When is a cup of flour not actually a cup of flour?
When you’re using a measuring cup. That’s because when you use cups and spoons to measure by volume, what you think is a precise amount often turns out to be anything but. A slew of factors—whether it’s the uneven clumping of sugar, the not-quite-level scoop of cornmeal or the erratically packed tangle of fresh herbs—can throw off a measurement, by some estimates as much as 50 percent. In baking, that discrepancy can mean the difference between a perfectly risen loaf of bread and a dense mess. That’s why at Milk Street we’re fans of digital kitchen scales; weighing ingredients is the best way to guarantee consistency.