Homemade Bread Shortcut: Faster Ingredient Measuring

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Recently I learned that bread machines have apparently changed for the better. Now I find I really love the convenience.

So I tweaked RancherMan’s favorite Honey/Oatmeal Sandwich Bread recipe to make a 2-Lb Loaf for a Bread Machine. I use that bread machine to whip up hot, fresh homemade bread for him several times a week.

Since I’m baking bread so often I went looking for ways to shorten my bread-baking tasks. Let me tell ya, whether using a bread machine or mixing & baking it up the old fashioned way, these shortcuts make homemade bread a breeze!

I've made my own bread machine packets to simplify bread-baking day. My own, inexpensive convenience item made in a flash. #TexasHomesteader

Properly Measuring Flour

To measure flour properly for bread you need to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then scrape the excess away with the flat edge of a butter knife. 

If you just scoop the flour out it will be compacted. That means you’ll end up with way too much flour, resulting in a dense, heavy loaf that  won’t rise correctly. 

So although spooning in the flour is the proper way to measure it for bread, it takes so much more time when you’re measuring several cups for a recipe.

Weighing The Flour Instead

But weighing the flour instead of measuring is SO much faster! So I measured & weighed the amount of each of the flours for my recipe. Then I made notes of those weights to go with the actual measurements on my recipe card.

Now I simply tare the weight of an empty container on my kitchen scale and start pouring in the flour until it weighs what I’ve noted in my recipe. FAST!

NOTE: I’ve heard that the weight of your flour could vary based on type, and even the humidity in your area. Although this is probably only an estimate, here’s a link from King Arthur Flour that gives estimated weights of a cup of flour.

For me, I just layer up the jar like this:

  • 2 tsp dry yeast in the bottom of each jar.
  • Then place the jar on the scale and tare it to ‘0’ weight.
  • Add all-purpose flour until the scale reaches 1 lb .07 oz
  • Place jar on hot pad and tamp down just a bit to compact ingredients.
  • Add 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • Put jar back on scale and tare to ‘0’ weight.
  • Add Oat Flour until scale shows 2 oz.
  • Remove the jar, put a lid on top and store it in the pantry until it’s ready to use!
  • But remember, your weight could vary a bit. This is based on the weather conditions in our home in NE Texas. Your humidity, etc. in Arizona might be different.

So do this:

Measure your dry ingredients one by one. Then after each dry ingredient is measured, put an empty container on the scale and tare to ‘0’ weight. Then pour in that dry ingredient and document the weight on your recipe card.

Repeat until you get all your ingredients weighed and documented. From now on your measuring will go lightening fast!

Pre-Measured Dry Ingredients Ready To Go

Since measuring out the dry ingredients is now so fast, I’ve pre-mixed several batches of the bread’s dry ingredients at one time. Using the weighing shortcut I can make up several bread ingredient packets in just minutes.

Although I’d prefer to store this mix in glass jars, the volume just doesn’t quite fit into even the quart jars I have. But I figured at least I’ll be able to reuse these small baggies for years.

Then I discovered that the wide mouth quart size gives me just a little more room. It works beautifully!

They’re my own inexpensive convenience mix!

Bread baking shortcut - premeasure dry ingredients by weight and layer into canning jars #TexasHomesteader

Weighing The Wet Ingredients Too!

Since my dry ingredients are already measured up & waiting for me, all I need to do is add the wet ingredients on bread-baking day. For my bread that means milk, water, honey and a touch of Bacon Grease

Since weighing the dry ingredients worked out so well, I now measure and weigh the wet ingredients too! The ounces have been noted on my recipe card next to the actual measurements. NOW baking bread is about to be done at lightening speed!

Bread-Baking Day – SIMPLIFIED!

On bread-baking day I bring out the pan that goes into my bread machine. I place it on my scale and tare the weight to zero. Then I pour in the milk until it reaches the ounces noted on my recipe.

After the milk is added I tare the new weight back to zero and pour in the water until it reaches the ounces noted on my recipe. I repeat these steps with the honey and bacon grease too. No measuring cups to dirty up. No measuring spoons with sticky honey to clean. It’s all added directly into the baking pan!

So on bread-baking day I just bring out my bread machine’s pan and add in (by weight) the wet ingredients. Then I top with my dry ingredients & place the pan into the bread machine. Now I simply push a button & walk away!

Work smarter, not harder…

~TxH~

Other Favorite Breads

All Bread Posts

 

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4 thoughts on “Homemade Bread Shortcut: Faster Ingredient Measuring

  1. candace ford

    I would have expected nothing else from you and certainly didn’t mean to impugn your commitment to walking softly on this earth. We don’t have Aldi where we shop/live and we do a lot of out shopping at a big store – Winco. I have to clamp my hand over my mouth when I see folks use a new bag off the store dispensers for things like a single avocado or a couple of oranges. I did mention to a young man in the grocery line as we were both bagging our things – that the brown bags I’m using were probably older than he. Of course he looked at me like I was a crazy old dingbat lady who might even be dangerous if she weren’t so short.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      OMGoodness Candace, you paint quite the picture. Thanks for the chuckle this morning. 🙂 I love Winco. There’s not one close to us but when our errands run us that direction I make a list and make sure to stop in. It’s the closest thing we have to an actual bulk store anywhere within 60 miles. I’m currently trying to find the big gallon-sized mustard since I hate those tiny plastic squeezy bottles. At least a gallon size uses less plastic. I used to be able to find it in WalMart but no luck. Costco sold larger squeeze bottles shrink-wrapped together (certainly not gonna help my plastic-reduction requirement) So I checked Sam’s and didn’t find it there either. So instead I’ll pick up dry mustard or mustard seed at the bulk bins in Winco next time we’re out that way & attempt to make mustard myself. It looks like it’s easy to do, we’ll see! ~TxH~

      Reply
  2. candace ford

    Question – Do you reuse those plastic bags? As I work to cut down on the amount of plastic I add to the horrendous plastic crisis in the world both on land and, maybe worse, at sea – I attempt to reuse plastic bags – many times. There is almost NO SUCH THING as a once used plastic bag in our lives. Nor do I buy anything in plastic that can’t be recycled. It took a bit of practice to get into the habit of rinsing bags and drying them but I manage to do it. I’m using brown paper grocery bags – saved, double and triple bagged and now with taped up corners – brown paper bags that have been with me for many years. In the kitchen for the (tiny) little trash can I use the cracker box liners or cereal box liners or bread wrappers.
    Something I recently read – a plastic bottle can only be turned into another plastic bottle once (unlike paper or metal that can be turned into more paper and metal numerous times) and then it has to be turned into something else. I am grateful that there are many people and some municipalities (if you can trust what they say) who attempt to curb the plastic use in their worlds.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Of course I reuse the plastic bags Candace. In this case probably repeatedly every week or so for several years. That’s why I wrote the ingredients in permanent marker on the front. If I had jars big enough the mix would probably be in those instead, but #UseWhatchaGot is my motto. Although I think plastic has its place, I typically avoid it as much as possible. Soft plastics aren’t recycled where I live so I shun them as much as possible. Now I’m making my own bread & tortillas for RancherMan to further cut down on plastic-lined purchases. I typically buy food in bulk whenever possible, and use my fabric produce bags for bulk popcorn, etc. Anything entombed in plastic is sidestepped. (I love Aldi but what in the world is their love of plastic in their produce section??) But as I said, plastic does have its place. Most plastic freezer bags are washed & reused and I have a whole box of various sizes of reused ziplocks in my cabinet. I shoot for moderation in all things. But with plastic – I push back pretty hard. LOL ~TxH~

      Reply

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