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For Good Measure: Why you need a kitchen scale

Fine Cooking Issue 96
Photo: Scott Phillips
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Baking is just as much a science as an art. A delicate, fluffy cake is the result of many chemical reactions, and when one element is off, the result can fall flat—literally. A small digital kitchen scale truly is a baker’s best friend. Here’s why:

Measuring Ingredients: Depending on what scooping method you use, a leveled cup measure can hold anywhere from 3.5 to 5.5 weight ounces of flour. A fluffy ingredient like powdered sugar or cocoa can be even more variable. Weighing these ingredients eliminates the inconsistencies. It’s also much faster and makes for less dishwashing; rather than measuring one cup at a time in a cup measure, you can weigh your ingredients right in the mixing bowl.

Dividing Batter Evenly: A scale is also helpful if you need to divide batter between two or more baking pans, as in our Cinnamon-Caramel-Ganache Layer Cake. Weighing the batter ensures that each layer is uniform, both in quantity and in baking time.

Even if you don’t do a lot of baking, a scale is a worthwhile investment. You’ll find yourself pulling it out again and again to weigh all sorts of things, like 12 ounces of pasta, a pound of potatoes, or even a letter that seems a little heavy for regular postage. Our favorites include models made by Salter, Soehnle, and Oxo.


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