I dream of the day we can dispense with volume measures and publish recipes with gram weights only! We aren’t there yet, but American home bakers are no longer allergic to scales—many are even getting comfy with grams.
Meanwhile—even for readers and bakers outside the US who already use grams—there’s still some trepidation about translating ounces to grams (or vice versa) when the need arises. If conversion gives you the shakes, these tips will make it easy and accurate.
If all you need is a quick estimation, you can assume 30 grams per ounce, then do the mental (or pencil, or calculator) math, dividing grams or multiplying ounces by 30. That’s fine for a quick estimation, but actual baking, or recording a recipe, requires more accuracy (which is why we love grams to begin with!).
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An ounce is actually closer to 28.349 grams than 30 grams. Let’s say you normally work in grams but your recipe calls for 10 ounces of flour. Your cake will turn out lighter and more tender with 283 grams of flour (10 times 28.349) instead of the 300 (10 times 30) grams you might have estimated. But multiplying or dividing by 28.349 is a pain in the neck and even more cumbersome when decimals are also involved in the ounces—like when you need to convert 7.75 ounces. Oy, right?
Alternatively, if you don’t want to pick up a pencil or calculator to get an accurate conversion, just type “ounces to grams” into your browser, and bookmark the converter than pops up. Or download a converter app. (Or save the recipe in grams as a contact on your phone.) Any time you need to convert, just type in your ounces (including any decimal fractions) or grams, and the conversion appears instantaneously. You can round up the results, perhaps to the nearest 5 grams (or not) or to the most attractive looking decimal for your ounces. Done.
Here, some summery recipes (+babka) where we've calculated the grams for you:
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).