Table of Contents Hide
- Scaling Down Recipes
- Scaling Down Liquids
- How to Divide Eggs
- Measuring Cups
- Weighing vs. Measuring
Knowing your measurements is very important, especially in cooking or baking. A small miscalculation of ingredients may ruin the entire dish or baked goods in general.
Most amateur bakers and cooks will have a set of measuring cups or spoons in their kitchen. Those who do not have these can still get somewhat accurate measurements using common dining utensils.
Suppose you have a 1/4 cup; half of that would be 1/3. Knowing how to cut down recipes is a nice skill to have when preparing correct measurements of ingredients.
A 1/4 cup is essentially four tablespoons. So in simpler terms, half of that would be two tablespoons. To know more about scaling down recipes and other useful baking tips, continue reading below.
Scaling Down Recipes
Scaling up/down recipes | Increasing/decreasing recipes all explained
Most of the recipes posted online have portions that are enough to feed a big group. For example, most of the time, home cooks are only preparing food for 3-5 people.
These home cooks would need to know how to scale down recipes. Below are some common measurements and their scaled-down counterparts.
- 1 cup = 16 tablespoons
- 1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
- 1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
- 3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons
- 1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
Scaling Down Liquids
Some recipes require measured liquids. It’s a little tougher to convert liquid measurements into tablespoons.
Additionally, spending your money on a measuring cup might be better. It has different lines for the various measurements.
How to Divide Eggs
Some scaled-down recipes call for an egg; what happens if you scale down that recipe? It’s actually a pretty straightforward fix.
What you do is crack open the egg and then beat it with a whisk. After the yolk is well incorporated, you can just eyeball how much egg is needed in the scaled-down recipe.
Although the art of measuring when cooking has been around for a couple of centuries, measuring cups was invented in 1896. Fannie Farmer is credited with developing a universal standard for measuring cups.
Measuring spoons were made in the same year as well. The universal measurement for tablespoon and teaspoon was decided.
Throughout the years, measuring cups have been made with different materials. Today, three kinds of measuring cups can be found.
The plastic measuring cup is the most affordable. These are usually microwave safe and dishwasher safe.
Also, these cups are conveniently found in kitchen stores or even baking shops. It comes in a vast amount of different colors and designs as well.
Plastic measuring cups for liquids usually are transparent. This way, you can see how much liquid you’re pouring into the cup.
The next kind of measuring cup is made of wood. It focuses more on being nice to look at and aesthetically pleasing rather than durable or effective.
Generally, it isn’t used too much because constant wetness or exposure to different liquids may negatively affect the wood.
The last type of measuring cup is the stainless steel variety. This is the most commonly used, especially in commercial kitchens. It is durable and easy to maintain.
Weighing vs. Measuring
SCALES OR MEASURING CUPS?! | Weighing vs Measuring Ingredients
There is some speculation that weighing your ingredients is more effective than measuring. It sparked the debate about which is more accurate and effective in baking.
To the amateur baker, investing in a kitchen scale rather than a set of measuring cups might be a better idea. It will provide more accurate results and lessen baking mishaps and disasters.
Measuring cups can yield different amounts when the person using them doesn’t know how to pack the cup properly. For example, flour must be spooned into the measuring cup and packed lightly.
Most home bakers will use the measuring cup to scoop the flour and pack it tightly. This may result in more flour than needed.
It wouldn’t make that much of a difference; it would just make your bread, pastry, or baked goods slightly off. Even then, these discrepancies will be unnoticeable to the common person.
Are there other important baking tips?
Properly measuring your ingredients isn’t the only thing to be aware of to be a good baker. There are other tips that you need to follow to be able to create yummy pastries most of the time.
Do I need to follow temperature instructions?
You may come across the term room temperature a lot. It usually refers to liquids such as water, milk, butter, syrups, eggs, and more.
When the recipe calls for room temperature, make sure to follow it. Wrong temperatures could result in disasters such as curdled butter, butter that can’t be mixed, and flaky mixtures.
Can I use alternatives?
Using alternatives for lacking ingredients almost always doesn’t end up well. A good portion of baking is understanding chemistry, and some alternatives may ruin that.
Some ingredients really have no possible alternative, such as eggs, butter, flour, and sugar. There is a list of harmless ingredients, and you can add them to any recipe.
Nuts, granola, exchanging citruses, oats, and raisins usually won’t do too much damage to your recipe. Make sure to do the right research beforehand to know what can be added and what should be avoided.
Do I need to buy a quality mixer?
Something that will save you a lot of time and effort in the kitchen is a quality mixer. There are recipes where ingredients need to be mixed well.
This may add a couple of minutes of getting your hands dirty. Quality mixers make you free to do something else while the ingredients are mixing.
It also has different settings, and it has different attachments, such as a dough hook that would knead the dough for you. Also, it can fluff egg whites or turn whole milk into whipped cream.
Quality mixers, although they may be a little steep in price, are a good investment for any baker. It will surely increase your efficiency in the kitchen.
Is it important to check the oven temperature?
Having the right temperature for your oven is also essential to ensure proper baking. It is important to pre-heat your oven so that the cooking time stated on the recipe will be accurate.
Also, it is recommended that the oven should not be opened during the cooking process. Peeking at the food or checking to see if it’s done might spell disaster for your baking.
Opening the oven door before the recommended cooking time finishes will result in cold air getting in. It may prolong baking times, deflate puffed baked goods, or ruin a soufflé.
Is it bad to do too much?
There is one reason people need to knead some dough or properly incorporate the ingredients in a mixture. This reason is to activate the gluten.
Activating gluten means the baked good will have a chewy and soft texture. This may be nice in some things like bread or dinner rolls, but it isn’t always the desired texture.
For example, cookies require that the mixture is only uniform. Overmixing will result in cookies that are too soft and don’t hold their shape.
This is also the same reason why butter needs to be at certain temperatures. Cold butter will make a flaky dough, but warm or melted butter will produce a chewy and soft texture.
Will parchment paper help in cleaning up?
Lining your baking vessels with parchment paper will help with the mixture not sticking. It will also come out with no cosmetic damages.
Another thing that parchment paper helps with is the clean-up afterward. Just make sure to spray a bit of cooking oil on the parchment paper itself to not let the mixture from sticking to the paper.
There are also a bunch of substitutes for parchment paper, such as aluminum foil and silicon. Generally, silicon mats are the most cost-effective because they can last for a lifetime with proper care and cleaning.
Do I need to divide the batter/mixture properly?
When you finally have a lined-up baking sheet and a ready batter or mixture, the next step is to divide it onto the sheet. Ensure your proportions are correct, and don’t overcrowd the baking sheet.
Correct proportions will result in consistent results. Making cookies, muffins, cupcakes, or other small stuff will ensure that they all look the same and have the same texture.
Some scoopers can be purchased online as well as molds. There are also baking pans that have divots where you put the batter.