Measuring flour - problems!

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by koukouvagia, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    So I'm making my Mom's recipe for kourambiedes, a greek holiday cookie.  The problem is my mother's way of measuring things is a little.... loosey goosey.  For example she measures the powdered sugar in saucer fulls.  That's right, saucer fulls.  How much sugar is that, I don't know.  Just stick a saucer in the sugar and whatever piles on is a saucer full.

    - 1lb butter at room temp

    - 1lb crisco at room temp

    - 10 cups of all-purpose flour (but not real cups, she uses whatever coffee or tea cup suits her).

    - 3 small coffee saucers of confectioners sugar (yup)

    - 3 egg yolks at room temp

    - plenty of almonds, roasted with a spoonful of butter

    - a little bit of vanilla extract

    - a pinch of baking soda dilluted in lemon juice

    No you must understand, my mom makes the best kourambiedes!  I have used this recipe a few years ago but I don't know how I got through it.  So here's my problem.  I need to double this recipe.  But I don't even know what I'm doubling.  Can I get 20 "cups" of sugar out of a 5lb bag of flour?   The recipe also adds that the flour should be sifted but I don't know, before I measure it or after?
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    The short answer, KK, is no.

    A real cup (i.e., 8 oz liquid) of granulated sugar comes in at 7.25 ounces. 20 of those is 145 ounces.

    Five pounds comes in at only 80 ounces (5 x 16). So you'd need two of them.

    However, a coffee cup is usually 5-6 ounces. So a 5-lb bag will still be slightly short.

    The recipe, however, calls for confectioner's sugar (which is why it's sifted, btw) which weighs less per given volume.

    That said, I think you're fingers ran ahead of your thoughts. Didn't you mean 20 cups of flour?

    There are several conversion figures used. But typically, a cup of flour is considered to be 4.5 ounces. So you'd need a five pound bag plus a couple of heaping cups to achieve your goal.

    It's not unusual, especially among older home cooks, to measure like that. Even not so old ones---see, for instance, Nigella Lawson. Although it's a real PITA, I have, in collecting recipes through the years, actually gone through the measuring process. Grandma uses a handful (or, to put a point on it, a saucer plate), and I stop her and measure how much that is.

    I don't do candy, or even much baking other than bread. But I suspect that precision is not one of the criteria in that sort of recipe. Close enough is close enough.
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Wow I can't believe I wrote that.  My problem is that I only have one bag of flour.  I also have a whole container of flour in my pantry but I can't remember if it's bread flour or not.  Can I use a cup of bread flour to make up the difference?
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    I don't see why not. You're diluting the higher protein with 19 cups of all purpose. So it's not going to make a real difference.
     
  5. siduri

    siduri

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    Koukou!!!  if you can use the single recipe, you can double it really easily!  JUST DO IT TWICE!!!!!  I'm lousy with math, but this works perfectly every time!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  6. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Update, the cookies came out fine.  I had to use a little bread flour to make up the difference but it didn't affect the cookies in a negative way.  Now what does one do with 8 batches of cookies?
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    One wraps them well, puts them in a box, and ships them to Kentucky for proper disposal.
     
  8. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Didn't you read my above post?  I said that they came out "fine."  Now would I send you anything if it was just fine?  I don't think so.  Besides, baking is not my thing, it doesn't represent me in anyway.  I'll send you some giouvetsi next time I make some lol, now that I make real good.
     
     
  9. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    Why did you double the recipe if you didn't plan on sharing?

    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

    mimi
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I did share.