|Liquid measuring cup on left, dry on right. Get a scale for baking.|
The current issue of Cooks Illustrated Magazine has an interesting test of the accuracy of liquid versus dry measuring cups. When measuring flour, the dry measuring cup was up to 13% off when compared to a scale. The liquid measuring cup was even worse–26% off. When baking bread, even 13% could be the difference between a decent loaf and a hockey puck.
Surprisingly, measuring water wasn’t much better, even with the liquid cup, which was 10% off. The dry measuring cup was 23% off when measuring water. I’ve always felt a bit silly scaling water, but now I can see its importance.
For bread baking, I’ve been using an electronic scale for many years now and have had reasonably consistent results. Scaling helps me be consistent. Now if only our kitchen didn’t swing between broiling hot and drafty…