Scales and baker's percentages, does the home/ artisanal baker really need them?
I've been an eyeball-it, hands in the dough, cups and teaspoon (in the case of the teaspoon, usually the cup of my left palm rather than the stainless steel 5 on a ring kind) baker to date. After all, people have been baking for centuries without weighing everything. Yet, with all these different recipes and techniques for breads, I can understand how baker's percentages take a lot of the hit or miss aspects out of the equation. And of course the benefit in any kind of volume or mass production is obvious. Finally, the gadget-geek in me is intrigued by those cute little stainless steel digital scales and people keep asking what I want for Christmas...
So I have 2 questions, one philosophical the other practical:
1. the practical: Any recomendations on a good scale for the home baker?
2. the philosophical: does sticking to strict baker's percentages take the art out of baking and render it a soul-less post-industrial exercise?