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Offline nbruno3

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Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« on: October 11, 2018, 01:37:01 PM »
Hi all - first post here so please forgive my ignorance. But I am planning to make my first batch of homemade dough this coming weekend - and am currently coming up with a recipe/percentages for my dough based on recommendations found on here. With this in mind, I have a quick question...

What is the best/most effective way to get from percentages to usable amounts? Especially with some ingredients like water or olive oil (fl. oz) being in different units than things like flour (cups or grams). Do you just convert everything to grams and use a scale? Thanks in advance for the help!

Offline tracy

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 01:44:36 PM »
Convert everything to grams and use a scale, as you indicated.  That way, you don't have to worry about ingredients being wet or dry.  Just measure everything in grams and use that as the foundation for your calculations.

edit:  If you start with grams, you don't actually need to convert anything else.  Since baking percentages are inherently percentage based, which is unit agnostic, you could really use any unit of measurement as long as you were consistent throughout the recipe, i.e. for a 60% hydration dough, 600g of water to 1000g of flour, or 3 cups of water to 5 cups of flour.  Measuring everything in grams tends to be more accurate than measuring by volume, so that tends to be the go to method with regards to baking.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 01:50:49 PM by tracy »

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 01:45:56 PM »
I think your best bet is just use a scale(s) - using volume measurements can get you into trouble and using grams is easy and foolproof...

Others may feel differently and hopefully you will get other opinions - either way don't forget to have fun....

PS. Have you looked at the original dough calculator - I think it handled many conversions.

https://www.pizzamaking.com/dough-calculator.html

But it is using Flash so many browsers my not like that....

What recipe are you planning to use - maybe I can help.
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 03:22:40 PM »
Thank you Tracy and Narcoscia - I will go ahead and proceed with grams/weight for my conversions! As for my recipe, it is just a guess based on what I've seen other people do - and then I will tweak it going forward from there. I originally wanted to go for a NP but knowing the restrictions of my oven at home, I figured I would just try a more traditional New York Style or American style, here's my recipe...

Caputo '00' Chef's Flour (100%)
Water (85 degrees farenheit) (62%)
ADY (0.8%)
Salt (2.5%)
Olive oil (1%)
Sugar (still debating on % if any at all...)

Any thoughts or comments are appreciated!

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 03:43:08 PM »
Hi, Iím out food shopping now but if that flour is not malted you will want to use sugar or you will have major problems getting the crust brown at home oven temps.  Iíll add more info when I get home, hopefully you have some time before you need to make your dough.
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

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Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 03:51:44 PM »
I am in no rush at all - looking forward to hearing the rest of your thoughts when you have the time!

Online ARenko

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 04:08:22 PM »
I originally wanted to go for a NP but knowing the restrictions of my oven at home
I want to do NP as well eventually, but also currently working with a home oven.  I like Reinhart's Neo-Neopolitan with this formulation...

Flour                                            100%
Salt                                              2%
Instant yeast                                 .44%
Malted Barley syrup                        4.2%
Water                                            71%
Olive oil                                         4.2%

Have been very happy with it.  I talk about it starting at reply 14 here...

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=52550.msg529530#msg529530

These days I get my stone hotter with long heating and then the broiler.  I also set my oven calibration at +35F.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 04:12:44 PM by ARenko »

Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 04:36:22 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion ARenko! After seeing some of those pictures, I think this might have to be the recipe I go with. Quick question, though...

If I lower the water percentage a bit, can I avoid the re-balling steps? For example, how would that dough turn out with everything the same except at a 60% - 65% hydration? I suppose these are the things I will learn through experimentation! I am expecting to mix the ingredients, kneed the dough for 15 or so minutes, let sit for a half hour to an hour, portion it out, and then set in the fridge for a CF. I see there is a ton of different thoughts/procedures regarding fermentation with whether or not you let it rise, then portion, then refrigerate, or directly refrigerate, etc. All things I am curious about but again, things I will likely learn best by just trying them out.

