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  • FIRST POST
    • i wanna save money!
    • By i wanna save money! 24th May 06, 1:19 PM
    • 1,700Posts
    • 8,813Thanks
    i wanna save money!
    Cooking without scales
    • #1
    • 24th May 06, 1:19 PM
    Cooking without scales 24th May 06 at 1:19 PM
    Hiya - i want to make meat and potato pie for tea but have no scales. Does anyone have any other ways to measure ingredients out? I remember at school the teacher used to say a heaped tablespoon of flour is an ounce ( or something like that) any tips please?

    Thanks
Page 1
  • ChocClare
    • #2
    • 24th May 06, 1:38 PM
    • #2
    • 24th May 06, 1:38 PM
    There's some measurements on this website if that helps: http://www.wwrecipes.com/convert.htm
  • troll35
    • #3
    • 24th May 06, 1:44 PM
    • #3
    • 24th May 06, 1:44 PM
    Your teacher was right. I often measure by sight and you get used to the texture. If you haven't used enough flour the mixture will be really claggy/lumpy/sticky when you have rubbed the fat and flour together and the resultant pastry will be quite heavy. If you use too much flour the the rubbed together mixture will be quite fine in texture. The resultant pastry will be quite short/crumbly/flaky (can't think of the right word but you might be able to picture it).
    I would suggest underestimating the flour and then adding more as you rub it in until you get the texture right.
    I like to live in cloud cuckoo land
  • the_skint_minx
    • #4
    • 24th May 06, 1:56 PM
    • #4
    • 24th May 06, 1:56 PM
    Pastry is surprisingly forgiving and you've got more leeway than you think.

    The basic rule is half the amount of fat to flour - so 8oz of flour to 4oz fat. You can increase the amount of fat if you want richer pastry - in fact the super-rich mince pie pastry I make at xmas has equal amounts of butter to flour.

    So take a rough guess and experiment - use a cup to measure out the rough quantities. Once you've rubbed the mixture together you can always rub in more flour if it's too fatty.

    Add water a tiny amount at a time (my grandma said a teaspoon at a time but that takes ages) until it's bound together.

    If you end up with too much pastry, you can freeze it raw too.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Learn from the mistakes of others - you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • withalj
    • By withalj 24th May 06, 1:59 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    withalj
    • #5
    • 24th May 06, 1:59 PM
    • #5
    • 24th May 06, 1:59 PM
    Yes, a heaped tablespoon of flour is an ounce, and a cubic inch of butter is an ounce. You need roughly twice as much flour as butter (or whatever fat you're using).

    A really useful tip that I got from a Delia Smith book and that really works is that an easy way to make flaky pastry is to freeze the butter and then grate it into the flour.

    Hope it helps.
  • FTB83
    • #6
    • 24th May 06, 2:41 PM
    • #6
    • 24th May 06, 2:41 PM
    There's some measurements on this website if that helps: http://www.wwrecipes.com/convert.htm
    by ChocClare

    Awesome, thanks so much for this! I have just moved into my first house and scales are on my list of things to buy, but not got around to it yet. Anyway, I've been wanting to bake a cake for yonks (sometimes this cravings just take me by surprise!) but had no idea of weights etc. This conversion site is absolutely perfect!

    Thanks also i wanna save money! for such a useful question, didn't even think to ask!

    FTB83
  • kittiwoz
    • #7
    • 24th May 06, 4:59 PM
    • #7
    • 24th May 06, 4:59 PM
    As others have said you need twice as much butter as flour but you need to bear in mind when measuring by volume that butter is approximately twice as dense as flour so you need 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter etc.

    You'd have to really heap the spoon to get an oz of flour on a tblsp I think. A tbsp is a 15ml and 30g is approximately 1oz so a rounded tbsp of butter is about 1 oz (similar density to water) and two rounded tablespoons of flour (about half the density) is approximately 1oz flour.
    • ariba10
    • By ariba10 24th May 06, 5:06 PM
    • 5,059 Posts
    • 5,379 Thanks
    ariba10
    • #8
    • 24th May 06, 5:06 PM
    • #8
    • 24th May 06, 5:06 PM
    You can use the system used in our colonies (America, Australia and New Zealand) --------- Cups.
    I used to be indecisive but now I am not sure.
  • troll35
    • #9
    • 24th May 06, 8:59 PM
    • #9
    • 24th May 06, 8:59 PM
    When I was at uni I cooked all sorts of cakes etc using an empty yoghurt pot as my basic measure as I didn't have any scales. If it didn't work out quite right I threw lots of custard over it:-)
    I like to live in cloud cuckoo land
    • ClaireLR
    • By ClaireLR 6th May 07, 11:31 AM
    • 1,643 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    ClaireLR
    Want to make a cake but don't have any scales - HELP!
    Hi,

    I have some bananas (4) to use up today before they go off. I was planning on making a cake but then I realised I don't have any scales to weigh my ingredients on!!

    I normally make yoghurt cake and use the empty yoghurt tub to weigh out my other ingredients. I was wondering if anyone knows of a similar recipe to make banana cake or other banana recipe where you use a teacup or similar to measure out ingredients?? I have most other ingredients i.e SR flour (but no plain unfortunately) sugar butter dried fruit etc.

