Author Topic: Weights and Measures  (Read 7002 times)

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Offline dmcavanagh

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Weights and Measures
« on: September 05, 2010, 01:18:51 PM »
This is mainly for Pete....what weight do you consider a full cup. I weighted out a cup of water at 234 grams, but I would like to know what you consider the correct weight for a cup of flour. A bag of flour always list the weight of a 1/4 cup as 30 grams, thus a full cup should be 120 grams. Is this the weight you use when you calculate hydration % for someone when they post a recipe. Hand scooping a cup always weights higher than 120 grams.
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Offline c0mpl3x

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2010, 01:34:20 PM »
a 'cup' of flour isn't accurate for weighing.   fine for cookies and other stuff but pizza is serious business
Hotdogs kill more people than sharks do, yearly.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 01:50:26 PM »
a 'cup' of flour isn't accurate for weighing.   fine for cookies and other stuff but pizza is serious business
I already am aware of that cOmpl3x, I'm just looking for a reference point. Somebody says a "cup" and that doesn't mean much. Just want to know if there's an "industry standard" for the weight of a real "cup".
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2010, 01:53:04 PM »
The way I found out the weight was packing a metal measure cup as much as I could and level the top. I got 172g from that.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2010, 02:06:00 PM »
The way I found out the weight was packing a metal measure cup as much as I could and level the top. I got 172g from that.
That's way too heavy for a cup, there's 454 grams in a pound and a pound is roughly considered 3 1/3 cups. If you multiply 172 X 3.33, you're way over 454grams!
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Offline apizza

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 02:13:35 PM »
For what it's worth, I've settled on 136 grams.

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 02:29:27 PM »
I used a metal 1 cup measuring cup and packed it with flour and leveled it. That's what it came out to, not my fault. And all flours have a different weight characteristic, I used and packed Caputo Pizzeria flour to 172g.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 02:33:47 PM »
Wow, we're all over the lot on this one, no wonder I see such wacky numbers when people start talking about hydration %, no ones using the same amounts, so in truth the numbers are meaningless.
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cornicione54

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 02:39:33 PM »
Wow, we're all over the lot on this one, no wonder I see such wacky numbers when people start talking about hydration %, no ones using the same amounts, so in truth the numbers are meaningless.
Exactly the opposite actually. Where people refer to baker's percentages, they are using weights (not volume measurements). Hydration is simply the ratio of weight of water wrt weight of flour.


Offline dwighttsharpe

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 02:41:27 PM »
You actually answered your own question in your op. One cup is 120 grams, or 4.23 oz.

This is about what one would consistently get if a mass of flour(typically ap) is fluffed, lightly spooned into a volume measuring cup, and leveled off with the flat side of a knife.

This is the way, pretty sure, the USDA determines flour should be measured, King Arthur Flour, etc.

The key though, in reality, when a recipe is listed with volume measures, you usually don't know how the recipe author weighted their cup of flour.

Video on how to measure flour:

Can't post the link, but KA flour has a video (youtube) on how to measure flour.
Dwight

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 02:48:11 PM »
The wide range of responses to this post (120g - 172g = 52g or 43%!) illustrate why it is not a good idea to measure by volume when accuracy and precision are important.

For what it's worth, I approximate KABF at 655g/l = 155g/c

Craig
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 02:53:21 PM »
Wow, we're all over the lot on this one, no wonder I see such wacky numbers when people start talking about hydration %, no ones using the same amounts, so in truth the numbers are meaningless.

Most people use a scale to do the measuring and not volume measurements. I just measured a cup of unpacked and packed Caputo Pizzeria. Unpacked-144.3g Packed-173.3. I used my dads gold scale so I think it is pretty accurate.

The wide range of responses to this post (120g - 172g = 52g or 43%!) illustrate why it is not a good idea to measure by volume when accuracy and precision are important.

Craig

Very true

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 02:58:17 PM »
Exactly the opposite actually. Where people refer to baker's percentages, they are using weights (not volume measurements). Hydration is simply the ratio of weight of water wrt weight of flour.

But how often do people actually get out the scale and weight out each time. I suspect that people may get lazy and just scoop the flour out free hand and saw to themself, "yeah, that's 3 cups", when in reality it may be 3 1/2 of 3 3/4 or whatever. And perhaps when they do that,  they already have the wrong assumption of what the real weight of a cup is.
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Offline PizzaHog

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 03:01:02 PM »
For those without a scale, or to see how volume measures differ, here is a helpful link for those who may not have seen it before.
http://foodsim.toastguard.com/
I believe forum member RedNovember created this.


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 03:02:38 PM »
I scale every single time I make pizza.

buceriasdon

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 03:38:47 PM »
Yep, I do also. Now that I have a decent scale, why not use it? Anymore if I look at a recipe that uses cups, I move on......
Don
PS. Good topic!
[quote auth
or=BrickStoneOven link=topic=11786.msg109261#msg109261 date=1283713358]
I scale every single time I make pizza.
[/quote]

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2010, 04:19:39 PM »
I guess until Pete arrives, here's my 2 cents...

Back sometime when I created the easy to remember basic NY pizza recipe, I spent a little time weighing out different flours using 2 different measuring cups.  I made measurements of unpacked flour leveled by cutting across the top with a butter knife.  I found that my 2 different measuring cups gave slightly different measurements.  I made multiple measurements with both types of measuring cups and took the closest average. 