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 07:03:58 PM »
Iím back, ó so there are plenty of great recipes on this board - it really comes down to what flavors you like and what texture(s) you are trying to create. The thing that can alter the final product (just as much as the recipe) is the workflow you use. Everything matters and some things more than others. You asked about hydration so I'll talk about that a bit.

Really almost anything will / can work - and the more water you put into your dough the more it will be open and airy when you finish baking (to a point). This is most noticeable in the rim of the pie especially on a very thin pizza but it will have the same effect on the whole crust - you just may not see / notice it if you pile on the sauce, cheese and toppings.

The down side to higher water levels is the difficulty in managing the pizza and sliding it into the oven. The size (and thickness) of the pie you make also makes a big difference with higher hydration values. If you are making a smallish pizza 10-13 inches it will not matter as much, you will just need some bench flour and you can generally launch w/o too much difficulty. But very high hydration doughs can become very hard to handle once the pie gets up in the 14-18 inch range (much more surface area to stick) especially if they are heavily topped and or left on the peel too long.

I'm assuming you will be using a peel and launching the pizza onto a stone or steel. If otherwise, high H2O is not too much of a worry (ie - using parchment paper or a screen / pan of some type - no launching required) you will probably enjoy the texture of the crust more when using more, vice less water (especially if you are attracted to the general characteristics of a NP style pizza). All flours are rated for a maximum amount of water. So recipes that just state flour can get you into trouble. As a rule of thumb (usually) flour with higher protein levels can take more water.

My recommendation for oil is regular vegetable oil ó but I add oil as a dough conditioner not as a flavor ingredient. Highly refined olive oil has less flavor, so I would not lose sleep over using it - but (again generally) EVOO has a stronger flavor - and it might overpower the subtle dough flavors you will develop during your fermentation period.

The Malted Barley syrup is a matter of preference - totally up to your taste buds - I donít use it but my focus is NY style and it is not that common in that style.

Type of flour - you absolutely need to determine if your flour is malted - if it is not malted it is best suited for the extremely high temperatures found in a wood fired oven. If you use a flour that is not malted you MUST add a browning agent(s) (some type of sugar) or it  will never color properly at home oven temperatures. Malted flour(s) will color properly at typical home oven temperatures.

If you are just getting started and are looking for a softer more tender crust I would say just start with regular all purpose (AP) flour (it is malted). If you wanted more of the chew typical in a NY crust I would point you to bread flour (which is also malted) - just remember AP flour has less protein so it will not handle as much water as bread flour. In time you may want to start adding in 00 flour or mixing AP and bread flour but I really don't recommend that for starting out.

The IDY (Instant Dry Yeast levels) .4 can handle a 24 hour cold fermentation (CF) even longer (or shorter) depending on how you handle the ingredients / dough and what your finished dough temperature is.

Plenty more I can say but I donít want to bore you into a coma or clog up the internet with the worldís biggest post. :-D

Donít forget to have fun - that is the most important part of good pizza memoriesÖ..
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 07:09:16 PM by norcoscia »
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

Online ARenko

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 07:57:50 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion ARenko! After seeing some of those pictures, I think this might have to be the recipe I go with. Quick question, though...

If I lower the water percentage a bit, can I avoid the re-balling steps? For example, how would that dough turn out with everything the same except at a 60% - 65% hydration? I suppose these are the things I will learn through experimentation! I am expecting to mix the ingredients, kneed the dough for 15 or so minutes, let sit for a half hour to an hour, portion it out, and then set in the fridge for a CF. I see there is a ton of different thoughts/procedures regarding fermentation with whether or not you let it rise, then portion, then refrigerate, or directly refrigerate, etc. All things I am curious about but again, things I will likely learn best by just trying them out.
I'm a newbie so others can probably answer better.  In the thread I linked started by fazzari he talks a lot about reballing.  I found if I didn't, the dough really flattens out in the fridge.  Not sure if it's a problem or not, but I'd reball in the morning and cook at night and it worked well. 

Hydration I think makes the dough more airy and helps with the long cook time in the oven.  I didn't find it too hard to handle.  I did the stretch and fold method Reinhart reccomends and it was pretty easy - just mixed by hand and did four stretch and folds (book says three, but on pizzaquest he updated to four).

