The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

This should spark some discussion

POLLARD's picture
POLLARD

This should spark some discussion

This is a subject close to my heart and has caused great discussion in bakeries I have managed over the years.

Weigh or not to weigh,

I cannot understand how people expect to make consistant products, bread or cakes if ingredients are not weighed, measuring by volume, i.e. cups, spoons, pints and gallons etc. or in the case of in a commercial bakery, scoops, bags, buckets and bowls, how on earth does anyone accurately  measure 3/4 teaspoon salt or 1/2 cup of butter surely logic says the correct way of constructing a recipe is by weighment. Yes I understand that flour water absorbtion can vary from time to time, (not that often though, milling is very consistent these days)  but measure the extra water or flour you use to compensate so this information is available for the next time.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

This is hardly off the home page:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/28904/no-measure-bread#comment-219195

An endless debate. It just depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

boomerang's picture
boomerang

I agree.  When I take a "home" recipe I weigh every ingredient quantity and write it down so that I can make the adjustments for larger quantities.  I really like Reinhart's Crust and Crumb book because he has both -- where I learned to figure it this way.  J

clazar123's picture
clazar123

If I am making many batches of something over just a few days (12 french breads in 3 days or 12 pannetones or 2-3 dozen brioche muffins) I will weigh out the dry ingredients into ziploc bags,label them (very important!!) and then pull them out as needed. It is a production-type mis en place for a small kitchen. I can only do 2 loaves of bread at a time in my oven. The weighing of ingredients definitely helps produce a consistent product over and over again. If I was making an occasional baking item, I probably would just measure by volume and not sweat the load. Most of the non-bread items I make are not that sensitive to small differences.

However,when I am developing a recipe, I will both weigh in grams and measure by volume. I make a blank table in MS Word with 4 columns: Ingredient,weight in grams,volume and comments. I print a blank table and fill it in as I go. I have "converted" several of my old recipes this way and devlope new recipes and have been able to successfully share them with family.

So I measure by grams when I MUST have a consistent result-failure is not an option. Or if I want to share the recipe and technique with someone else. BUt for home kitchen where it won't matter if the loaf is a little flat or the sweetness is a little less, I might just start throwing it in by cups or handfuls.