Precise measurements in baking can mean the difference between success or catastrophe. If perfection is the goal (that is a rhetorical question) then let’s talk about the baking tools you will need.
If you can weigh it, weigh it. Weight is the most accurate way to measure ingredients. Any professional baker will tell you. To start, place your bowl on the scale and zero it out before adding the ingredient you are measuring. Take a look at whether the scale is set to grams, ounces, etc. and chose the one that makes measuring easiest.
If there is any baking tool we recommend you run out and buy before your next batch, it is a digital scale.
We realize not everyone has a scale for dry ingredients, and in that case, a standard set of measuring cups is the way to go. Be sure to check your recipe carefully. Some may call for dry ingredients to be loosely, lightly, or firmly packed. The difference is all in the weight. Baking is a science and without using your tools correctly, the result could be compromised.
For wet ingredients, a glass measuring cup or beaker are key. These typically have a wider top and become narrower toward the bottom. Make sure either one has indexing around the outside that will pretty much cover any volumetric measurement needed for baking. We have found that beakers tend to be the most precise of liquid measuring cups. Although it may take some digging to find one online, it is worth it.
Heat Resistant Rulers and Thermometers
A heat resistant ruler is a great tool for, say, reducing a liquid on the stove by a third. The ruler will hit the bottom of the pot and give you true measurement. If you regularly make goods that require use of the stove top (pies, custards, fudge, etc.) then a thermometer could quickly become your best friend. If you are judging whether a custard has thickened enough, rather than eyeballing it, experiment to find the exact temperature to bring your mixture to.
Baking Tool Tips
- You never want to dip measuring cups into dry ingredients, as it will alter the true weight. We recommend spooning the ingredient into the cup.
- When pouring wet ingredients make sure your cup is on a level surface and that you get down to eye-level with the cup. Do not judge from above.
- When using a measuring spoon (Tbl, tsp, etc.) the ingredient should always be leveled. Use a straight edge to level, rather than a butter knife or the handle of a mixing spoon.
- Do not confuse ounces with fluid ounces. The first is a measurement of weight, and the second is a measurement of volume.
Now start baking! I think you will be delighted to discover how much correct measurement will add to your efforts.