AP flour : 125-130gm
BF flour : 135-140gm
Hg flour : 140-150gm

« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 04:57:07 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2010, 04:32:11 PM »
Tran Man, thought I'd be hearing from you! OK, try this on for size. I have 5 bags of flour in front of me, they are GM ap unb, Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour, King Arthur Italian-style flour, KA unb. white whole wheat, and KA unb. bread flour. On the "Nutrition Facts" label of each one, is this:
Serving Size 1/4 cup (30g).!!!
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2010, 04:41:49 PM »
I just scooped loosely spooned flour into a measuring cup which I had on my scale (yes I did cancel out the weight of the cup). When I got to 120g (30 x 4), I still had plenty of room left in the cup.
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Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2010, 05:03:44 PM »
One of the reasons I'm asking this question is because I have seen some statements about hydration ratios in post both here and elsewhere that just don't seem realistic. Getting into the upper 60's and l
lower 70's and you can have some damn wet doughs, doughs which are almost impossible to work with. Handling wet doughs is tough, getting them dressed and off a peel is a nightmare. The aggravation alone would negate the joy of the finished product, no matter how great it might be. But, I think that some mismeasuring and or miscalculating may be more common then people realize or want to admit. Of course, if the measurements are as far off as some of the numbers I've seen in this post seem to be, it would explain some of my suspicions. I'm hoping that Pete gets in on this and gives exact numbers of what would be needed to produce a 70% hydration dough, then I'd like anyone who was interested to take those numbers and scale it out to make that dough and see how it handles. I think some people will be in for an eye opener!
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cornicione54

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2010, 05:16:44 PM »
One of the reasons I'm asking this question is because I have seen some statements about hydration ratios in post both here and elsewhere that just don't seem realistic. Getting into the upper 60's and l
lower 70's and you can have some damn wet doughs, doughs which are almost impossible to work with. Handling wet doughs is tough, getting them dressed and off a peel is a nightmare. The aggravation alone would negate the joy of the finished product, no matter how great it might be. But, I think that some mismeasuring and or miscalculating may be more common then people realize or want to admit. Of course, if the measurements are as far off as some of the numbers I've seen in this post seem to be, it would explain some of my suspicions. I'm hoping that Pete gets in on this and gives exact numbers of what would be needed to produce a 70% hydration dough, then I'd like anyone who was interested to take those numbers and scale it out to make that dough and see how it handles. I think some people will be in for an eye opener!

The bakers making pizza bianca in Rome are handling 90+% hydration doughs in some cases. They seem to get them off the peel without too much difficulty ;)

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2010, 05:36:16 PM »
The bakers making pizza bianca in Rome are handling 90+% hydration doughs in some cases. They seem to get them off the peel without too much difficulty ;)

Yeah, but they probably don't have anything better to do. :-)
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2010, 05:49:57 PM »
I know exactly what you are talking about. I see hydrations that seem really high and I would think they would be impossible to handle. The highest I have gone was about 64-65 and it was crazy hard to handle, I couldn't imagine going any higher than that for pizza. I always thought their math or measurements were off but who knows, I guess I am in the same boat as you with no paddle.

Offline dmcavanagh

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2010, 05:54:34 PM »
I know exactly what you are talking about. I see hydrations that seem really high and I would think they would be impossible to handle. The highest I have gone was about 64-65 and it was crazy hard to handle, I couldn't imagine going any higher than that for pizza. I always thought their math or measurements were off but who knows, I guess I am in the same boat as you with no paddle.
Thank God, a voice of reason!
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2010, 06:52:05 PM »
DMC, I know you didn't ask but since I am one of those ppl who likes a well hydrated dough, I thought some insight into what I do might explain things a bit.  From hand kneading a variety of flours, I've noticed that when I knead to a certain consisitency that I like, different flours will have different HR's.  This makes sense since the protein levels vary and in my mind, it's the protein content that determines the level of water a flour will absorb.

For me a 66% HR for caputo 00 flour feels similar to a 69-70% HR for AP flour and a 73-74% HG flour.  Let me say again though that I live 5000+ feet above sea level and in a very dry desert environment, where moisture is wicked away very quickly.  If dough is lefted out without cover, it forms a skin fairly quickly. 

This means several things.  One, my flour is likely drier than someone living in a humid climate.  2) My dough is likely losing moisture during the 30min it's out while I'm kneading.  I don't knead for 30m, but the dough is out that long.  After that I try to keep things covered and sealed.

When I first noticed my hydration ratios were higher than most, it would bother me a bit.  I would double, and triple check my math.  It's not my math.  Since then, I've not worried about it.   

Then there is the issue of bench flour.  How much bench flour am I using?  I typically use about 1gm or less of bench flour during dividing and balling. Yes I measure that amount and factor it into the HR.

I don't measure the bench flour use for stretching the dough but it's not much.  Around 1gm at most and that doesn't change my HR very much.   I've also noticed that when a dough is kneaded well, it will require very little or no bench flour during the dividing and balling stage (after bulk rise).

Prior to stretching, I typically cover the doughball in flour and shake the excess off and then use a minimal amount of flour on the peel.  So I would say that my doughs absorb very little extra flour during this whole process.   

I'm posting some pics of what my dough looks like today after bulk rising, dividing, and balling.  Here is an AP flour dough at 71% HR.  No bench flour is used during the dividing and balling.  I dusk a very minimal amount of flour in the pyrex dish for the dough to sit while it's proofing.  No flour is added to the top. 

Chau