The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

pre-measuring the dry ingredients in bulk?

enchant's picture
enchant

pre-measuring the dry ingredients in bulk?

I have an Italian style bread that I make on a regular basis.  To make life easier, I pre-measure the dry ingredients that I use to make the preferment.  So into each of ten small zip lock bags, I'll measure out 65g bread flour, 37g corn meal, 1/4 tsp IDY, etc.  Then the night before I make the bread, I'll just dump one of these bags into 200g of water to sit overnight.

This has been working fine, but I was wondering if I could extend my laziness a bit.  Rather than measure each ingredient ten times, could I simply measure ten times as much into a larger container, mix it up, then divide it into ten portions?

I understand that mixing it thoroughly would be critical, but am I asking for trouble here?  Once completely mixed together, do dry ingredients like to settle?  Am I likely to get a much larger ratio of flour to cornmeal in the first baggie as in the last?

TheBakerGuy's picture
TheBakerGuy

Theory seems correct, though you'd have to know once all those items are mixed if they'd stay at the same level in your container over time. For example, if the cornmeal is heavier than the flour as the container is moved, bumped, set down etc. the meal would settle lower (more towards the bottom) of the container, so a scoop from the top would then have less meal. Maybe shake the container decently each time you go to scoop to redistribute/rebalance? 

Might just have to try it and see how the ratios work once the bread is baked. 10x might be too much, though I doubt there'd be much difference with 2x your usual recipe. There is a goldilock zone somewhere I'd imagine. 

enchant's picture
enchant

The 10x ingredients wouldn't be in the large container for more than a few minutes.  Once I have them all measured and mixed in, I'd immediately divide them into ten small baggies.

DesigningWoman's picture
DesigningWoman

it should work fine,  with a good stir/whisk between each filler up.

Great idea!

Happy baking. 

Carole 

EDIT: PS, that is not laziness, but some lovely streamlining.

TheBakerGuy's picture
TheBakerGuy

Agreed. If this isn't sitting and will be poured soon after then as long as it's mixed up well you should be good to go. Good outside the box thinking on prep work!

enchant's picture
enchant

I'd feel more proud of myself if it didn't take me about fifty loaves before coming up with the idea.

 

Thanks everyone for the advice!

clazar123's picture
clazar123

There is a word for what you are ding and it is not laziness but planning. " Mise en place" or all in place or set up.

For me, it is easier to handle dry ingredient ziplocs than wet. One holiday I made 24 French breads in 2 days (oven could only do 2 per bake) so I measured out my flour/salt and made preferments for the next days bake. Whew! My KA really got a workout, as did I. It was truly n educational experience. After that I started making muffins or individual brioche rolls.

Have delicious fun!