The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Estimating the size of a loaf

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

Estimating the size of a loaf

When deciding the best loaf size for my dutch bake my rule of thumb is that a 1kg loaf is optimum. Of course what I'd really like to estimate is the volume that would fit in my DO. How can I do this directly from the recipe?  I usually add the weight of flour, water, and significant ingredients (like starter and other add-ins) and assume this will yield the volume I'm looking for.

Is there a better way?.

Abelbreadgallery's picture
Abelbreadgallery

You can play with preferments and kinds of sourdoughs. Also making shorter or larger final proof. I feel my bread gets more volume when I use stiff sourdogh than when I use liquid sourdough. If you use preferments, a sponge will always bring more volume than a poolish of a biga. The quantity of yeast or sourdough is also important. As a general rule, if you want more volume in bread, shorter bulk fermentation and larger final proof.

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

Thanks for the advice

I was hoping for a "rule if thumb" where I could look at the ingredients and guess what size Dutch Oven to use (I have 3 sizes to choose from).  Alternatively I would be able to scale ingredients up or down to fit my needs.

From your response there are several other factors to consider aside from ingredients.  Probably more an art than a science.