The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A limey writes...

Andy_P's picture
Andy_P

A limey writes...

Hi from the UK!


 


I haven't been able to find a similar forum for baking in the UK, so here I am!


To get off to a contriversial start... Love the site but when are you guys going to give up this crazy "cups" system and join the 21st century with some proper weight measurements?


Preferably metric but we'd even understand you if you stuck with pounds and ounces!


Remember the Hubble telescope fiasco? ;-)


 


If this post is too brave a start, I've got a more serious one in the "Gear" section :-)

Ford's picture
Ford

I believe that most of us will agree that weight measurements are more precise and accurate than are volume measurements.  But, it is cheaper for one to buy a measuring cup than a digital scale.  I will not apologize for our  being as we are.  I would hope we, "colonials", are too civil to throw barbs at people of other nations just because they have different customs.

If you need a conversion table to convert the volume measurements to weight measurements, please, send me an email and I will gladly send you a table converting the volume of a number of ingredients to weight, both Avoirdupois and metric.

By the way, did you mean controversial when you wrote “contriversial"?

Ford
polymer@aol.com

sphealey's picture
sphealey

===


Hi from the UK!


To get off to a contriversial start... Love the site but when are you guys going to give up this crazy "cups" system and join the 21st century with some proper weight measurements?


===


Hmm, I understand that since I worked in the UK in the late 1990s you have been converting your road signs from miles to kilometers.  Still, at that time UKians were buying beer in pints, bannanas in kilograms, gasoline in litres, driving cars with speedometers marked in kph on roads with signs indicating miles, and if the topic of body weight came up the initial measurement would always be given in stone (followed by a long pause for mental conversion to kilograms). 


Taking that to an extreme, the ultimate measurement of automobile efficiency in the UK at that time would have been miles/liter/stone/cubic meter! 


sPh


Personally I work with the metric system in the laboratory and also in my kitchen when possible.  But I also think that there is value in diversity, as much in the way peoples and nations organize their lives as in avoidence of monoculture farming.  There are some inconveniences to having more than one measurement system amongst all humanity on the Earth, but there are advantages as well and personally I think those outweight (ha ha) the disadvantages.

rainwater's picture
rainwater

When the English start to win as many international baking competitions as the Americans are, then this will be a good sign to switch over to your measurements!  :) :) 


On the other hand.....all the scales in the U.S. have ounce/pound and metric measurements on them.  I don't have a problem measureing in metric if the formula calls for it.....


Most forum members use a scale, so it you post a formula in metric....we wouldn't have a problem....but, you could be inferring that you would have a problem when we post in ounces/pounds???


I, for one, take no offense with your "controversy", which is obviously in jest....welcome.

TeaIV's picture
TeaIV

sure, I'll convert! as soon as I get a kitchen scale! :)


 


but in all seriousness,  I like the inaccuracy, that way your bread varies a bit more each time you make it.

mredwood's picture
mredwood

TeaIV


Every one measures differently every time. Even using a scale. Sometimes it might be on the high side or low side. A pinch difference. An eyeball gone astray. Then in all we have different flours even from the same company, different moisture and different goddess knows what else. It is the variety and the differences that make us and our baked goods so special. Quit being so cranky. Save it for the important stuff.


Mariah

Andy_P's picture
Andy_P

I thought that might "set the cat amongst the pigeons"!


Sorry for the missed typo Ford, I too hate mis-spellings, Thanks for all your replies, but special thanks to "rainwater" for seeing my post wasn't meant to be too serious...


I've just been amazed at the difference in weight to unit volume even in different white flours... wholemeal even more so.


It doesn't help that a UK cup isn't the same as a US one!


But the winner has to be  TeaIV for the comment "I like the inaccuracy, that way your bread varies a bit more each time you make it." Now we're talking art!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

As you can see, we are passionate about bread and a patriotic bunch in the US. It's great to have so many people from all different countries make up the members of this great site.

So, what kind of breads are you interested in baking?

Betty

Andy_P's picture
Andy_P

 


Crusty! :-)


....But that seems beyond me at the moment. A lovely crisp crust when they come out, but it always softens as it cools. I'm trying to add steam with water from a plant sprayer and/or a tray in the bottom of the oven. No luck so far.


I actually started baking because I'm 'out of work' for the first time in 30 years, so my main goal was to produce something for the family's normal sandwich loaf. Unfortunately, the closer my efforts get to shop-bought white, the better my kids like it!


But they are learning...


I love buying flours from the windmills or watermills we sometimes find in our travels. genuine craft millers, still using hundred year-old millstones. Often their "white" is almost battle-ship grey in colour, and their malted wholemeals are to die for.


I'm also working my way through a book called "Dough" by a baker who runs a school near Bath in the UK.


(http://www.amazon.com/Dough-Simple-Contemporary-Richard-Bertinet/dp/1904920209)


Dough


My favourite is the"Fougasse" on the front cover, but I merge it with one of his other recipies by pressing fresh rosemary from the garden and salt crystals into the top before baking.


They always get a fantastic reaction if I take three or four part-baked ones to a dinner party wrapped in tea towels, and pop them in the host's oven for five minutes to finish.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I've read about his classes and posted about them here on TFL, in case anyone was traveling.


I don't know anything about the flours acoss the pond, as to gluten and protein etc. There are quite a few regular members from Europe who might be able to give you some pointers on crisping up your crust.


Please share some pics of your Fougasse with rosemary and salt. I have plenty of rosemary in the garden..the Fougasse is such an attractive shaping. i've never had one. Are they akin to a bread stick in texture?


Betty

Andy_P's picture
Andy_P

I'll try to get some pics next time I make them (but my wife is usually hassling me as I've left it to the last minute as usual!)


The feel of them when you break them is 'almost' like a bagel, but the taste is totally different.


Good for mopping up your plate at the end of the meal too.