Properly Converting Weights And Measures In Recipe Expansion Or Reduction

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Does this sound confusing? Don’t run away just yet! It’s really simple.

Have you ever found a recipe that sounded great and you really wanted to try it, only the yield of the recipe served either more or less than you needed? I’m sure we have all come across this challenge. Sometimes we figure that it’s no big deal, I’ll eyeball it, or just estimate the measurements. This doesn’t usually work out as well as we expect. Especially when you are baking, it is important to use the correct measurements. Too much salt, too little baking soda for example can ruin a recipe. This is not only disappointing but can be costly if you have to start over with new ingredients.

There is a simple way to calculate a different yield for a recipe. You only have to calculate it once, just remember to write down the results and keep them with the original recipe so you have it in the future.

The first thing you need to do is calculate your conversion factor. To do this, you simply take the yield(servings) desired for your recipe, and divide it by the current yield of the recipe you are following. The result will be your conversion factor.

Yield Desired/Current Yield=Conversion Factor

If for example your current recipe makes 2 portions and you want to make 10 portions, the formula would be as follows:

10/2=5

So, 5 would be your conversion factor. To produce 10 portions, you simply multiply each ingredient in the recipe by 5 to arrive at the required amount of that ingredient. Below is an example of a three-ingredient recipe.

Ingredient         Original Amount        Conversion Factor       New Amount

A                                   2 lb.                                      5                            10 lb.

B                                   1 c.                                        5                              5 c.

C                                   1 tsp                                      5                              5 tsp

Once you get the formula down it’s really easy. Your recipe will be accurate and you wont have to throw any mistakes away and start over. This formula works with baking recipes as well as savory recipes.

And you thought you would never need all of those math skills you learned in school. Ha! 🙂

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