How to Measure The Equipment: Graduated Measuring Cups Measuring cups that resemble small pots. They are usually made of plastic or metal and come in sets of four (1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, and 1/4 cup). They are excellent for measuring dry ingredients because they can easily be leveled off. Liquid Measuring Cups Measuring cups that look like little pitchers. They are widely available in 1-, 2-, 4-, and 8-cup measures. They come in glass or plastic, with the amounts indicated in cups, ounces, and milliliters. Pyrex is a good brand. The larger measures can double as mixing bowls. Measuring Spoons Come in sets of four (1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, and 1/4 teaspoon). Ingredients Butter Each 1/4 pound stick of margarine or butter measures 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons. In the United States, the wrapping usually has tablespoons and teaspoons clearly marked. One stick usually equals 1/2 cup. If it has not been packed that way, pack margarine or butter into measuring spoon or measuring cup. Sugar Most sugar can be measured in a graduated measuring cup. Simply spoon it in and level off with the straight edge of a knife. Most recipes usually call for certain amounts of packed brown sugar. To measure packed brown sugar, pack sugar down lightly with back of spoon, then level off. Flour In most recipes, flour is supposed to be measured straight from the canister or package (the flour needs to be airy, if it seems compact, stir it in the container before measuring it). NEVER pack flour down into the measuring cup or tap it excessively. Lightly spoon flour into graduated measuring cus, and level off with straight edge of knife. It is important to measure flour correctly in low-fat bread making because when we reduce the fat (which tenderizes it), we don't want to dramatically increase the flour (which toughens it). Really Detailed Instructions about Measuring Flour Measuring Flour: Correct Method In order to measure flour correctly, it must be sifted once before measuring to prevent packing of the flour. Most recipes for baked products assume this, since sifted flour tends to pack on standing, this sifting process should be performed just prior to measuring. Estimate the amount of flour which must be sifted for the measurement and sift. To fill the measuring cup, the flour should be dipped with a tablespoon and placed lightly into the cup until the cup is heaping full. Excess flour is then removed by moving a straight edge such as a knife or metal spatula across the top of the heaping cup. It is important at all times during this process of filing or leveling the cup, not to shake the cup (or tap) since either will cause packing of the flour. Thus, the correct technique of measuring flour consists of 3 steps: (1) Sift the flour (2) Fill the measuring cup to heaping full (3) Level cup with a straight-edged spatula When flour is measured by this method which eliminates packing of the flour as much as possible, one cup should weigh about 4 ounces or 112 grams. A second method is to sift directly and evenly into the cup and level off with a straight-edged spatula. Measuring Flour: Incorrect Method When flour is measured without sifting but by tapping the measuring cup, additional flour is needed to fill the cup - the result of packing of the flour. Since the degree of packing cannot be controlled, measuring flour in this manner will result in variable results. In one case, one cup measured by this method weighed 173 grams, an increase of 61 grams over the standard measure. This increase represents an excess of one-half cup of flour in a recipe and would probably yield a poor quality product. .
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