The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A matter of skill and patience

chuppy's picture

A matter of skill and patience

I have been recently enjoying the triumphs and casualties of bread baking. The more I read and the more I ask about procedures and why(?), in general I am discovering how systematic bread making can be. Never the less it does not mean that bread baking has to be difficult. The more you understand the reason for doing each individual process, the more enjoyable bread becomes. I have recently been reading about kitchen scales and how important they are to baking the Artisan way. After adding 5 cups of flour to the mix, when the recipe only calls for up to 4. The reason? To much water I believe. So back to my original point, scales become a necessity when you realy want good results in the art of baking bread. I would be happy to know if anyone else feels the same way I do? Thanks for your response.


Trishinomaha's picture

Chuppy - Hi there and welcome to this great site. I asked the same question regarding measuring vs weighing when I first started reading here. After chatting with a few seasoned veterans I was convinced to buy a good scale, one that measures in grams and ounces. It's a Salton and I think we got it for around $40US at a Linens and Things store. Try both - I think you'll be convinced that weighing is the way to go.


firepit's picture

Chuppy -

Scales are very important, but I don't think they are a panacea...I almost always have to add a little more flour or water to the dough I'm working with even if I have measured everything to the gram. There are other variables involved - humidity, temperature, the particulars of the flour you are using - that will change things.

The scales will get you close, but remember that it is ARTisanal bread for a reason (and it's more than the fact that "scientifical bread" just doesn't sound appetizing). The scale won't tell you when another fold is needed, or when to allow the dough to ferment a bit longer, and those things can have a huge effect. Case in point: the Ciabatta thread from a while back. I have the scales, ZolaBlue has the skills, and it makes all the difference.

That said, it does drive me crazy to read recipes that don't have weight measurements and I cannot for the life of me figure out why The BBA has things measured to the hundredth of an ounce, but nothing in grams.


Jerry's picture

Personally I would find it difficult to cook or bake without a good set of kitchen scales. They are so handy for more than weighing the amount of flour or water. How do you measure honey, oil, and other liquids without having extra bowls, cups and spoons to wash?  I love to cook and bake, but washing dishes is at the bottom of my loves. Convert everything to grams for the easiest and fastest way of weighing