The Bread Loaf Volumeter
Another mad professor project - the bread loaf volumeter. Purpose: to measure the volume of a cooked loaf and knowing its weight, to determine the loaf specific volume (volume in ml divided by weight in grams).
The specific volume will give a quantitative measure of how "airy" or "solid" a loaf is.
The volumeter works on the simple principle of seed dispacement, usually rapeseed, but pearl barley can also be used and is much easier to find so I used that.
This is what a commercial volumeter looks like:
Not having the space or money for one of those (and I don't think my wife wold be too impressed!), I decided to build something a little simpler. Initially I started off with a simple open box, put the loaf in and filled it brimful with barley, but it got very messy with grain easily spilling everywhere. So I added a lid and a filling tube made of a piece of 4" soil pipe - new, I might add!
It looks a bit clunky, but it works:
To calculate loaf volume, I weigh the amount of barley used and knowing the barley bulk density, convert this to a volume.
I know the volume of the box and the filled part of the pie, so I subtract the volume of the barley from this to give the loaf volume. Simple!
Not a gadget to use on every bake, but useful as an occasional tool.