The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBGA Format : 2009 is the latest version.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

BBGA Format : 2009 is the latest version.

I emailed the BBGA about their 2009 format guidelines.

I wanted to know if there's a more recent version than the format formatting guidelines posted here: http://www.bbga.org/bread/formula_formatting

Short answer: No.

Laverne Dicker,  Director of BBGA Membership Services, responded:

No, nothing more has been published on Guild format since the three articles in 2009.  Our formula editors are discovering that reformatting is an evolving process -  with new questions continuously coming up -  but they have not compiled all of the details or made them available to our members yet.

She He She (really this time!) also mentioned (note the paragraph in bold):

You might consider joining The Guild.  The network of educational resources in The Guild is unsurpassed.  In addition to our magazine and our regional classes, which are taught by some of the best artisan bakers in the country, we also have an eGroup where our members can post questions and answers.  I remember when a new member posted on the eGroup that she was having trouble with a formula from Jeffrey Hamelman’s book, Bread, and she asked for advice.  One of the people who answered her question was. . .Jeffrey Hamelman. J   Current eGroup topics include pita bread and retarding shaped loaves, and recently there have been lively discussions about genetically modified wheat, butter blocks, and sourdough crumb.

Some of our members have found that an intense but educational way to learn more about Guild format is to volunteer for our formula review group.  Every formula used in our classes or printed in Bread Lines is first converted into Guild format, and our volunteer formatters (who have skills in math, baker’s percentage, and Excel) work with formula editors on this process.  

You can sign up for Guild membership through our website, www.bbga.org, and I’ve also attached membership forms in case you’d prefer to sign up through mail or fax. 
proth5's picture
proth5

a total formula dweeb,  I have considered joining the group you mention.  But at this moment, I'm not taking on any more tasks that involve deadlines.  I've heard that some people do this thing called "sleep."  I want to try it.

Guild membership does have its advantages, as Laverne has said.  And they throw some really good parties....

Pat

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I jest.

I'll avoid it for the same reason.

I can write computer programs in more languages than I have fingers and toes, but I still use spreadsheets for just about everything, including planning functions, data objects, and parties.

proth5's picture
proth5

I am currently working on a gig at well known purveyor of coffee.  Which I do not drink at the request of every individual who has seen me on coffee.

Oh well...

I thinks this sleeps thing could catch on, though... :>)

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I think you should generously donate that gig to me.

I'll drink the coffee, unless said purveyor rhymes with ducks, in which case, we're talking burnt acid. And I'm allowed to do whatever I want when I drink coffee, except leave the house!

I deployed SAP to my kitchen pantry and hooked it up the refrigerator, and now I'm bored.

I suppose I could just go and play with more spreadsheets.

jcking's picture
jcking

Pat,

I'm a member of the BBGA and found it worthwhile mainly for the exchange of information between Professional Artisan Bakers and Serious Home Bakers. Reading through the archives of information and daily Yahoo Group exchanges answers baking questions one never thought to ask.

Jim

proth5's picture
proth5

I'm a BBGA member myself - I just haven't volunteered to check formulas - because I'm not accepting any more work that has deadlines.

I haven't quite figured out Yahoo groups, yet.  I think I have a login because I get emails from them, but these pages test the limits of my "interwebs" know how.

I have benefitted greatly from the educational outreach of the BBGA and highly recommend it.  The trip to Heartland Mills - for example - was something I could never have done without the BBGA.

And, the Guildhall Gatherings are great fun.

Fun AND education - can't beat that.

Pat

jcking's picture
jcking

A little mis reading on my part. I've developed an Excel sheet for myself and agree, no time to de-bug the concerns noted here.

In Egyptian myth, the goddess Isis was the first to transform barley and wheat into bread. ~ Jim

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Glad I know which goddess to yell at while burning bread calories biking uphill.

DAMN YOU, ISIS! IS ALL YOUR FAULT!

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

I was very surprised to find when examing the formula examples in the 2009 BBGA article - Formatting Guild Formulas - that two of the eight examples had at least one error or more.  I have been meaning to write them and inquire as to whether or not they were aware of the mistakes but have not to date.  I am extremely interested in this topic but I do not believe Excel should be touted as the tool of choice to standardize on - we are in the 21th century and surely there is a better means to both record and share bread formulas.

 

proth5's picture
proth5

- seriously - now you've got to tell us where ther errors are because I'm going a little buggy looking for them...

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

On page 3 theDiagram 4 Sourdough Starter
                         %              kilogramsWater        56.00            0.966 kg
the total flour is 1.304 kg so the BP for water should be
      BP = 96.6 / 1.304 = 74.07975460122699
so the column sums are incorrect too
                         %              kilograms                    166.00          2.399 kg
should be
                         %              kilograms                     183.97        2.399 kg
Now, my challege to yoy guys is to find the second error ... I seem to remember it was on this same page .... I thought I wrote them down but I can not find them now.
Good luck finding the second one. 
Ben

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Unless I'm missing something, you're right. It's wrong.

It's the column summation, though, that makes me think I'm missing something re: yeast water, soaker hydration, etc.

I can understand a row being wrong, but if the summation of rows does not reflect that error, that's bizarre. I mean, if it's a typo in an edited cell, that typo should be reflected in the summation, and it isn't. Weirrrrrd.

proth5's picture
proth5

found it.

