Graphic designer by day, baker and author of The Baker’s Appendix (Clarkson Potter, 2016) by night, experienced baker Jessica Reed weighs in on baking with grams. We have officially adopted Jessica’s appendix as our standard for all Bake from Scratch recipes.
What was your first foray into baking?
Jessica Reed: In eighth grade French class, we made a Bûche de Noël for Christmas. It came out so well—I still have the recipe to this day. And then I made a wedding cake for a stepsister when I was about 18 years old, which was insane. I actually just bought a bunch of boxed mixes. The thing was crazy, I still don’t know how it worked out, but it did.
What got you started baking metrically?
JR: What probably got me baking metrically was Nigella Lawson’s voice in her cookbooks. It was so relatable that I wanted to try her food. A lot of her recipes were given in metric, and also imperial because the American publishers would do that. When I get excited about something, I like to dive into it in every possible, remote fashion, and I felt like I couldn’t really bake like Nigella without baking like she baked—in the metric system.
What made you decide to create a book focused on baking weight conversions?
JR: I love the precision and how it streamlines the process. Up until recently, most American baking cookbooks were not written metrically. So whenever I wanted to bake something, it would take extra time to translate the recipe into metric measurements. The Baker’s Appendix came out of the realization that there wasn’t something for home bakers who wanted to bake metrically, but still wanted to see the imperial cup measurements as well.