New Recipe: Bake With a Scale to Cookies, Cakes, and Breads With More Consistency and Less Mess

This crumbly hamantaschen dough was made with volume measurements.

Photo by Shilpa Uskokovic

Undeterred, I made them again, this time using metric weights from our BA standard conversion chart instead. And what do you know? They turned out perfectly. Crisp-edged, delightfully buttery, and hugging a soft belly of filling, they made the perfect case in favor of a baking scale. The only explanation for these vastly different results was that by using cups most bakers were likely putting in too much flour, throwing off the delicate balance between wet and dry ingredients.

The benefits of a baking scale go far beyond flour, though. Ever come across measurements like “a scant ½ cup”? (I’m sorry, what?). It’s never an issue when a recipe is written with weights. Or how about measuring sticky peanut butter or molasses or honey? Ugh, what a nightmare! Or what about when a recipe calls for chocolate or nuts? With so many variables—mini chips vs. regular chips vs. fèves, finely chopped vs. coarsely chopped nuts—a scale is the only way to ensure consistency. If baking makes you nervous, a scale is like a salve for your confidence. It eliminates so many little inaccuracies.

Photo by Shilpa Uskokovic

A baking scale transforms you into a precise and reliable baker. You can scale cookie dough and burger buns and cake batter into tidy, equal portions ensuring an even bake and exact yield. It will also help you to bake faster and with less mess. Why use a full set of measuring cups when you can simply place a bowl on a scale and hit tare to reset the weight to zero between ingredients? Even if a favorite recipe doesn’t list weights, you can use this immensely handy conversion chart from King Arthur Flour to figure them out yourself.

Once you understand the life-changing magic of baking with a scale, you may never, ever use measuring cups again. Hold onto those spoons, though: For very small amounts, like teaspoons, I prefer to stick to volume measures. Most scales measure in 1-gram increments, so they just aren’t sensitive enough to pick up the nuances of something like ¼ teaspoon baking soda. 

But for everything else, stick to a certain easy-to-use, lightning-fast, battery-operated device that’s guaranteed to make you very, very happy.

Now you deserve a cookie, baked with a scale

Hamantaschen cookies on a plate

This recipe for the triangular filled sweets eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim yields tender, buttery cookies.

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