Over the weekend I made a recipe I tore from the recent issue of Saveur. I don’t use many recipes but I’ve been looking for a flavorful, soft, comforting roll to make and this one enticed.
Maddeningly though, it called for 5 cups of flour. Normally when I make bread, I set the mixing bowl on the scale and pour in whatever weight I want. But here I found myself scooping out cups, scraping off the top, flour drifting over the counter and cutting board. But more than the mess, was the variable amount: given that flour can weigh 4 ounces a cup or as much as 6 ounces, I didn’t know if I had 20 ounces of flour or 30 ounces—a 50% difference. According to the standard bread ratio, if it were the former, I’d have needed 1-½ cups of water, if the latter, 2-¼ cups of water. This particular dough turned out to be unusually stiff, and because the recipe didn't give me the flour by weight, I had no idea if this were what the author had intended.
It's a predicament caused by the fact that most home kitchens don’t have scales so almost all recipes involving flour give volume measurements. To aid me in my quest to get a scale into more American kitchens, my friends at Opensky Project are offering three scales for $1.99. Go to the Opensky scale promotion page to enter; Opensky will choose the winners at random. I own several scales and this EatSmart scale, pictured above, is what I use most because its size is so convenient, it has a tare button, and measures in grams and ounces. Everyone who enters the drawing for the $1.99 scale will get a 10% off coupon, so even if you aren't chosen you can still buy it for a great price, one of the most important and useful kitchen tools you can own.
Tonight, I'm roasting a leg of lamb and I’m going to remake those rolls using my scale. Will post later in the week—it’s a promising recipe! Will be even better when it comes with weights!