Author Topic: Weights and Measures  (Read 6341 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline widespreadpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1224
  • Location: NH
    • my beer store opening in june 2011
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #60 on: October 18, 2010, 09:11:20 PM »
Here is my take on using scales.  They,  along with this forum are what taught me what the proper consitency is for different styles of dough is.    Without it,  I would have gotten there,  but not as quickly.  Could I go without it,  sure but why.  I think they have it right over in Europe,  Their recipies are expressed in metric,  and not just for bread.  It makes perfect sense,  and it works over and over again.  I use the site all recipies.com and they have a converter from standard and metric quanities and it works great.  Try making a quickbread from that site,  you can mix it up in one bowl in minutes,  as opposed to dirtying various inacurate measures.  Some of the stuff our newer members have pulled off in the first or second attemps,  are a testament to the scale and also this forum.  My final point on scales is this.  I almost never make dough the same way,  or at least the same recipie or quanity of dough,  but I always use a scale.  The dough calculators on this site have got to be the best thing that has happened to the understanding of dough on this forum.    Now I have an understanding of the general properties of many types of bread and pizza dough,  and formulate whatever I am feeling as far as stlye and how much time I have for fermentation,  and or what I have on hand.  So I always use both the calculator and the scale,  but rarely make the same dough.  -marc


Offline Tscarborough

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 3449
  • Location: Austin, TX
    • Pizza Anarchy
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #61 on: October 18, 2010, 09:27:55 PM »
Note that I am not saying you shouldn't use a scale and recipes, just that you do not have to.

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22072
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #62 on: October 18, 2010, 09:55:47 PM »
There are some members, like Jose L. Piedre (JLP), who have cleverly found ways to make doughs using volume measurements rather than weights. JLP described his particular method earlier in this thread at Reply 51 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,11786.msg113329.html#msg113329. Chau described one of his methods at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,10789.msg96280.html#msg96280. As far as I am concerned, those are useful contributions for those who prefer to work with volume measurements rather than weights.

I think the hardest dough to make without a scale is a cracker-style dough, especially one that is to yield a very crispy crust. Being off on the hydration by only a few percent (on the high side) can yield a crust that is too soft or tender and not crispy. Of all of the complaints I have read from members about cracker style pizzas, I would say that not getting a crust that is crispy enough is one of the common complaints (along with difficulties in rolling out the skins). Since I like very crispy cracker style crusts, it is hard for me to imagine ever trying to make a dough that will result in such a crust using only volume measurements. Of all the doughs I have made, I would say that a cracker-style dough is the hardest to make by "feel". At a hydration of around 35%, the dough can be so dry that it almost does not have a "feel". Moreover, to be sure that the final skin is thin enough in relation to its size (diameter) so that you end up with a crispy crust on a consistent basis, you really need a scale to weigh the skin.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 10:09:20 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6987
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #63 on: October 18, 2010, 10:31:13 PM »
When I first started making pizzas, scales, baker's percents, and the dough calculating tools were very foreign to me.  I quickly picked up a digital scale and learned how to calculate baker's percents.  I always had a goal of being able to make great pizza by volume measurements and feel.  Though I have accomplished that goal now, it did not come without making hundreds of doughs by accurately measuring and weighing ingredients and making mental and visual notes of changes made to the formulas and the effects on the condition of the dough. 

Though I have only made a few Lehmann style pizzas, I will 2nd Marc's comment about the value of the dough tools specifically the Lehmann calculator.   It took me being on the forum for several months before I got over my fear of using this thing.  Currently I use it almost everytime I make dough, especially for making NY, NY-elite, and even Neapolitan pies.  Yes the Calculator is so versatile.  For those not familiar with it, you can find it on the home page under dough tools.  You can customize your dough with this calculator.  I did it manually with a calculator for months, but this tool is the "EASY Button". 

And for making deep dish or using a new recipe, weighing ingredients is crucial to getting the intended results and I could not dream of eyeballing the amounts.   Because I still like to experiment with different formulas, I always weigh flour and water, and typically use volume measurements to measure the rest. 

Chau
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 10:49:39 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline widespreadpizza

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1224
  • Location: NH
    • my beer store opening in june 2011
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2010, 10:42:44 PM »
Hmm,  maybe I am in the minority,  I weigh everything except small amounts of yeast...  I have a list of all of my commonly used mixing bowl/dough toos by weight in case i ever let the scale time out or re-zero it by accident.  It has come in handy a few times.  -marc

Offline Jackie Tran

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 6987
  • Location: Albuquerque NM
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2010, 10:49:06 PM »
Hmm,  maybe I am in the minority,  I weigh everything except small amounts of yeast...  I have a list of all of my commonly used mixing bowl/dough toos by weight in case i ever let the scale time out or re-zero it by accident.  It has come in handy a few times.  -marc

Marc, I didn't mention that I have weighed out salt, sugar, oil, yeast, and starter many many times and have kept notes on the standard weight of a teaspoon or tablespoon of each and have since use volume measurements for those items but will often weigh them out again if it's not a common recipe or batch size I use.

The odd thing I've noted using the Lehmann tool is that occassionally the weight of salt (or other ingredients) don't quite match up with the volume measurement given.  I have often fallen back on weighing those items as well b/c they tend to be less than the volume measurements.  As an example, I made pizza tonight requiring 9gm of salt which is ~2 tsp (1.9) according to the tool, but I reached 9gm at 1.5 tsp and stopped there. 

Chau
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 10:53:24 PM by Jackie Tran »

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 22072
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Weights and Measures
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2010, 11:10:34 PM »
Chau,

I don't remember whether I used Steve's numbers for salt when I was involved in the design of the various dough calculating tools but many of the conversion numbers for the tools came from the nutritiondata.self.com website or corresponding government websites. For ingredients not covered by those websites, I often used the Nutrition Facts for the ingredients. Failing those sources, I would use conversion data derived by weighing ingredients on my small scale that can handle small quantities of ingredients. Also, some numbers from the above sources can be rounded off in the form as presented.

It is also important to remember that certain ingredients can have varying weights. For example, ingredients like salt and sugar are hygroscopic in nature and can attract moisture from their surroundings, including the air. That can increase the weights of those ingredient. Other ingredients can dry out over time in storage and end up with weights that are less than the original weights. There are no easy ways to compensate for these effects. However, the differences shouldn't be so great as to be evident in the final product, particularly when there are competing sources of a given ingredient. For example, salt and sugar can be used in the sauce and salt will also be present in the cheeses and meat toppings.

Peter
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 11:27:28 PM by Pete-zza »


 

pizzapan