Weights and measures

strawberries on scale

More and more home bakers are using scales to improve their baking. Precision is important to achieving consistent results, but it can be a pain to convert volume measures into ounces or grams. A few conversion charts are tucked away on manufacturer or baking websites, but the folks at King Arthur Flour have an extraordinarily comprehensive list on their website.

This list includes both ounces and grams, which is sure to please those outside the US (and bakers like me who prefer to use the metric system). Also included are weights for many types of specialty flours, including those made from ancient grains like teff and quinoa, that seem to be springing up everywhere. In addition to nearly every type of flour imaginable, the chart has entries for many dairy products, including several cheeses; fruits both fresh and dried; baking ingredients like leaveners, nuts, and chocolates; fats and oils; and even a few herbs and vegetables.

The beginning of the list skews heavily to products made by King Arthur flour and there is a caveat: it appears the measurements are those for “spoon and sweep” recipes, not “dip and sweep” ones. (The latter is where you dip your measuring cup directly into the flour then level off the top.) Make sure to read the foreward in your cookbook to see how the author instructs you to measure flour.

Dip and sweep is usually 4.75 to 5 ounces per cup (Cook’s Illustrated uses the latter measurement). While this chart says that 1 cup of unbleached, all purpose flour is 4.25 ounces, many other charts go up to 4.5 ounces per cup. In most recipes this won’t be a crucial difference, but if you don’t have success with the lesser amount, try again with the larger one – and be sure to note it in your cookbook for future reference.

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  • Foodycat  on  July 31, 2015

    Very useful! Thanks! I find American recipes confusing sometimes with their cup and spoon measures.

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