Homestead Hack: Using Old Buttons As Baking Measurement Reminders

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

When baking bread I’d often stop and ask myself “Was that 4 cups of flour or 5 that I just dumped into the bowl?” But NO MORE! Check out this simple measurement reminder Homestead Hack.

Homestead Hack: Keeping track of recipe ingredient measurements using black and white buttons. #TexasHomesteader

Keeping Track When Doubling A Recipe

I’m a shoot-from-the-hip kinda girl in the kitchen. Cooking is not my favorite activity so it’s not unusual for me to double (or more) a recipe I’m making to get more done in less time.

I started using today’s Homestead Hack waaaaay back when my children were young. It seems they were constantly coming into the kitchen breaking my concentration while I was baking. 

You too? Well check out this Homestead Hack for easy ways to keep track of your cooking measurements.

Doubling A Homemade Bread Recipe

As a matter of routine I typically bake all of my handsome RancherMan’s bread. His favorite is Sandwich Bread and I bake it for him fresh several times each week.

That’s because for years I struggled baking up bread with a fluffy texture. But I’ve FINALLY been able to nail down a Homemade Bread Recipe that resulted in a light fluffy loaf every time.

How I track ingredients when doubling a bread recipe. #TexasHomesteader

NOTE: You can see All My Favorite Bread Recipes Here!

Since I make bread so often I have come up with some Bread-Making Shortcuts. It assures my time in the kitchen is shorter since I’m not starting out from scratch each & every time.

One of the shortcuts involves calculating & amending my 2-loaf recipe to make three loaves since my oven will hold 3 loaf pans at one time.

I mean, I’ve already pulled all my ingredients, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowls, etc. And I’ve already fired up the oven – let’s fill that bad boy up & bake as many as it’ll hold!

Confusion When Doubling A Recipe

But y’all know how confusing it can be when you’re changing a recipe. You’re concentrating on the ingredients and calculating in your head how much more you’ll need to add.

Sometimes you’re so focused that you end up wondering how many cups you’ve already added to that bowl. 

It's sometimes hard to remember how many measures you've included when you're doubling the recipe. I have a trick for remembering. #TexasHomesteader

When measuring and adding ingredients I used to often stop midway through and ask myself “Was that 4 cups of flour or 5 that I’ve already dumped into the bowl?” Ugh. The wrong measure of ingredients can mess up a recipe fast, y’all.

Simple Way To Track Ingredient Measurements

So now when I’m baking (and especially when I’m changing a recipe) I use this handy hack to track ingredient measurements.

I’ll bring out a small vintage glass dish that I keep nearby containing a few of my grandmother’s old buttons. Those buttons will help me with my recipe.

For making my multi-batch bread for instance, I’ll pick from that small cup 7 large black buttons and one smaller white one (for the 1/2 cup).

Black & white buttons for easy baking measurement reminders when doubling a recipe. #TexasHomesteader

When I dump a cup of flour into the bowl I slide one of the large black buttons aside. I simply repeat until they’re all moved. Then I measure & add my 1/2 cup and move the white button.

Heck, using this Homestead Hack I don’t even have to keep count. I can carry on a conversation with RancherMan while I’m measuring and not worry about tracking the individual cups measured. When all the buttons are moved, I’m done!

I use the same procedure whether I’m measuring cups of flour or tablespoos of brown sugar. When I get to the next ingredient I simply pull the number of buttons corresponding to the number of cups, tablespoons or teaspoons.

When all my ingredients are measured the buttons are just wiped off and placed back into their pretty glass container. They stand ready to use next time!

This Homestead Hack cooking reminder has served me well for many years. And it’s probably saved more recipes from disaster than I can count!

I also love that my beloved grandmother still has a hand in my baking. Proof that those whom you love are never truly gone.

I'd often stop and ask myself "Was that 4 cups or 5 that I just dumped into the bowl?" But NO MORE! Check out this Homestead Hack to track ingredients. #TexasHomesteader


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14 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Using Old Buttons As Baking Measurement Reminders

  1. Brenda

    I’ve always used a pinch of flour on a clear part of y work area, then use that to flour board when I start kneading. Didnt realise it wasn’t just me!

