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Old 12-19-2006, 10:56 AM   #1
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Question When is a pound of butter not a pound of butter?

QUESTION: when is a pound of butter not a pound of butter?

ANSWER: when it weighs less than a pound!

I weigh ingredients for baking and, over the past couple of years, noticed that a pound of butter was almost always a little short of a pound. I thought it was my scale.

I have since found that Rose Levy Beranbaum (author of several books on baking) mentioned the very same thing on her site in this post
Quote:
iíve been championing the use of scales for baking for years but now i have a new and persuasive argument that just might tip the balance! ...at first i thought it was a fluke but when i mentioned it to other bakers and chefs they also were puzzled and aware of it.

Iíve been finding more and more often that when i unwrap a stick of butter and weigh it, instead of getting the 4 ounces listed on the label, it weighs only around 3.87 ounces. I just donít get it. there used to be laws and fines that encouraged manufacturers to go a little over the mark rather than risk going under (in more ways than one)!
I am getting discouraged about the state of the food industry in the US

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Old 12-19-2006, 11:09 AM   #2
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Interesting!

I just weighed a stick of butter and my scale showed exactly 4 ounces - with the paper wrapper still on it.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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I always weigh just to make sure. BTW, Thanks for the link to Rose's site!!! I used her recipe for my daughter's wedding cake; years ago.
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Old 12-19-2006, 11:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona
I weigh ingredients for baking and, over the past couple of years, noticed that a pound of butter was almost always a little short of a pound. I thought it was my scale.
Hmmm... That`s not very good at all is it!

did you weigh it whilst the wrapper was on also?, I`m thinking that it might be an idea to take this issue up with trading standards and complain (I know I would)!
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:44 PM   #5
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maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the moisture content when manufactured or processed compared to the trip to the store and sitting on the store shelves, etc.

just a thought...
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:47 PM   #6
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black chef has a valid point; if the butter had been frozen for a while, that would suck some of the moisture out.
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YT2095
did you weigh it whilst the wrapper was on also?
No. With the wrapper off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by black chef
maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the moisture content when manufactured or processed compared to the trip to the store and sitting on the store shelves, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shunka
black chef has a valid point; if the butter had been frozen for a while, that would suck some of the moisture out.
Possibly freezing is a factor, however...

When purchased, the butter is (of course) not frozen. I do often freeze butter if I don't need it right away. On purchase, I double wrap the butter (in it's original wrapping) in plastic wrap and then put in a zip lock bag with the air squished out. I usually buy sweet butter , which has a lower water content than salted butter. The longest I keep butter frozen is about 3 months. How much water should it lose under these conditions?

If I hadn't come across Rose Levy Beranbaum's article I would have thought it was just me (or my scale). But she's a well-known cookbook author, so maybe its not just me.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:05 PM   #8
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I just weighed two sticks of store brand butter (including the wrappers) with a balance I can trust. One is exactly 4 ounces. The other is under weight by almost 1/4 ounce.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:25 PM   #9
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is you get "Frost/snow" in the bag you put it in then yes will lose some mass due to freeze drying, but from I`ve read I seriously don`t think this is that case, you`re being ripped off!

esp in light of Veloce`s post.
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:52 PM   #10
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I've never even thought about this before, I buy a couple of different brands of butter - I'll have to check and see what the weight is.
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