Balance Scale

Sometimes when people ask about culinary school, they’re like, “Jeez, I wish I could do that.”  So I’m going to shoot some videos this year and give you a look at Chef Jim’s demos.

This is a balance scale demonstration. It’s a delicate instrument used in professional bakeshops, and interesting to work with. Two things about weighing:

— Flour has to be weighed, not measured, because different batches are compressed to different degrees. My partner Amy and I found a 20 percent difference between scooped flour and sifted flour. Now, imagine a sack of flour that’s been thrown around boxcars and delivery vans a dozen times since it left Wisconsin. Really dense. So screw Fanny Farmer — weigh it, don’t measure it. If your recipe calls for measured flour, get a better recipe.

— A pint’s a pound the world around, as the Brits say. Water, milk, eggs and butter are the only four culinary substances that weigh the same as they measure. So do whatever’s easier.

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