What has happened is that the weight was calculated against the total weight of the flour for the "Liquid Yeasted Starter" - rather than its own column.  If you assume that the baker's percents are a given and the formulas had been entered correctly (which they were not), the column totals are correct (166% and 2339 based on the incorrect amount of water) and the two weights used as checks tie because they are just subtracting across columns.

Interesting.  Exposes a little weakness of the cross check.

I don't have the strength to find another error...but that was a good and quite detailed catch.

Pat

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I couldn't find the first, so no surprise I can't find the second.

I checked the other diagrams on the same page and they all check out.

How do accountants do this job without losing their minds?!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Errors as in 1 + 1 = 3?

Errors as in misspelling?

I've been over that publication several times and, although I didn't take a wrench to the math, found no such thing.

-

Also, any spreadsheet will do for the making up your own formulae using the format. If you don't like Excel, there are many others, some of which can even export in Excel format which, like it not, is a standard if ever there was one.

If you submit a formula to their organization using their formula format, shouldn't they be allow to specify which file format they accept it in? Me thinketh so. And have you tried using Google Docs?! Mein gott! Noooooooo!

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

I did not state that I did not think BBGA could, or should, be able to dictate a format for their own organization.  The point I was attempting to make is that I believe using a "spread sheet" in which formulas are modified by cutting and pasting and the like are a bit arcaic and prone to errors.  I think that their should be a GUI application that provides a dynamic means of building formulas - an app that would allow the formula to be stored in a file and then the file could be shared.  The Excel route requires that the user not only know the basic bread formula but also understand BP to a point to write the formulas for the cells - for every formula that the user wants to have.  The application that I am envisioning has this knowledge built in and will provide it to the user when/if he/she actually wants or needs it.  In fact, I have been working on such an application for a while now and I believe it will be of use - it is already for me.  In fact I used the BBGA formulas as a testcase and that is how I originally came across the fact that their formulas had some problems.

Ben

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

What stops me is that (1) the format isn't in the public domain (or a standard), (2) there's just not enough demand for such an app (i.e. no way to recoup the cost of building it), and (3) this is big one: too many possible variations. That's what she meant when she said, "Our formula editors are discovering that reformatting is an evolving process - with new questions continuously coming up." At first, you might think, "It's just additive or reductive; split this off here and validate against the whole." But when you think about it more, say something like "seed composition" for example, it gets real complex, real fast.

The perfect being the enemy of the good, though, I don't see why an application that covers 80% of the use cases wouldn't be helpful.

If I'd build it, and I won't (so have at it!), I'd avoid tying it to any one format. Baker's Math (and math itself) cannot be owned by anyone, so make the app such that "what it looks like" (the BBGA format) is independent of what it does (math). If someone claims ownership of (or copyright over) the format, just format it elsewise.

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Here a couple of screen shots of my app - using the BBGA formula that had the error.  You can rad/write formulas to a file and print them also - basically my thought has been to try and attempt to provide a standardized file format and once this is done people could share formulas in a much easier fashion, scale and resize with no problem and convert to a unit of measer of their choice. I am also planning to do a verison that would be appropriate for professional bakeries - that is, once you have your formulas then the app would support a weekly schedule (types of breads and days of the week with the input being the number of loaves desired and the output being the scaling sheets). 
Yes, I agree with you on the fact that this is not a trivial undertaking and there is probably no way to ever get compensated for the amount of effort required to produce such an app.  The upside is I don't care - I am doing it for myself and at a later date possibly others too.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Can you repost?

Is funny how we programmers think alike. I was getting tired of having to learn a new format every other day (everyone has their own way) and thought I could take the best version (BBGA) and turn it into an app that everyone could use. Then I got into it and saw all of the possible 'forks in the road'. Nyt! I know where that'll lead. Full time job of "but what if x, then y" x 1000. No thanks.

 

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

The following are a few screenshots of my app - it is using the BBGA Part 2 Diagram 3 formula which has the error I described

Now with the BP checkboxes checked

Now with the Overall Formula checkbox checked

This should give the general idea of what I have been working on.

Ben

Toad.de.b's picture
Toad.de.b

That's really looking great. While I'm not opposed to using Excel for this (I am using it), one weakness of Excel is how easy it is to accidentally enter a value in a cell that the sheet is set up to calculate for you. I'm sure there's some "lock cell" function that I'm not on top of (I tried at some point but error said something about how you have to lock the whole sheet first ... didn't want to mess with it). Yours very nicely separates ENTERED from CALCULATED values. Super.

Now if you can make it an iPad app -- that'd be golden :-). Currently, I take a screenshot of the Excel sheet on my laptop, drop it in Dropbox and follow formula&process on our eminently more mobile "house iPad".

Looking good, man. Thanks for sharing.

Tom

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

The data is modeled as a hierarchy? Whole formula is a hierarchical tree:

  • (total formula)
    • components of total (final dough, poolish)
      • ingredients per component (ingredients of final dough, poolish)
        • properties per ingredient (weight of flour|% flour per child element)

I guess I'd have to play with it some to get a feel for it.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I wrongly assumed Laverne Dicker, Director of BBGA Membership Services, was a woman.

He is not.

Corrected above with my apologies.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

And now I'm told by someone who knows Laverne Dicker that she is, in fact, a woman.

This is becoming a sitcom.

Apology for my apology's apology.

(Uncorrected above).

 

BakerBen's picture
BakerBen

Embarased but honest - my mistake not Thomas'