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If you’re like me, you found yourself baking more than usual during the pandemic. Like, a lot more than usual. I probably did a few years worth of baking in a couple months. And, that helped me pick up a few tips. The biggest being use a scale for baking.
But, why bake with a scale?
I use this scale for baking, it’s inexpensive and works like a dream. And, even comes with its own mixing bowl. Here are a few reasons why I am a big believer now in baking with a scale. By the end of this, you’ll ask yourself why you didn’t bake with a scale earlier!
You seriously have no idea how far off a measurement can be until you start baking with a scale. Almost every recipe I have tried that has the ingredients in grams, and cups, the cups is off. Like, way off. A shocking amount off. Which can completely change the texture and consistency of your baked goods.
I touched on this in my sour cherry lemon bread recipe. This was the beginning of my baking journey, so I wasn’t a full scale baking convert yet. I made the recipe time after time, and while it usually turned out great, once it turned out way too dry and dense. And, once it turned out too wet and collapsed on itself. Why? Because I wasn’t using a scale!
Once you start using a scale you’ll see how off standard volume measurements can be. How packed in something like flour or sugar is in a measuring cup can make a huge difference. In banana bread for instance, what is 2 cups of bananas? Or, when zucchini bread calls for about 4 medium zucchinis, what does that mean? How big is a medium zucchini? What if I only have small or large zucchinis?
Using a scale takes the guess work out.
Even something like butter, that has measurements on the side, they are not lined up perfectly and since we all know baking is a science, having ratios off can make a big difference.
I bought an inexpensive kitchen scale along time ago when I thought maybe I would portion out my meals by weight. A thought that still sounds like a good idea, but hasn’t been practiced very much to date. So, it’s been sitting unused in my pantry. And, in all honesty I was a little intimidated by it.
Measuring cups I know. I’ve used them my whole life. Easy peasy. But, after my mom took a baking class at King Arthur Flour last winter, and they stressed the use of a scale, I decided to give it a go. And, turns out, in addition to being far more accurate, it’s also a lot easier.
Instead of clumsily trying to use multiple measuring cups and cleaning them out between ingredients, it is so much easier using the same scale for everything. You won’t want to go back.
Does anyone else’s kitchen tend to look like a flour bomb went off after baking? It’s so much easier for me to stay tidy using a scale. Because I’m not using multiple measuring cups and setting them down randomly places, there is less mess and it makes cleanup much easier. You can add ingredients straight from their container, into a mixing bowl on top of your scale.
When do you not use a scale?
For ingredients that you use very small amount of, ie salt in a cookie recipe, I still use a good old fashioned measuring spoon. Most scales measure in whole grams. So, if you needed 1 gram of something, the scale would say 1 gram, even if it was 1.75 grams.
Do you bake with a scale? Why or why not?
If you like this, check out the best soft pretzel recipe!