I would like to introduce one of the fundamentals of baking which is the measurement. Baking is not really forgiving. It is science. That was my impression after a numerous attempt of baking and wonder what went wrong. I was able to read the instructions and prepare the ingredients but eventually if I missed one of the measurement it became pile of failure. Even just one miss-measured tablespoon of flour can ruin everything! I struggled a lot that it almost stopped me there. But I kept tried and look for the tools for perfect measurement. Not like cooking food, you got to find a way to do exactly what it says in the recipe. Trust me. Do not trust your guts! Understanding the correct measuring technique for a particular ingredient will guarantee better baking results.
Flour is the most common miss-measured ingredient. I had numerous attempt and spilling all the white powder on my kitchen. The best way to measure the exact amount of flour is using the digital kitchen scale. The reason why it should be ‘digital’ is for your convenience. The analog scale works too but it gets hard to measure detailed number of grams. If you do not have the scale, then you can use measure cups. For the dry ingredient like flour, baking powder or sugar, the instruction of using measuring cup would be the same. The measuring cup has labels of what size it is and has variety of measurements. The key instruction is that not scooping it with the measuring cup! Use the spoon and fill the measuring cup carefully. After you finish filling the cup, use the long stick like knife, back of the spoon or back of the fork to level off the top of the measuring cup. Just because the measuring cup looks like a big spoon, I was deceived and scoopedwith it and it was always ended up being miss-measurement.
You can use same instruction as the flour since it is same dry ingredient. But I just wanted to add that sugar is more forgiving than flour. You can control the amount and control the sweetness level but still you should be careful. I have no scientific evidence but overusing sugar can break down other ingredient. Sugar aids proper browning and stabilization.
- Liquid ingredients (oil, water, milk)
Remember that I said baking is science? It is because when you measure the liquid ingredients, just like in chemistry lab, they need to be measured at eye level. For all liquid ingredients, you will use the cup that has “ml” or “L” labels. You should bend down and make sure that the liquid is at the exact eye level.
Those were the basic three key concept of measurements. Of course there are lot more different ingredients but I wanted to introduce the fundamental ingredients which could applied in many similar ingredients. I hope these tips were helpful to all my baking beginners! I would leave a link where you can find baking measurement tools and more fundamental tips.
Have a great day!