  2. Greg Hill

    Since My wife doesn’t cook at all, and I do all the baking, which I like to do when I have time. I think this is a great Idea. I get sometimers during baking and have forgot how many cups did I put in the bowl before.
    This will help but I don’t have any of my grandmothers buttons. I like the idea that your grandma is still involved in your life .
    Nice little hack ~TxH~
    PS… Just for fun … when I was 23 years old many years ago …lol I ran the Largest Dunkin Doughnuts in the world at the time which was in Anchorage, Alaska on Northern Lights Boulevard. I made 160 lbs of dough which produced about 250 dozen doughnuts in my 12 hr shift 6 days a week. I’t wasn’t really that fun… lol

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’d think you could use any small item as a reminder – maybe those flat glass marbles that are so popular these days or even flat pebbles? I know when the kids were young, me being in the kitchen must have been code for: “Go talk to mom about the month-long school project due first thing in the morning”! LOL It’s not quite so bad now that the kids are grown & out on their own, but there are still phone/text interruptions or RancherMan interruptions, so it’s still handy for me to use this hack. And 250 DOZEN doughnuts per shift? (faints) Wow! ~TxH~

  3. Karen

    What a great idea to keep track of how many cups you have used, but the added benefit is that every time you use your Grandma’s button you can think of her. Love it. Thanks for sharing on Let’s Get Real Link Party.

  4. Lisa from Iroquois

    I am not quite so organized but when things are hectic I grab anything on hand to hold the count. Spoons or raisins that are supposed to go in the recipe both work too.

  5. Munchkintime

    Oh this is so me, specially when I am cooking with my girls! Thank you for this awesome tip!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      When my little ones were in elementary school and wanted to help mommy in the kitchen, I also used these buttons as real-life math lessons. “Ok sweetie, we have 6 buttons but we need to use 3 of them to help us measure the flour. How many is 6 buttons minus 3 buttons?” Then we had buttons doing double duty!! ~TxH~

  6. ColleenB.~Texas

    Clever idea Tammy.
    I normally set out all my ingredients on the counter (except refrigerated items that is) the night before with my flour, sugar, etc. all premeasured and put in covered containers so when next day comes, everything is already set out and ready to start baking / cooking.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      It’s sure helped me Colleen, especially when the kids were young and still living at home. It seems I’d be in the middle of measuring the flour and one of the kids would come into the kitchen & start a conversation about an assignment they needed a poster board for… TOMORROW! LOL. This method has saved more recipes than I can count over the years! ~TxH~

  7. Carla

    What a great idea! Thank you for sharing it! I have fibromyalgia, and often struggle with ‘fibro-fog’ – I have to tell you, it can REALLY mess with your head, and make you forget stuff like this. The more mundane a thing is, the more likely I am to forget, because even without the fibro, I’d get careless, or interrupted, or oh look! A thingy! This just might save quite a few meals for me, too. Thank you!

  8. Patty

    I’m glad I am not the only one who can’t remember what i just did. I usually just dump things in a separate bowl and try to ignore the interruptions but that isn’t always possible. I think I will get my buttons out. Thanks.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Sometimes it’s better safe than sorry Patty. I tried measuring into a separate bowl and dumping into a larger bowl to combine ingredients, but I found myself re-measuring the ingredient I was measuring out way too often. But then again I think I’m very easily distracted. HA! ~TxH~

    2. Brenda

      Thanks for the tip..

      I have a tip for you that I use myself …if you make bread regularly I make up bags for each loaf so I’m not pulling out the flour, sugar, powdered milk and salt every time I need to make my loaf of saves time , cleanup and is quick..HTH..

      1. Texas Homesteader Post author

        Yessum Brenda – my oven holds 3 loaf pans at a time so I have what I’ve termed a ‘Bread-Starter Kit” that has a few containers of combined ingredients for a 3-loaf baking session. As you mentioned, it really does save both time and cleanup! ~TxH~


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