Baking Help

Baking Conversions

  • 1 gram = 0.035 ounce
  • 1 ounce = 28.35 grams
  • 1 pound = 453.6 grams
  • 1 kilogram = 35.27 ounces
  • 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
  • 8 fluid ounces = 1 cup
  • 16 fluid ounces = 2 cups = 1 pint
  • 32 fluid ounces = 4 cups = 2 pints = 1 quart
  • 128 fluid ounces = 16 cups = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 1 gallon

I recommend this scale. It’s cheap, comes in a bunch of fun colors, and did I mention it’s cheap (sorry, “good bargain”). I’ve been using it for three years and have only changed the batteries once. It’s a rock solid scale that can’t be beat.

Dry ingredients are quite different and weighing is best when possible. For example, 8 ounces of flour is about 1 1/2 cups, whereas 8 ounces of peanut butter is about 1 3/4 cups.

See the complete conversion list at this awesome website here. This one is worth printing out and putting on your refrigerator!

Baking Glossary

Bannetone (or brotform) baskets – nice to have for creating breads with an artisan look. Here’s a sample

Biga – From Ciril Hitz, Italian-style pre-ferment with a hydration rate of 50 to 60 percent.

Clean up stage –  That initial few minutes in when mixing bread. Turn the mixer on low speed and mix until all ingredients come together and is no longer a messy mixture. This usually takes 2 to 4 minutes.

Egg Wash – Just an egg and some water, mixed to a thin consistency. This is brushed on baked goods to help them brown in the oven.  It is also necessary for sprinkling sugar or other seasonings so they stay on! Some prefer to use an egg and cream or milk. Either is fine.

Gluten window – Wild Yeast Blog does an excellent job of describing and showing the gluten window. This is essential to ensure your bread will have the right consistency.  Just pinch off a small part of your dough, work it slightly, and pull between your fingers to see if it holds together. If it tears immediately, your dough needs more time in the mixer.

Instant yeast – More concentrated than active dry and doesn’t require proofing. Once you use instant yeast, you will never, ever go back to active dry. It is sold in large quantities at  Sam’s Club for dirt cheap and it freezes well. When using a recipe that calls for active dry, convert to instant but still add all the liquid that you would use for proofing the active dry. See here for KA instant yeast.

Pliable butter – This is necessary when making rich doughs. The butter needs to be cold, but not rock hard. Hammer out the butter between two pieces of plastic wrap until you can roll the butter on the edge of your counter without it breaking.

Rich doughs – Doughs that contain large amounts of fats and/or sugar.

Scale – A must have for accurate baking. Recommend this one

Stone – A nice to have for bread, a must for pizza dough. The best way to get that perfect crust. Amazon has an endless supply. Choose what works best for you.

Stretch & FoldA method of developing the gluten structure of bread. To perform a stretch and fold, take on side of the dough, stretch it out lightly and fold it onto itself. Do this for all four sides of the dough. Then flip and let rest.

Baking Substitutes

Buttermilk – 1 TB white vinegar added to 1 cup of milk. Let sit 5 minutes or until curdled.

Additional substitutions see here

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3 responses to “Baking Help

  1. Thanks for explaining all of these techniques/ingredients/tools!

    Kathleen

  2. I think there’s a typo there “1 ounce = 28.35 ounces”

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