Measuring tools are one of the most vital elements of the kitchen for a reason. The importance of measuring your ingredients is crucial to maintaining consistency, avoiding baking mistakes, and reducing the volume of preventable waste. In this article, we will go into detail about why measuring tools are imperative when baking, the effects different ingredients can have on your finished product and the value of using digital scales as opposed to their traditional counterparts. 

Why is using measuring tools important?

Measuring tools help to avoid preventable mistakes that can ruin the ratio of your entire mix. Measuring ingredients by weight is simply the best way to ensure consistency, both in the sense that your goods have a better chance of repeat success, and that the literal consistency of your mixes is vitally important. Certain batters should be runny, some should be thick, and if they’re not at the particular viscosity they should be, the likelihood is that your batch will fail. Slightly higher measurements of flour can make your batter dry, just as too much egg can make it too wet to hold. Measuring is the best way to prevent these eventualities. 

How do particular ingredients affect the mix?

Baking, at its core, is a science. Using too much of a singular ingredient can cause unexpected effects on your baked goods that could alter their texture, structure, or flavour. So, what is the point of the ingredients in your baked goods, and why are measuring tools necessary for each of them?

  • Egg

Eggs are a protein which helps to create a light, smooth, and even texture to your baked goods. They contribute to the structure and create a fudgier texture than your food would have without them. However, if you add too much egg to your confection, you may find it difficult to bite through, and the structure weak at best. 

  • Flour

Flour contains gluten that forms webs in your desserts and holds them together. Using too much flour can make your food tough, and cause things like cookies to adopt a more cakey texture than they’re meant to have. But using excessive amounts will completely dry out your mixture and make it difficult to correct. Adding water to counteract the dryness of the flour is a dangerous game, as you may end up throwing off the recipe completely.  

  • Fat

The only reason why anything tastes so good is that it has an excessive amount of fat in it. Butter, lard, and coconut oil are commonly used in desserts to carry flavour and fluffiness, but if you use too much, grease will practically ooze from them and alter the flavour for the worst. 

  • Salt

This one is relatively obvious and doesn’t involve a lot of science. If you add too much salt to your food, it becomes salty and overpowers the other flavours that you actually want to be able to taste. Salt should not be discernable in a recipe, it is simply meant to enhance. 

  • Sugar

Excess sugar doesn’t just make everything too sweet, it can interfere with the cake structure, weaken it, and cause it to collapse. The sugar crystals combine with the proteins in the flour and eggs and reduce their bond adhesion, which is one of the baking mistakes that are very hard to correct. 

  • Liquids

Liquids are added to the confectionary to carry flavour throughout and prevent the dough or mix from drying out. Using too much will oversaturate the starch in your flour, make the mixture runny, and cause your product to flatten. 

  • Vanilla extract

Vanilla extract contains alcohol which can be very overpowering, ruin the flavour of your confection and leave a bad aftertaste. The importance of measuring is very evident here, as alcoholic cakes have an entire guide of their own, which doesn’t cover over measuring vanilla extract. 

  • Baking Soda

Baking soda creates bubbles in your desserts, which causes them to rise. But if you use too much, too many bubbles will be produced and your cakes will sink, over-brown, and even generate a soapy flavour. Baking soda is high in sodium, which can cause illness when ingested in high quantities. So, it's important to use measuring tools to get this right. 

Traditional vs. Digital Scales

Traditional measuring tools, by default, are far less accurate than digital methods. Digital scales are one of the best tools you can use to ensure accurate measurements and keep your desserts on the right track. In traditional scales, otherwise known as analog weighing scales, the measurement of weight depends on the condition of the spring inside. Over time, the spring will become less responsive or even begin to deteriorate, which will greatly interfere with the accuracy of the values it presents. Digital scales don’t have this problem. Occasionally they’ll need a new battery, but they’ll always give you accurate results. 

We hope that this article has enlightened you about the importance of measuring your ingredients while baking goods and that you now have a more comprehensive understanding of the science behind the required ingredients. 

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