The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need a converstion table to use recipes on this site

  • Pin It
friar120's picture
friar120

Need a converstion table to use recipes on this site

So many recipes I would like to try use the metric system for fluids and weight of flours, etc.  Is there a printable chart I can keep with my other recipes so it is handy?  I want a chart that converts into cups and spoonfuls like normal American recipes.  Thanks friar120

tjkoko's picture
tjkoko

Baking Conversion Magnet and these are what I came up with (and there may be others as well):


1.  http://store.cookbookpeople.com/product-p/chartmag.htm


2.  http://www.solutions.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=3523

tsinct's picture
tsinct

Having to go to an off-site converter and adapt every ingredient to non-metric is more trouble than it worth, many times. Why can't there be a converter on this site which automatically allows posted recipes to be given with metric and non-metric quantities???  Or quickly be convertible???

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Since flour is a major component of the ingredients discussed here, and all flours don't weigh the same, simple conversion software is not going to be of much help.


For example, the chart in the BBA states a cup of unbleached bread flour weighs 4.5 ounces, whole wheat flour weighs 4.5 ounces, coarse whole wheat weighs 4.25 ounces, corn meal weighs 6 ounces, and while it doesn't state a weight for rye, my cup of rye flour weighs 4.1 ounces.


My suggestion is to spend $25 bucks for a scale, such as an Escali which has a tare funtion and measures in grams, ounces, and pounds.   You'll become a better baker and have less mess to clean up.  It can even serve double duty as a postal scale.


 

niagaragirl's picture
niagaragirl

Well stated. Even my upgrade from good old vintage spring type scale to digital has made an enormous difference. And in a lot of cases I can now use any old scopp, or just dump stuff from a small bag.



You'll become a better baker and have less mess to clean up.



Honestly, this is so true.


When measuring with dry measure cups, weights will even vary with method. Spoon it normally into the cup and level it, and you'll likely get it right. Scoop deep down into a flour bag with the same dry measure cup, and you'll compact the flour into the measure causing it to weigh more. And this can vary as much as 1.5 ounces per cup depending on how enthusiastly you scoop.


 


 

samsara's picture
samsara

I'm a NUG (New Useless Guy) but here is how I look at it.  There seem to be common themes both here and elsewhere on the net relating to this.  The two main ones are:



  • Measuring volumes is a bit tricky, clumsy, and generally less accurate.  Metric weight and Baker's Percentage seem to really be the way to go.  My mind tends to wander so I bought a scale so that I could just figure out how much I needed to add and dump until I got to that number.  No more forgetting if I am on cup number 4 or 5  :-)

  • You need to learn the fundamentals, experiment, and keep track of what you do so that you learn what works and what doesn't.  I have seen suggestions to have almost like a journal or bread diary.  While I don't have an actual book like that I do write on a sheet of paper each time I do something now.  I write down what I add, when I have to add more, how much my dough weighs, how much the end product weighs, how many loaves it made and how big they are, comments, etc.


It would probably be better to transfer the recipe from monitor to paper so that you can scratch out numbers and make comments.  I have started a spreadsheet that helps me convert from volumes to metric weight and I still measure out volumes from time to time (especially on a new recipe that is given in volumes) and keep track of how much my measured volume ends up weighing.  That goes into my spreadsheet too so that I can adjust my conversion number.  Once I am done I have my spreadsheet calculate the Baker's Percentage for me and I write that on the page too.  I only want to mess with it once and then tinker with it using BP after that.  We'll see how it goes. 


This site is an incredible resource and a great group of people.  It would be difficult to find a nicer group of people trying to help others on the internet.  Every recipe I have tried has worked great and I have learned an incredible amount in a short amount of time (I had never really baked until about two weeks ago).


Dave


P.S. YMMV


P.P.S. First post! (my first post) :-)

Ford's picture
Ford

I agree that weighing the ingredients is the most accurate and, for me , the easiest way to measure the ingredients.  However there are few recipes that give weights of the ingredients in the US. Send me a request and I will email you a table that I have devised from several sources.  I do not guarentee the accuracy.


Ford


polymer@aol.com

cahuck's picture
cahuck

I find using a digital scale to be much easier than other measuring systems.


For recipe conversions my challenge is from cups etc... to weights!  Here's my conversion for that - http://joepastry.web.aplus.net/index.php?cat=60

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

That would be very helpful.  I know it probably won't be 100% accurate for everyone but one can use it as a reference point.  By the way, my 1 C of whole wheat flour weighs 5 oz. since I scoop it directly from the bag of flour.


friar120's picture
friar120

I took up Ford's offer to share his converstion table and will look into a scale.  I also need to take Dave's advice about writing things down as I am baking to assist my memory. 


    The other day I decided I wanted to make chololate chip cookies but came upon a banana bread recipe.  Since I had some ripening bananas I decided to make banana bread.  By the time I finished mixing the ingredients (forgetting I was making banana bread) I thought the batter was too thin for cookies and started dumping more flour into the mixer bowl.  I added the chocolate chips and Viola! I had horrible banana bread chocolate chip cookies!  We ate them but were glad when they were gone.  Do you think a scale would have helped????