ETA: I used bread flour as recommended in the recipe.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 09:41:45 PM by ARenko »

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Offline tracy

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2018, 09:00:24 PM »
I've used that flour before (Caputo 00 Chef's Flour, also known as Caputo Red).  I started adding 2% sugar to my recipe when I began using it, else I wouldn't get much browning as mentioned above.  I've since switched to Caputo 00 Americano, which is allegedly designed for use in home ovens at temperatures between 500-600 degrees F.  I've kept the sugar because I like the degree of browning it imparts, but I'm not certain if it's necessary for this flour.

Offline foreplease

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2018, 09:06:21 PM »
That was a good and generous post, Norm. Nicely done.
-Tony
Enjoy every sandwich. - Warren Zevon

Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2018, 10:53:41 PM »
Norm - as foreplease said, that post was more than generous of you! Thank you so much for the tips and information, clearly I have plenty to learn but I am looking forward to all of it and of course will have plenty of fun in the process. I will indeed be using a peel/stone, and am pretty nervous about the initial transfer haha. As for the flour, maybe I will try bread flour instead to avoid having to use sugar - is using multiple flours in one dough a common practice? Is it beneficial?

One more question if you don't mind, and it has to do with yeast so I know this could be a can of worms... But I was looking at a chart TXCraig compiled regarding fermentation times for different temperatures, %s, etc. But I've noticed that many videos I've watched as well recipes/instructions I've read don't always follow "protocol." I know it can be somewhat subjective, but I was wondering if there are "in general" type rules that control how yeast/dough behaves. For example, I'm assuming the colder the temperature the dough rests/ferments at, the slower the fermentation process? Also, does more yeast (up to a certain point) make the dough ferment faster? Again, I know this is a lot but I appreciate yours and anyone else's advice/thoughts!

Ps. My apologies for referring to people as their usernames until if/when I learn real names. I'm Nick, by the way :)

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2018, 10:08:23 AM »
Hi Nick, the fermentation chart Craig (TXCraig) developed is a fantastic tool and provides a reasonable jumping in point when you are determining how long you want your fermentation period to be. The chart uses algorithms so it can be unintentionally precise. I believe this is more true for CF than room temperature (RT) fermentation. If you are doing CF you have an enormous window of opportunity (time) around the precise times detailed in the chart. The things you do (your process) will have more of an effect on the ďbest time to bakeĒ compared to a shift on the chart.

Example. Person A uses really cold water and measures flour from a storage location in a cold garage. Mixes everything together and ends up with a cold finished dough temperature. Depending how person A handled the yeast, it could have been shocked - slowing down the dough even more. The dough is balled and goes into the fridge.

Person B uses room temperature water and measures flour from a bin stored inside the house which is a comfortable 73 degrees F. Mixes everything together and ends up with a warm finished dough temperature. Everything else is done exactly the same otherwise. The dough is balled and goes into the fridge.

Person A and B will experience major differences in their fermentation rate until the dough balls in the fridge equalize in temperature (which can take some time due to the insulating properties of dough and the dough ball size / shape).

As a general rule of thumb you are trying to ferment your dough until it doubles in size (or a bit more than that). The time to hit that sweet spot will be different for Person A and B (for the reasons I mentioned above). And there are other factors that can impact fermentation rate - in a negative or positive manner. Those items can be part of the workflow or ingredient amounts.

The reason Iím mentioning this is because there are countless workflows that will work perfectly - but if you are not consistent and change workflows and ingredient amounts you are going to have a hard time understanding what is going on with your dough - remember it is alive.  It is best not to change more than one thing at a time.

Using multiple flours can help you for many different reasons like, taste, oven characteristics, texture, color etc. ó But (IMO) not a good idea to jump into that until you get into a groove with a workflow and settle on a recipe you like. I have a deck oven in my garage and I use different flours to adjust for the unique properties of the oven - most others on this forum do it to adjust taste or texture of the final pie. BTW, for the last few weeks I have been building an online dough sauce and cheese calculator - Iíll give you the link later so you can check it out. It handles multiple flours.

