It's easy to find great recipes for international cuisine online, but actually cooking from those recipes can present occasional problems. Suppose you've found a terrific pasta recipe on a website, one that guarantees real Italian results. But as you begin cooking, you quickly discover that it contains real Italian measurements, too: The flour measurement is listed in weight (grams), not volume (cups). Fortunately, there's a quick calculation any home chef can use to accurately convert grams to cups, and get great recipe results.
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Choose your conversion factor. Different kinds of flour weigh different amounts, which means you'll need to choose the correct factor to accurately convert grams into cups. The two most common flours used for making pasta are all-purpose flour at 125 grams per cup and semolina flour at 167 grams per cup. If your pasta recipe uses a different kind of flour, you can use the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference to look up its conversion factor.
Divide the amount of flour listed in the recipe by the conversion factor. For example, if your pasta recipe calls for 200 grams of all-purpose flour, divide 200 by 125, the grams/cup conversion factor. You'll get 1.6 cups, or a little over 1 1/2 cups of flour. If your pasta recipe asks for 250 grams of semolina flour, divide 250 by 167 to get 1 1/2 cups.
Keep a written record of your calculations. Take a minute to note the amount in cups on your copy of the recipe so that the next time you make this pasta, you can skip calculating and start measuring. (If you found the recipe online, you can help fellow cooks by posting the conversion in the recipe's comments section.) It may also help to jot down the grams/cup conversion factor for the flour you're using, in case you need to use it for other recipes in the future.
Measure out the correct amount of flour in cups.
Tips and warnings
- Don't forget to to double-check the rest of the ingredient list conversions, too---especially the ones for liquids.
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