Up, Down and All Around
What is your measuring device when it comes to your baking ingredients? What is your measuring device when it comes your friends and family? Does your measuring device measure up when it comes to ingredients and those that you and they interact with?
We need to be able to measure/evaluate our ingredients by asking and evaluating each to see if they are; spoiled, rotten, tasteless, tasteful, or are they even filled with quality ingredients?
Will they stand the test of time especially in high temperatures? Are they or these ingredients dense or are they like a sponge, willing to listen and soak up everything? Do they or your ingredients interact well together or are they like water and vinegar, do they even blend well together, do they add everlasting flavor?
Are they positive and worth keeping around?
Try using these analogies when it comes to your family and friends. Do they have many uses, are they there to fill a purpose, are they helpful in different situations, are they like versatile baking ingredients, are they pretty much okay with changes?
Measuring Device Questions To Ponder
Would you recommend them as “good”? Are they pulling their weight? Is it a give and take relationship? Are they or we equally yoked? Is one lifting the other one up, do you melt away by their words and actions, do you harden easily when they are around? Do they coagulate, get tense? Do they need a good whisk at times or do they like to stir the pot?
Need a mixer, do they knead a beating? Should they be beaten? Can you even stop the cycle? Are you on high speed when you should be on low speed?
Have you added the key ingredients, before going on to the the next step?Are you thinking about the last step, like what speed you were in?
By not thinking about the last step, the speed you were going in is forgetting that the beater is still set on high. All those key ingredients will now fly out of the bowl. Causing you to have to start all over again. This will include spending lots of money and time trying to make a product that should have been there in the making, but, you were hasty and quickly tempered to lose all of it.
We need to learn to remain present, remain calm and go slow when it comes to our God, His creation and His children. Do we need to unplug for a bit? Do we need a new place to reside? Are we leaving residue everywhere? Do we need to be cleaned? Are we even open to recommendations?
Proper measuring is critical to baking recipes. Baking is a science, and when you mix together ingredients, you’re creating chemistry. There needs to be balance between flour, leaveners, fats, and liquids. Extra salt or baking soda can ruin otherwise perfect cookies. Too much flour makes muffins taste dry and flavorless.
As you begin to feel more comfortable with baking recipes, you may feel inclined to experiment a bit, maybe adding some chocolate chips to peanut butter cookies or substituting pecans for walnuts. That’s all well and fine, but give it time. You’re never too good or experienced to not measure. Never measure over the bowl of ingredients you’ve already measured. If you over pour or forget what you have measured already, your measurements will not be accurate.
Ingredients such as brown sugar and coconut are either called for as; lightly or firmly packed. Why pack? Generally, these ingredients are bulkier and can form big air pockets if you use the traditional spoon-and-level method of measuring. If you apply light or slightly firm pressure to the ingredients, you eliminate some of the air pockets and get a more accurate measurement.
Never push the ingredients in so much that you actually crush them or pack them in so tightly that you have difficulty getting them out of the measuring device. If you do so, you will over measure, adding too much. A good visual cue that you have lightly packed something is that after you pour it out of the measuring cup, it will lose the shape of the cup it was in. If it’s firmly packed, it will slightly retain the shape of the measuring cup after it’s dumped out into the bowl, it will be easy to stir apart.
Measuring Device For Dry Ingredients
Measuring flour by volume is to fluff up the flour, sprinkle it into your dry measuring cup then scrape off the excess with a straight edge. Never compress the flour into the measuring tools.
When measuring granulated and powdered sugar by volume, overfill your dry-cup measure and scrape off the excess with a straight edge. To measure granulated sugar and other dry ingredients, spoon the ingredients lightly into the measuring cup. Do not shake the cup to make level! Take the straight edge of a knife (not the cutting edge) and level off the ingredient. Leveling it off gives you one level cup.
If the recipe calls for a heaping cup, do not level off the cup. Instead, leave a small mounded top of ingredients.
To measure chopped nuts and coconut, spoon the ingredients into the measuring cup and pack down lightly.
Sticky ingredients are like sticky situations, how do you pull yourself out of one?
I have to tell you a story about seeing something and assuming it would be a pleasant experience. Sometimes an ingredient can look a lot like another ingredient, as well as our friends. A friend of mine, came to our bakery to visit quite often, on one particular day she decided to sample an ingredient based on what it looked like.
Our bakery had a wide range of ingredients that were out and ready for use in our baking recipes. My friend saw a container that looked like icing and decided to swipe a finger full of white substance, but, it wasn’t what she thought.
When my friend placed the ingredient into her mouth she gagged but, what she placed in her mouth was actually shortening not icing. To this day this memory has never left her mind or mine.
Measuring Device For Liquids
Always use a glass measuring cup for measuring liquids.
The measuring scale weight measurements are more accurate. The two main types of scale include digital and mechanical.
Digital scales are much more accurate. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a digital scale. First, make sure the measuring platform fits your favorite bowls; I suggest buying a scale with a flat platform, rather than a detachable bowl. Does it measure in both American pounds, ounces and metric grams.
Assess the scale’s capacity. A number of scales are available for a variety of prices. Make sure you factor in the bowl weight, try using a plastic bowl…zero the scale so you can add ingredients at zero then you can accurately weigh the next ingredient.
Baking, while considered an art, is equal parts science. Measuring accurately is always important, and sometimes essential, to baking success. Gathering your measuring tools is much like gathering your human beings, seek them out for depth and accuracy. My favorite measuring spoons are made out of stainless steel. The measurements are engraved and easy to read. They hold their shape during various temperatures and the measurements don’t fade or wash away.
Measuring Device Cups
I recommend a two cup glass measuring cup; that’s microwave-safe, for warming milk, melting butter and chocolate. To accurately read a liquid measuring cup, set it on a flat surface and crouch down to where you can see the top of the liquid at eye level.
Measuring Device Sleeve Cup
Another kind of measuring cup, consisting of a clear, round sleeve with a sliding solid base set within. Its main purpose is measuring shortening, peanut butter, molasses and other sticky ingredients.
Measuring Device Spoons
Have on hand a couple of sets. It’s great to have two sets so you can. It doesn’t pay to go cheap, it causes bigger problems later on. Just like the important choices we make in life.