Iím not sure how big a pizza you plan to make or what type of material your peel is made out of ó or how big your landing zone (stone) is. You can find videos of people online using metal peels and launch in one quick motion. I donít recommend metal peels for launching or launching in one quick motion for someone who has not gotten comfortable with the launching process yet.  Wooden peels are many times easier to launch from - save your metal peel for turning and removing the pizza. The time your pizza spends on the peel (as you dress it) can be the difference between making pizza or making a calzone. Use some bench flour - work quickly and during the dressing process give your peel a little shake a few times - it needs to be sliding freely or youíre going to have a problem. I recommend placing the peel on the cooking surface about where you want the far edge of the pie to be - tilt the handle up a bit and give the peel a little shake. It should slide off the peel and the the small (inch or so) bit of the dough that hits the surface will stick a little. Then continue to shake while pulling the peel out. If the pie is not coming out round as it exits the peel, moving the handle up will make the shape wider, lowering the handle as the pie is sliding off will help it not bunch up and you can actually pull it into shape a bit by sliding the peel back while the front fo the pie is stuck on the surface. - not hard to do but it takes a few launches to get it down so it is easy and natural. You can practice with a slice of bread - that will not behave like dough but it will help you imprint some muscle memory. (Sorry - this is hard to explain - but really isnít that hard once you do it - maybe someone can provide a link to a good video to illustrate it)...

One final thing - home ovens are not as powerful as real pizza shop ovens - try to limit the amount of time the door is open - door oven means your are pouring heat out of the oven. Donít open the door unless you need to turn the pie or until you are ready to remove it.

To your questions, yes - colder means slower fermentation rate, yes, more yeast will make the dough move faster and your time to bake will be shorter. It is a balance. Other things can impact fermentation time - salt is a big one, we add salt for flavor but it also will slow your fermentation. Salt ranges are usually between 1.75% - to 2.75%, just know that adding more salt will inhibit fermentation rate. I donít think anyone has a chart for that or at least I have not seen itÖ.

One more thing - the scales you use - you really need two.  One is a typical home food scale - use that one to measure out your flour and water. That scale will not be accurate enough to the smaller quantities like your yeast. You need a much more accurate scale for that - luckily you can get a small very accurate micro scale on amazon for 10-15 dollars. I measure everything else (beyond the water and flour) on my micro scale that measures down to a 100th of a gram. Using two scales is important for repeatability.

I hope this helps you - if anything was hard to understand, let me know, Iím happy to try again or answer any other questions you might haveÖ.

PS. Link to my dough, sauce and cheese online calculator below - there is also a thread on it here on pizzamaking.com if you are interested.

www.mypizzamaster.com

 :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza: :pizza:
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 01:55:37 PM by norcoscia »
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2018, 01:44:10 PM »
Again, thank you so much for all this info. I'm trying to retain everything you've said so far - it's going to take some time haha, but I'm really looking forward to getting the hang of all of this! Your example of how easy it is to alter the fermentation times of dough was super helpful, and I will keep all of that launching information in mind as well as I go to make my first pie.

I'm also thinking I might need to hold off and purchase a micro scale before I start this process - I didn't even think about the small percentage/accuracy I would need for yeast, sugar, salt, etc.

Thanks again for all of the help/advice, I'm loving this forum and how friendly and helpful everyone is. I will definitely check out your dough, sauce, and cheese calculator, and report back here with (hopefully) a success story about my first pizza!

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Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2018, 02:10:21 PM »
Nick, Iím glad I could help - BTW, one other item I should have mentioned. It is good to have a small probe type quick reading digital thermometer (a cheap one is fine). When you take your dough out of the refrigerator it needs to warm up a bit before you make your pie or you could have trouble with bubbles. I usually take mine out an hour or so before I plan to stretch out the skin and dress the pie. You can just go with an hour +/- 30 min or take the doughís temperature - ideally the dough should be around 55 - 60 degrees before you make your pie.

Two questions for you - first, do you know about keeping the dough ball in cheap plastic bags while fermenting?
Second, do you understand the terms elasticity and extensibility as they relate to a pizza dough? - dough temperature and hydration will significantly affect elasticity and extensibility (as will re-balling / and time).

