Lisa,

I can fully understand what you are coming from. As a bit of background, and as I have stated before, I was always intrigued by the science and math aspects of pizza making, such as how something that was once alive (wheat) is made dead (flour) and is then resurrected by yeast (wild or commercial) that then gives up its life to make something delectable. That was the beginning of my journey to try to learn as much as I could about pizza making. But shortly after joining the forum, I saw that there was a big problem. The problem was volume measurements. That meant that we lacked a good way to communicate with each other because volume measurements were all over the place simply because there are many ways to measure out ingredients volumetrically (more on this below).

I remember having to go into my kitchen to weigh out ingredients to help members with their many questions that came up because they were using volume measurements. This became tedious so I decided to come up with a scientific approach to the problem by introducing baker's percents. At first, I came up with a basic spreadsheet for basic recipes but what I really wanted for the forum was to have calculators that members could use by themselves to come up with their own recipes, and also to modify them, for example, along the lines that Tony mentioned in an earlier post.

After a lot of research on ingredients and their weights per unit of volume, which took us several months--including looking at a lot of dough recipes, and time spent at the SELF Nutrition Data website at

https://nutritiondata.self.com/ and looking at ingredients labels in supermarkets--another member, Mike (Boy Hits Car), and I created four calculators during 2006 and 2007: the Lehmann NY style dough calculating tool (named in honor of the late Tom Lehmann, from whom I learned just about everything I knew about pizza at the time), a natural preferment dough calculating tool, a deep dish dough calculating tool, and an expanded dough calculating tool.

And to show you how thorough we were, the expanded dough calculating tool had--and still has--41 ingredients. And, for all of the dough calculating tools, and except for flour and water, we converted teaspoons of ingredients to weights (ounces). And we went out to six or seven decimal places. To cite an example, one teaspoon of Morton's Kosher salt weighs 0.1693122 ounces. I should add that there was a reason for many of the numbers being carried out to several decimal places. All of the dough calculating tools could be used to come up with numbers for up to 999 dough balls. This is something that could have value for professionals. But the large numbers meant that there had to be enough spaces in the blocks to handle the much larger numbers for 999 dough balls. But if we entered just one dough ball, the numbers will go out to two decimal places after the whole number, just as it would with 999 dough balls. The tools did not try to round the numbers.

All of the dough calculating tools also allowed for use of thickness factors, by which members could play around with dough skins of different thicknesses, and all of them had bowl residue compensation capability to add a bit more dough to a given dough recipe to compensate for minor losses incurred in making the doughs, as member Jon mentioned. But to get the right final dough ball weights, members would have to weigh the doughs on scales and trim off any amounts of dough above the desired amounts.

The point of the above discussion is to show how reliance was placed on weights rather than volumes. And once the conversion data was built into the calculators, it would be there forever for anyone to use. Unfortunately, the four dough calculating tools were recently retired because they were based on Flash technology that is no longer being supported by Adobe. But all is not lost. A couple of our members have created new versions of the tools. They can be found, along with several other dough calculating tools, in the thread at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=59104.msg592940#msg592940I honestly doubt that I would have stayed with the forum had Mike and I not come up with the original dough calculating tools simply because working with volume measurements would have eventually done me in. We needed a better way and the baker's percent approach was our way of meaningfully communicating with each other.

As a final note, I should mention that another member, November, and I collaborated to find ways of converting volumes of certain ingredients, most notably, flours and water, to weights. I literally took hundreds of weighings of certain brands of flour that member November then used to create algorithms to calculate the conversions. One of the major reasons we did all of this was to be able to convert ingredients given in recipes by volumes to weights (and

*vice versa*). However, in order to do this we had to know how ingredients were measured out volumetrically. You can see the final result, called the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator, at:

https://www.pizzamaking.com/FoodSim.htmNote, in particular, the Measurement Method pull-down menu and how it applies to the different ways that flours can be measured out volumetrically. I personally have used the Mass-Volume Conversion Calculator when a recipe is recited in volumes, and especially for flours, but even then I have to try to find out how the flours were measured out volumetrically. I viewed what November and I did was to leave no stone unturned.

Peter