm

    Measuring accurately is probably the most important cooking skill in the
    kitchen. Home Economists in test kitchens spend many hours testing
    recipes with varying measurements in a process called 'tolerance
    testing'. A recipe must perform well even though the ingredient amounts
    are changed; if the recipe fails tolerance testing, it is not published.
    Even though the recipes in cookbooks are quite 'tolerant', the cook
    still has to follow basic rules of measuring.



    To begin, make sure that you have actual commercial measuring utensils. Nested (graduated) measuring cups are used for dry ingredients. Measuring spoons
    are needed - your stainless coffee spoon just isn't the correct tool!
    For liquid ingredients, you need a clear glass or plastic cup with a
    pouring spout.

    Graduated measuring cups are made in 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1
    cup, and 2 cup sizes. Liquid measuring cups are usually either 2 cup or
    4 cup. Measuring spoons usually range from 1/8 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon,
    1/2 teaspoon, 1 teaspoon, and 1 tablespoon. It's possible to find other
    more esoteric utensils including 1/8 cup, 2/3 cup, and very small
    spoons. I have a set that measures "a pinch", "a smidgen", and "a dash"
    that were a gift from my sister.

    Here's a basic guide to measuring common ingredients.

    • Flour
      Stir flour in the storage container or bag. Using a
      large spoon, lightly spoon flour from the container into the measuring
      cup. Do not shake the cup and do not pack the flour. Using the back of a
      knife or flat blade spatula, level off the flour even with the top edge
      of the measuring cup. Don't use the measuring cup to scoop the flour
      out of the container. You can end up with 150% of the correct
      measurement if you do this! One properly measured cup of flour should weigh about 112 grams.
    • Baking powder and Baking Soda
      Stir in the container.
      Using the measuring spoon, lightly scoop out of the container. Use that
      knife to level off even with the top edge of the measuring spoon.
    • Sugar
      Sugar is measured by scooping the cup or
      measuring spoon into the container or bag until it is overflowing, then
      leveling off with the back of a knife.
    • Brown Sugar
      This needs to be packed into the
      measuring cup. The sugar should retain the shape of the cup when it is
      dropped into the other ingredients.
    • Powdered Sugar
      Powdered sugar usually needs to be
      sifted to remove small lumps. It is measured by spooning the sugar into
      the measuring cup from the container, then leveling off with the back
      of a knife.
    • Liquid Ingredients
      Liquids need to be measured at eye level. Using the liquid measuring cup,
      pour the liquid into the cup. Then bend over so you are on the same
      level with the measuring marks. The liquid should be right at the mark,
      not above or below.
    • Semi-Liquid Ingredients
      Ingredients like sour cream,
      peanut butter, and yogurt are measured using dry measuring cups because
      they are too thick to be accurately measured in the liquid cups. Level
      off sour cream and peanut butter with the back of a knife.
    • Shortening and Solid Fats
      Butter and margarine have
      measuring amounts marked on the sides of the paper wrapping. One quarter
      pound stick of butter or margarine equals 1/2 cup. Solid shortening is
      measured by packing it into a cup so there are no air spaces, then
      leveling off with the knife. To easily remove fats from baking cups,
      spray them with a nonstick cooking spray before measuring. You can also
      use the liquid displacement method for measuring solid fats. For
      instance, if you want 1/2 cup of shortening, fill a liquid measuring cup
      with 1/2 cup of cold water. Then add shortening until the water level
      reaches 1 cup when you look at it at eye level. Pour out the water and
      use the shortening. Oil is measured as a liquid.
    • Liquid Ingredients in Spoons
      Make sure that you don't
      measure small amounts of liquid ingredients over the mixing bowl. It's
      just too easy to spill, and you don't want 2 teaspoons of almond extract
      when the recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon!
    • Dry Ingredients in Spoons
      Ingredients measured in
      these small amounts still have to be measured carefully. Overfill the
      measuring spoons and level off using the back of a knife for the most
      accurate amounts. Accurate amounts of ingredients like baking soda and
      powder are critical to the success of any baked product.
    • Chopped Ingredients
      Pay close attention to whether or
      not an ingredient is to be chopped, diced or minced, and whether they
      are measured before chopping or after. Then the foods are placed in the
      measuring cup so the top is level with the surface.

    When you bake cookies, cakes, breads, pie crusts, and candies,
    measuring accurately is really critical to the success of the recipe.
    When you are cooking casseroles, soups, stir fries, and meats, you can
    vary amounts more and the end result will still be good.

    I remember liquid measurements this way: 2 cups in a pint, 2 pints in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon. Memorize that!

    Using these rules and tips, you can be confident that any recipe you tackle will be a success.


    Dry Ingredient Equivalents
    1 tablespoon3 teaspoons15 ml
    1/8 cup2 tablespoons30 ml
    1/4 cup4 tablespoons50 ml
    1/3 cup5-1/3 tablespoons75 ml
    1/2 cup8 tablespoons125 ml
    2/3 cup10-2/3 tablespoons150 ml
    3/4 cup12 tablespoons175 ml
    1 cup16 tablespoons250 ml
    Wet Ingredient Equivalents
    1 cup8 fluid ounces1/2 pint
    2 cups16 fluid ounces1 pint
    4 cups32 fluid ounces2 pints
    8 cups64 fluid ounces4 pints

      Current date/time is Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:11 am