Happy to share more if you want any infoÖ

PS. a thermometer can also help you understand if your are hitting your finished dough temperature target - it should be around 78 degrees F +/- a degree or 2.....
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 02:14:38 PM by norcoscia »
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

Offline nbruno3

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2018, 04:04:40 PM »
Norm - I have not heard anything about keeping the dough in plastic bags while fermenting, I was going to store in tupperware/plastic containers. Is one way better than the other?

And I understand those terms in a broad sense - elasticity is the "stretchiness" and extensibility is how much you can stretch the dough before it breaks?

One final question, when you say finished dough temp - you mean right when you finish the kneeding process before fermenting? Also, do you let your dough rest for a little at RT before a CF? I've seen some people do this while others go right to the fridge.

Offline norcoscia

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 04:40:03 PM »
Hi Nick, tupperware / plastic containers work fine, the advantage (for me) is the cheap plastic bags don't take up nearly as much room. You can get like 100 or more for a ~dollar. I spray them with oil inside, drop the balls in and tuck the top of the bag underneath. Then when I take the dough out to shape the used bags go into the trash with zero to wash. The thin bags also help my dough balls come up to proper temperature (on the counter) quickly before I open the skin and dress the pie.

Elasticity is how much the dough ball fights you when you try to open it - a very elastic dough will be hard to open and want to snap back to a smaller shape. The reason I mentioned it is if you re-ball you need to make sure you give the gluten time to relax - if you re-ball and try to open too soon you will run into problems, the dough will be too elastic. It is best to wait 6-12 hours after a re-ball before you try to open the dough. The stronger the flour (the more protein it has) the more elastic it will be (all other things being equal). As the dough ferments, compounds formed within the dough will cause it to become less elastic and easier to open.

Extensibility is how easily the dough opens - you want to hit a sweet spot (balance) between extensibility and elasticity. The two big things that will make a dough more extensible are temperature and hydration. The warmer the dough gets the more extensible it will become, that is why you usually donít want the dough to get up to room temperature before you open. The more water in a dough the more extensible it will be. Extensibility is good as long as it does not go too far - a dough that is too extensible can be very hard to work with. Extensibility is one of the main reasons a dough with more water will puff up more in the oven compared to one that has a lower hydration.

Finished dough temperature is the temperature of the dough when you are finished messing with it. Once you are finished kneading you can wait a bit or not, it makes little difference unless you wait a very long time before putting it into the refrigerator. My preference is to do an initial mix and and then wait 10-15 min before I finish mixing - that will give the flour time to hydrate more and help you get the dough to a nice smooth surface. I often give my dough a few rest periods and break up my mixing or do some extra stretch and folds. That is kind of the same as resting it for a bit before it goes into the refrigerator.

Talk to you laterÖ.. and I can't wait to see your pizza!!!!
Norm
Baker's Pride GP-61 NG, Baker's Pride M02T 220V, PizzaParty Ardore (with saputo tiles) LP
Focus is NY style but do others too
Preferred Flour (for NY pies) is All Trumps BB
Preferred temperature for NY is 550F, for NP 825F
Preferred type of yeast IDY

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2018, 08:00:13 PM »
I will give a different opinion than the others and say it is best to use volumetric quantities until you are more familiar with the process.  Believe it or not,  it is much easier  than using baker's percentages.  Once you are comfortable with the process and ingredients, you can then refine your dough using weights.  For example, here is a dough I use for same day (and it also makes an excellent baguette)


5 cups flour
2-3/4 cup water (as needed, that is a start)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast

That makes 4 doughballs at about 280grams, for 14 inch pizzas (or 3 baguettes).

Offline andytiedye

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Re: Baker's percentages to usable quantities
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2018, 11:41:03 PM »
I'm doing sourdough, which introduces some additional variables, and there really isn't any recipe for what I am doing anyway.

Rather than try to measure precisely, I just do it roughly by volume and add flour or water to get the dough to look and act like dough while kneading it in a bread machine.

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