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Old 03-21-2008, 09:38 AM   #1
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Baking Bread by weight

Hi - New here

I have been baking bread for years and have had good results. I just started about 3 months ago in earnest. I have read a bit on baking and come across baking by weight. Can someone please pop me a link or some instructions where I can learn about this?

TIA

AC

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Old 03-21-2008, 12:53 PM   #2
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The Artisan website should get you started with all the information you need.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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Most home bakers do it by volume as its much more convenient. However, measuring ingredients by weight is much more exact, and if you've been baking very long, you know that exact-ness is of paramount importance.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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I have been cooking/baking by weight for many, many years. Not only is it accurate, it is efficient.

As for accuracy, humidity is one of the villains of flour so, weighing flour when preparing a recipe, you will be much more accurate in the recipe. I always have the best result when making bread.

For efficiency, using a scale prevents the use of multiple measuring cups/spoons, which makes preparing any dish/recipe much "cleaner."
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook View Post
Most home bakers do it by volume as its much more convenient. ...
Yes, and that is why home cooks who use volume measurements have so many problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook View Post
... and if you've been baking very long, you know that exact-ness is of paramount importance.
NOW you tell me! I baked bread for 20+ years before I learned about measuring by weight, the baker's percentage, standard dough ratios, etc .... most came out just fine ... but I did always wonder why the occasional batch turned out different.

But, there is a good chance that was before you were born.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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Michael - Thank you for the Artisan site. I am digesting it.

Just a question - For my Rye bread, I use a Rye sour that I have been cultivating. Does that go in on the wet or dry side of the equasion?

Thank You

AC
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:56 PM   #7
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... Just a question - For my Rye bread, I use a Rye sour that I have been cultivating. Does that go in on the wet or dry side of the equasion?
ARRGH!!!! I don't know! But, perhaps subfuscpersona will see this thread and can offer some help.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
Hi - New here

I have been baking bread for years and have had good results. I just started about 3 months ago in earnest. I have read a bit on baking and come across baking by weight. Can someone please pop me a link or some instructions where I can learn about this?
Got a scale?

Measure your ingredients as you do now and weigh them.

Go from there.

Take and keep notes.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Just a question - For my Rye bread, I use a Rye sour that I have been cultivating. Does that go in on the wet or dry side of the equasion?
AC
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Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
ARRGH!!!! I don't know! But, perhaps subfuscpersona will see this thread and can offer some help.
This isn't the easiest question to answer.

Most of this thread is simply a repetition of the (endlessly repeated) question of whether ingredients for baking should be measured by volume or by weight. I unequivocally prefer measuring by weight when baking. As usual, opinions will differ wildly.

In discussing bread baking (specifically yeast rising breads) it appears that Addillo303 is asking a more specific question, which involves an approach to recipes for bread that not only assumes that all ingredients in a bread recipe are shown by weight but also converts the ingredients for any bread recipe into a formula known as the bakers percentage. This is a standard way among professional bakers to present a bread recipe. It assumes that all ingredients are weighed. Beyond this, additional information about the bread recipe is given by taking each ingredient and showing it as a percentage of the total amount of flour used in the recipe. A good introduction to the bakers percentage can be found at Baker's Percentage Tutorial, Part 1 | Wild Yeast

For those who have a firm understanding of the bakers percentage, the answer is - you would split your starter into its components (usually simply flour, water and yeast) and then add each part to the amounts of flour and water and yeast that are used in addition to your starter in the final recipe. You would calculate the bakers percentage from these overall totals.

However, it is not easy to give a more specific answer to Adillo303 because we do not have sufficient information. Specifically...

> Adillo303 is using a sourdough (wild yeast) starter but we don't know the hydration level of that starter. A common practice for home bakers who maintain a sourdough starter is to use 100% hydration and "feed" the starter on a 1:2:2 ratio (for example: 2oz of the original starter, 4oz flour and 4oz water by weight). Adillo303 needs to tell us the hydration s/he uses

> Adillo303 is using a rye flour sourdough starter. This implies that the feeding schedule for the starter uses only rye flour. However, when one uses a starter to make bread, additional flour and water are added to the starter and we don't know if s/he is still using rye flour or using wheat flour. Any useful interpretation of a bakers percentage clearly separates out gluten containing flours from those that lack gluten (such as rye).
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:46 PM   #10
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A scale is the most important tool in your bakery. I had to learn how to bake over night as my baker droped dead and none was to be found. As baking is a very dying art form
and not many men or women want to work the crazy hours a baker works. After I left comerical kitchens I bought a balance scale just like the one we used in the bakery and my bread all ways turnes out fine
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