So Pete is there anywhere you can go to read up on the basics of the math you use for all this? I'd like to be able to take a recipe that gives weight measurements only and go up or down in size. if something happens to you, how are the rest of us going to do these fancy conversions
If a recipe is stated in weights, then it is just a simple matter of converting the recipe to baker's percent format. If you are not familiar with baker's percents, there are many articles on the subject all over the Internet. However, one of our members did a nice job explaining baker's percents at http://www.mightypizzaoven.com/bakers-percentage-calculator
. If the ingredients are common ingredients as are used in pizza making, then you can enter the baker's percents in one of the dough calculating tools and scale up or down as you wish. The most basic dough calculating tool for flat pizzas is the Lehmann dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough-calculator.html
. Once you get into less common ingredients, the best tool for that purpose on the forum is the expanded dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/expanded-calculator.html
. That tool has over forty different ingredients. It took a lot of time and work to come up with the volume-to-weight conversions for that many ingredients. There are some good places for helping do that, such as at http://nutritiondata.self.com/
, but the NutritionDataSelf website does not have every ingredient in its database, so you use product labels to calculate the conversion factors or you weigh volume samples on a small, accurate scale. Mike and I used all three of these methods. In some cases, where there were many sources of ingredients, such as vital wheat gluten, we averaged the conversion factors.
All of the tools, including the others listed at http://www.pizzamaking.com/dough-tools.html
, allow users to work with dough weights or thickness factors. Calculating thickness factors for flat pizzas is easy if you know a particular dough ball weight and the size of pizza to be made with the dough. The thickness factor calculation is:
TF = (Dough ball weight)/(3.14159 x R x R), where R is the radius of the pizza.
Thickness factor calculations become more difficult for a deep-dish pizza because there is dough that covers both the bottom of the pan and the sides of the pan, and the dough can be pushed up either to the top of the pan or somewhere in between. The calculation is pretty straightforward if the pan has straight sides, but the math becomes more complicated if the sides of the pan are sloped (they are trapezoids). That was the hardest part of the design of the deep-dish dough calculating tool and we struggled on how to do that but after much head scratching Mike came through with a solution for doing the calculation. Of all of the dough calculating tools, the deep-dish dough calculating tool was the hardest to create and is the most unique of all of the dough calculating tools. I have not seen such a tool anywhere although Aimless Ryan (Ryan) created his own spreadsheet version. He prefers his tool over ours because, among other things, he can vary the thickness factor for both the bottom of the pan and the sides. That might be useful for a Malnati type deep-dish pizza since the dough is shaped in the pan by hand. It would not be needed for skins that are formed by machines (sheeters/rollers) and have a uniform thickness, as is done at, say, Giordano's.
There will always be cases that do not fit the above tools or methods. In those cases, you usually end up using pencil and paper and a calculator and whatever else you can find on the Internet.