Calculating Recipe File
(update 100928-4 PM *** I finished and sent out copies to those who had made a request - Ron)
After posting the Conversion Calculator Example - http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19720/conversion-calculator-example  -
I thought that there seemed to be some who would find an expanded version helpful, as well. At my age, it is easy to have great ideas - the trick is remembering them tomorrow. I find that my computers are my most reliable reminders of the ideas I have been fooling with. So, quite naturally, I have accumulated a lot of computer aids to my baking activities. Without a doubt, the way I "think" about any bread formula that I'm interested in, would be considered overkill by most others, but hey, it is my kitchen and my time, and yes, my pleasure. The result of this line of thought was a watered down version of what I use to think through a bread's formula. I cut out some - like calorie considerations and overall percentage calculations - and added in aids for those who are not that used to baker's percentages and hydration levels. I hope it may help in seeing how they fit into the overall recipe/ formula.
Here is a peek at what I came up with as a "Calculating Recipe File". The first image is an example of how someone might use it to examine bread formula. The second image is what they could maintain as their Master file, from which they would use a copy for creating recipe files.
For me, one of the greatest benefits is that I can have two, or more different files on the screen at the same time for comparisons (not true in Excel) because the spreadsheets in the free Open Office program permits multiple spreadsheets to be open at the same time. Not only can they be open, but you can copy material from one into another. For example, the last time you baked a loaf, you were less that totally pleased. You save a copy with a new name "2nd try" and open that beside the original. Make your considered changes in the new file - even note what your reasons were. Print a copy out and go start the your bread making efforts.
The 1st 4 columns permit you to indicate which of 4 categories the ingredient belongs in - Ref. Only, Flour, Water, Other. Notice that this allows you to parse the sourdough into the flour and water categories for hydration level information by only referencing the total strater entry. The 4th and 5th columns are where you name the ingredient and provide its weight reference - in grams per cup. The cup, Tbs, and tsp columns are where you play to create the value you want in the M (grams) and N (ounce) columns - Note ounces are only for info, and not used. As you run down the ingredient entries, the last 6 columns and the Percent Hydration Level (%HL) are calculated for you so that when the last entry is made, you already have the categorized amounts columns and the Bakers percentages in two sets of 3 column pairs - the 1st 3 by in grams, and the last 3 in Baker's Percentages. I think I would have been very pleased to have some tool like this when I was first trying to wrap my head around all of these considerations.
These images have been updated 100926 15:05 to show the Excel version after modifications.
This is just an example of what one might enter into a file. The Master Blank is shown below, and that is what one would start from in using this form of Calculating Recipe File. The Master Blank should have its [Properties] option changed to set the [Read Only] option as ON. Then one opens the Master and saves it with different "new work" file name. If you forget and attempt to modify the Master, you will be reminded that it is Read Only. Thus, you are much less likely to find that you have accidentaly destroyed your only Master Blank.
These images are in the Excel screen format, but if viewed in Open Office, there would be still be horizontal lines in the areas with background shading. For anyone using the free Open Office Spreadsheet, this program is available Open Office as well as Excel, and preferred by me, as it permits multiple files to be opened at the same time for cross referencing.
********* Updated 100928-4PM
I have finished the "Getting Started" write-up for "Calculating Recipe File". For those wishing a copy, send an e-mail with "TFL-CRF" in the subject line to - Ron@ronray.us  .
I will send you the following collection of files:
1/ [Excel] "Ounces per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.
2/ [Excel] "Grams per Cup Baking Calculator": It just might be useful with the others - at times, so it is included.
3/ [Word] "Getting Started with Calculating Recipe File": Hopefully with enough information to get you on your way in using the Calculating Recipe File.
4/ [Excel] "Excel_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Excel version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the next file only in some additional background colors not being used in Excel.
5/ [Open Office] "Open Office_Master Calculating Recipe File": This is the Open Office version of the Bread Formula program. It differs from the previous file only in some additional background colors being used that are not in the Excel version.
end update ========== 100928.
*** Next blog: 101010