I have been totally frustrated with recipes that use volume measurements instead of weight measurements. Not only are they difficult to replicate, but they are inaccurate as everyone uses different methods to fill their measuring cups, yielding wild swings in weight measures of the same cup of flour.
Case in point: the King Arthur Flour site tends to avoid providing weight measurements for their bread recipes and instead provides a tutorial on how to measure flour. They preach the virtues of their "sift, spoon and sweep" method, as opposed to the faster and certainly less messy "dip and sweep" method. The fact they have actually named these methods is almost as absurd as the video they produced to demonstrate their method of measuring flour, that they believe consistently results in 4 1/4 oz per cup by weight. Clearly, the discrepancy between different techniques for loading a cup with flour will create very different weight measurements. I am pleased, however, to see that the King Arthur site now provides three options for many of their bread recipes: volume, oz or grams.
I have found a site produced by Jenna Huntsberger called the Modern Domestic who created a handy chart that converts common baking ingredients from volume to weights based on research she did from 4 separate books, three of which were written by Rose Levy Beranbaum (The Cake Bible, The Bread Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes) as the other written by Francis T. Lynch - The Book of Yields. You can find the posting here and a pdf version of the chart here.
I did go back and try the spoon and sweep (very messy) method with my bread flour and came up with 138 grams, which is 8 grams over the 130 grams listed in the chart. I do know that I have weighed a cup of my bread flour in the past using the dip and sweep method and have come up with anywhere between 170 and 180 grams, which is way over the 157 grams listed in the chart.
The only thing I can conclude from this review is that once you find a recipe that works for you when baking, make sure you keep notes of the the weights you use so you can replicate it in the future as cup measurements are totally unreliable. This is extremely critical when working with sourdoughs as I have found that slight variations in hydration rates can really impact the rise, crust and crumb of the final product.
Hope you find the chart helpful.
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