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    Oct 25, 2018

    I Didn't Realize How Great Baking Could Be Until I Got A Kitchen Scale

    Measuring cups? Haven't heard that name in years.

    I really love baking, but sometimes, the feeling does not appear to be mutual.

    Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

    I always read the instructions no less than five times and meticulously measure out every ingredient, but because baking is an actual science that I have yet to master (much like high school science), I end up with too-puffy cookies, dense cakes, and brownies that are overcooked on the outside and raw on the inside.

    The reason for a lot of this, I recently learned, is because I've been measuring ingredients by volume, instead of mass.

    Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash

    AKA, I'm using measuring cups and spoons instead of a kitchen scale. Apparently, the problem with measuring by mass is that it's not as consistent as you'd think — for instance, when you need a cup of flour, doing things like spooning it into the measuring cup or leveling off the top makes every cup have a slightly different amount. And with baking, that makes a huge difference.

    So many reputable bakers and cooks swear by kitchen scales! I needed to see what the fuss was all about, so I gave in. Reader, I got a kitchen scale.

    Goodful / Macy's / Via macys.com

    I decided to test out my nifty new gadget with banana bread, just like Meghan Markle would. I used this recipe from the Kitchn and then added in a teaspoon of minced ginger (Meghan's secret ingredient), as advised by my baking whiz coworker Jesse.

    The most satisfying aspect of using a kitchen scale is how much cleaner it makes the whole baking process.

    Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

    There were no measuring cups involved in my banana bread-making. None! I just poured dry ingredients directly into the mixing bowl until everything weighed the right amount. I only had one bowl to clean at the end, in addition to a spatula and a whisk. Can you imagine?! I have a teeny-tiny kitchen with no dishwasher, so the fact that the scale is so space- and dish-efficient is an actual lifesaver. Plus, I will never be mad about using less water to clean up when I'm done.

    As I'd hoped, the scale also ensured that all of my ingredients were measured precisely, which made me feel like a god dang Great British Bake Off star baker.

    Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

    Zeroing out the weight of the bowl was a cinch, and kind of felt like a magic trick. As hesitant as I am to do extra math, it ended up being NBD. I wrote out the cup to gram amounts I needed in advance, and then let the scale do all of the addition for me. Knowing I was getting the exact amount of flour and sugar I needed made me relax so much while I was baking. I was so much more confident that my bread would turn out not just good, but dare I say, better than the Duchess of Sussex's?!

    And any worries I had about converting my ingredients from cups to grams were eased by the helpful diagrams etched onto the scale.

    Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

    The scale tells you conversions between quarts, pints, cups, ounces...the list goes on. It also has conversions for butter, as well as how long to boil an egg so it'll be soft, ramen-style, or hard. How nice!

    Thanks to a combination of the kitchen scale and the fact that I was channeling Meghan Markle, my banana bread turned out perfectly.

    Terri Pous / BuzzFeed

    Literally perfectly! Golden-brown top, moist middle, fluffy-yet-dense texture, and a mouthwatering flavor combination of banana, chocolate chips, and ginger. Usually, I sheepishly present my bake and apologize for all of its failings, but this one had none. I was all set to bring it into my office to show off my skills, but I promptly got sick (unrelated to the bread) and spent the next few days sustaining myself on this bread. My unbiased judging panel of one unanimously agreed that it was really good banana bread.

    I've got a long fall and winter ahead of me with many plans for baking warm, cozy treats, and now I feel so much more confident that they'll actually turn out how they're supposed to. Kitchen scales FTW!

    Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

    Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful collection exclusively on Macy's for $24.99 (on sale from $35.99).