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Old 12-03-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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Baker's Percentages?

Long story short, I stepped on a nail Monday night while feeding the woodstove. So, yesterday I spent the day on the couch reading cookbooks. I have a copy of Professional Cooking. Since it is baking season, I thought I'd check out Chapter 24. In this chapter, baker's percentages are explained. Wondering if anyone has converted "home" recipes to baker's percentages.

I have all the ingredients to make my grandma's brown sugar shortbread cookies. I thought I'd weigh all the ingredients and make her recipe according to baker's percentages and another batch the conventional way and see which I like better. I'd love to have a discussion on baker's percentages and how to use those for home baking.

(Baking is a much more interesting pursuit than painting--I hate painting and it takes me forever to get one room painted--one down, four to go).
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:06 AM   #2
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Nail, ouch! Recent Tetanus I assume?

I've only used percentages when I worked in a commercial bakery as all our recipes (formulas) were set up at such. I have to admit I love working this way. So, I don't have a straight comparison.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:32 AM   #3
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This was new to me.

I had to do a little reading!

Baker's percentage | King Arthur Flour
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:45 AM   #4
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I make my bread and pizza dough with formulas. Generally speaking, if I use a "baking" ingredient I weigh it, even if I am not baking.

About the only exception is when I am dusting things for frying, then I just dump a scoop of flour in a big zip lock bag.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
I make my bread and pizza dough with formulas. Generally speaking, if I use a "baking" ingredient I weigh it, even if I am not baking.

About the only exception is when I am dusting things for frying, then I just dump a scoop of flour in a big zip lock bag.
That is certainly a good idea, but how do you get the weights in the first place. I would love to be able to use weights for bread machine in particular, so that I don't have to make any adjustments as if does the first mix. However, virtually all of my machine cookbooks use volume measurements, so converting them can be a bit of estimation, putting me right back where I started.

Flour in particular - weight changes according to how well packed it is, and even how humid it is. Trying to convert 1 cup into a finite weight that works every time seems little different than trying measure a spoonful of fog.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:20 AM   #6
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...Flour in particular - weight changes according to how well packed it is, and even how humid it is...
Look at the nutrition label on the flour bag. It will tell you the serving size in cups and grams. That provides the info you need to convert. e.g. 1/4 cup = 30 grams.
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:22 AM   #7
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If you have a recipe from a reliable source, wouldn't you assume that percentages had been applied to create the measurements in the ingredient list?
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Old 12-03-2014, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Nail, ouch! Recent Tetanus I assume?

I've only used percentages when I worked in a commercial bakery as all our recipes (formulas) were set up at such. I have to admit I love working this way. So, I don't have a straight comparison.
2008 re: tetanus shot. Checking for infection and taking my temp. Blah. I have a dr apt tomorrow--I'm still in the 72-hour zone then. I am also getting a 'script for a shingles vaccine.

I "think" formulas make a lot more sense, just trying to figure out how to adjust the recipes I have to a formula...obviously, I have found a new way to procrastinate not to paint the remaining parts of the house...
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:14 AM   #9
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...I "think" formulas make a lot more sense, just trying to figure out how to adjust the recipes I have to a formula...
If your starting point is a proven recipe, I don't understand why you need this method at all.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:29 PM   #10
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I learned about them in culinary school. I think the best application for them is when you need to scale large recipes up or down; it's easier to multiply and divide percentages than try to measure odd fractions of tablespoons or cups like 3/8 or 13/16. But I don't think it's very useful for home baking.
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