The Fresh Loaf

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In a world of percentages, how much dough to make?

Darth Lefty's picture
Darth Lefty

In a world of percentages, how much dough to make?

So let's say, for an easy example, I am trying to simulate a Pullman pan with two normal-size loaf pans and a couple of binder clips.  (Don't judge me!)  Also let's say that my bread is sourdough, with 65% hydration.

What's the right amount of dough to make to fill this up?  Is there some notional finished density I should be seeing?  This never comes up (pun!) when making a baguette.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Are you searching for a "trick" like:  Fill the pan with water, weigh it, and take some part, like 3/4 (75%)  or 1/2 (50%) water weight to equal the dough weight that will be needed? Wouldn't it be nice if it worked?   :)

I think your best bet is to find a recipe that will rise and fill one loaf pan evenly to the edge when baked.  Double it to fill two.  Obviously if the recipe is too large, your density will be affected.  Bake in one pan first to get the proper size loaf for your conditions then double the recipe for the encapsulated loaf.

I suggest greasing and dusting the pans with seeds or large crumbs so that air can excape along the sides as dough rises inside the top pan or drill a small hole in each corner of the top pan.


davidg618's picture

A "standard" Pullman loave pan is 13 x 3.75 x 3.75 which has a volume of 182.8 cubic inches.

Hamelman directs, for a mostly white, wheat flour sandwich loaf formula, 2.25 lbs. of dough, and it seems to work perfectly: completely fills the volume and of the pan, without compresssing the crumb. Should work the same for a mostly white, wheat flour sourdough with good oven spring, although I've never tried it.

Calculate the volume (Length x Width x Depth) of your two-pan configuration. I can't visualize how you are putting them together. Are you inverting one pan over the other, yielding a tall rectangular cross-sectioned loaf?

You can then calculate the weight of the dough you need to make by the formula.

weight of required dough = (calculated volume/182.8) x 2.25

See, high school algebra comes in handy;-)

David G

P.S. This won't work if your dough is predominantly non-white, wheat flour, i.e., doughs with significantly low or no oven spring. For example, Hamelman directs 4.5 lbs. of dough for Vollkornbrot, and leave the lid off the pan.