Jessica Reed on Baking by Weight

Jessica Reed on Baking by Weight
Photo courtesy Jessica Reed

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.

Photo courtesy Jessica Reed

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.

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  1. I would love to see just a page of what this book is before i buy several copies for myself and for friends & fellow chefs and cooks.

    • Hey Karianne,

      Thank you for reaching out! On Amazon, you could use their feature to look inside to the book for a few pages, seeing some of her conversions. However, I can give you an idea of how the book is set up. In the first section, Jessica lays out an exhaustive list of weight conversions. From dry to wet ingredients, she offers volume to grams conversion on just about every baking ingredient under the sun. In the next section, she offers her tried-and-true recipes for basic baked goods including vanilla cake, sugar cookies, and a list of her favorite frosting recipes. After that, she gives her “MacGyver” baking tips, offering information on substitutions, DIY extracts, and other baking hacks.

      We think it’s a worthy book to keep close at hand–enough so that we are basing our own measurements on her standard! I hope this has been helpful in giving you an idea of what the book really entails. Happy baking!


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