    Any ideas anyone please??

    And also if you have any idea where to buy scales from reasonably cheap I be grateful for that too!!
    Sometimes you have to go through
    the rain to get to the
    rainbow

  • cotsvale
    Can't help with that but did you know you can freeze bananas and that they are ok to cook with when you defrost them - they look brown but it saves them going to waste if you don't have time to cook. ....
    Some measuring jugs have ounces on them for dry ingredients - mine does but I've never used it.
    • ClaireLR
    • By ClaireLR 6th May 07, 11:49 AM
    • 1,643 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    ClaireLR
    Just checked my measuring jug, it does have fluid ounces on it, would that be the same thing??
    Sometimes you have to go through
    the rain to get to the
    rainbow

    • Pollybear
    • By Pollybear 6th May 07, 11:49 AM
    • 2,999 Posts
    • 56,434 Thanks
    Pollybear
    This thread might help with measurements :

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=248757&highlight=using+cups+to+m easure
    • Pollybear
    • By Pollybear 6th May 07, 11:51 AM
    • 2,999 Posts
    • 56,434 Thanks
    Pollybear
    Argos prices for scales start at £2.99:

    http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?perPage=10&storeId=10001&catalogId=10651&la ngId=-1&currPage=1&searchTerms=KITCHEN+SCALES&searchScop e=458&searchType=&viewType=seeAll&maxResults=21&fl trCatIds_0=50160&catId_0=50160&catName_0=Kitchen+a nd+laundry&catHits_0=21&catId_1=50116&catName_1=Ba throom+and+personal+care&catHits_1=2&sortBy_1=3276 8&x=9&y=11
    • ClaireLR
    • By ClaireLR 6th May 07, 11:56 AM
    • 1,643 Posts
    • 1,116 Thanks
    ClaireLR
    Wow thanks Pollybear! I found a really helpful conversion table on the link that should help me, maybe I won't even buy the scales!
    Sometimes you have to go through
    the rain to get to the
    rainbow

  • Melissa177
    Ooh, you have everything you need to make my favourite banana bread - and I never use scales.

    You need:

    Mashed bananas (About 3)
    A large tablespoon of butter (about an ounce)
    7 heaped tablespoons of flour (a tablespoon is about an oz)
    5 tablespoons of sugar (dark brown sugar is very nice if you have it, or half and half dark sugar/white sugar)
    An egg
    dried fruit -a couple of handfuls.

    Mash banana, melt butter in the microwave, and mix banana, sugar, butter and egg all together. Add the dried fruit also.

    Fold in the 7 tablespoons of flour. The mixture should be very thick at this point, so I like to add a splash of milk. It still should be thick, but not runny.

    Pour into a bread loaf tin, and bake at gas mark 7 for about 10 mins, and turn down to about gas mark 4 for another thirty mins. You can put tinfoil over the top to stop it burning.

    Test that it has cooked through by sticking a skewer in to make sure it has cooked inside.

    Once cooked, allow to cool and cut into slices. A little butter on it is very nice, but it will be moist already because of the banana.


    I used to make this as a student when I had no scales - it's a great hangover cure, and it's very cheap to make, especially with old bananas!
    Errors of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Jefferson
  • Rossy2692
    Cupcakes without scales
    Afternoon everyone,

    My scales have packed up on me and i would like to make some cupcakes this afternoon. Is there a way I can make them using any other method?

    Thanks in advance
    • squeaky
    • By squeaky 26th Aug 07, 6:18 PM
    • 13,811 Posts
    • 15,845 Thanks
    squeaky
    If you google for cupcakes I'm sure that you will be pointed at any number of American sites.

    American recipes work by volume (in cups) not by weight.

    If you don't have proper cup measures...

    1 cup = 240ml in a measuring jug

    So any measuring jug you have will do - just fill it to the level required with the ingredient concerned.

    The second recipe here should point you in the right direction:-

    http://cupcakeblog.com/?p=70

    (makes 24 - 28 cup cakes)
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    • annie-c
    • By annie-c 26th Aug 07, 6:29 PM
    • 2,518 Posts
    • 3,130 Thanks
    annie-c
    A rounded tablespoon is approx 1 oz. My mum taught me to bake a basic sponge mix (ideal for fairy cakes), using 2 eggs, 4 oz butter : use markings on packet to guesstimate), 4 rounded tablespoons SR flour. 4 level-rounded tablespoons sugar.

    A tablespoon = 30ml -the nearest you'll have is a serving spoon probably? Rounded means the spoon should be heaped to the same degree on top as the curve of the spoon on the bottom.

    Good luck.. you can't go far wrong with fairy cakes...xx If the mix is a bit dry add a little milk. If too wet add a little extra flour. Enjoy xx
    Last edited by annie-c; 26-08-2007 at 6:31 PM.
  • annie123
    eek! my kitchen scales have broken and I'm cooking
    how much in say, tablespoons is 1 oz of flour? and 1oz of butter?

    doesnt have to be in spoons all I could think of quickly:confused:
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