LindyD's picture
LindyD

When I planned to start baking bread, I bought a good bread book. After I read it, I bought a scale.  


Only after using the scale could I bake chocolate chip cookies with any consistency. They were either too soft or too crisp.


I found the Toll House recipe in weights on the Cooking for Engineers website,  so I used that until "Cooks Illustrated" came out with their recipe in the June 2009 issue. That one is amazing.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

for Banana Tuna Fish Soufflé. It was a feature in his (tongue in cheek) proof of the non-existence of G*d.


Jay was a professor at Penn and, at the time of his death, at UNC. As an undergraduate, he authored "The Impoverished Student's Guide to Cookery and Drinkery," which is still in print (Reed College Alumni Association; distributed by Double Day, Garden City, N.Y) almost 45 years later.


David

SteveB's picture
SteveB

David, I did a cursory Google search for Rosenberg's "proof" but was unable to find anything.  Would you by any chance have a link?


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com


 


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hi, Steve.



Jay Rosenberg, Ph.D.


The reference is, for better or worse, "personal communication. ca. 1963." Jay wrote extensively on this question in books and articles, but I don't know if "The Banana Tuna Fish Soufflé proof" found its way into these publications.


Floyd or some one else more schooled in philosophy of religion than I will need to help here, but, as I recall, there is a well-known (albeit not to me) proof of the existence of G*d that cites all the good things in the world and posits that they could not exist without a G*d.


Jay's counter argument was that one should think of the worst thing possible. He proposed that that thing was a Banana Tuna Fish Soufflé. If such a thing could exist, then G*d could not.


David

LindyD's picture
LindyD

He still has his own website and e-mail.  


Perhaps he's maintaining it through the vast ethers of the ultimate cyberspace?

SteveB's picture
SteveB

David and LindyD, thanks for the info... some interesting reading on his website.


SteveB


http://www.breadcetera.com

friar120's picture
friar120

I am looking into getting a scale, but I live at 10,200 feet in Leadville, CO the highest incorporated town in North America.  I am almost at tree line of the Continental Divide.  I find when I follow a recipe with cups, tsp, etc. I usually have to add more water.  Will the scale be accurate at this altitude?  Do I have to compensate for the altitude?  


     I never thought of scooping flour out of the bag with the measuring cup a problem.  It makes sense that it would compact.  Thanks for the tip.  I am sure this might be part of my problem, besides the altitude.  Should I sift all my flour measurements or will spooning it in be sufficient?


Thanks, Sandi (friar120)

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Hi Sandi - great town, Leadville.


Sure the scale will be accurate.  Think of it this way:  if you weigh 120 pounds in Leadville, you're going to weigh 120 pounds in Denver (unless you walk and don't eat or drink during the journey).


I live at a much lower altitude and sometimes have to add more (or less) water to my flour because of variations in humidity.  I know there are some adjustments that have to be made for high altitude baking, but eight ounces of water is eight ounces of water, be it in Leadville or Kona.

niagaragirl's picture
niagaragirl

Sandi, When I did some weight testing for an upcoming blog post, the best results were just normal spooning into the cup, overfilling a bit, then leveling of the cup. The best cake bakers do this when teaching baking for the masses, like that guy John on the Martha Stewart PBS programs.As you can begin to see, the scale is easier ;-)


Sifting really only really warranted when you buy some of those "boutique flours" where you may have creatures or other foreign matter ;-) In that case, sift after measuring out the cup.


In using a scale, I have mixed up stuff in half the time, especially when it comes to larger batches. Imagine standing and spooning and leveling 20 cups of flour as opposed to dumping the stuff from the bag into the bowl on the scale.

Patf's picture
Patf

I have various recipe books which use measurements in cups or glasses or spoons, and I wonder which cups? A teacup or a coffeecup or perhaps a beaker? A wineglass or a tumbler? A soupspoon or a tablespoon? For this last one, there's a big difference between a french soupspoon and an english one. I believe there are such things as measuring cups and spoons on sale, but I've never seen them in shops. Perhaps online?


I have a reliable scale which weighs in grams and kilograms, and I know roughly the way to convert from pounds and ounces to metric, so that's how I do it , and forget about cups etc.

bobm1's picture
bobm1

there's just no substitue for a scale. i like to convert it all to grams. 1 oz = 28.35g (rounded up). lots of conversion help out there but weighing cups and spoons is a little less presice. different things absorb moisture at different rates and it varies from local to local and from day to day. as for the bakers percentage, i still do the calcs by hand to scale up or down. there is a good spreadsheet type calulator at theartisan.net and another at tadmitchell.com. i've tried them both but i don't have the patience to make them go right, so i still reach for a pencil. old dog.


hope you find them useful.


b

bobm1's picture
bobm1

it might bear mentioning that many dough formuli call for minute amount of yeast. less than a gram. my scale will not measure less than a gram so i rely on the spoon. RLB has described a pinch as + to 1/8t, a dash as 1/16t and a smidgen as 1/32t.


happy baking!