The Wood-Fired Blog

Using a Digital Kitchen Scale to Experiment

Here is a slightly different way of thinking about a digital kitchen scale. Years ago, when I first started baking, the single most important thing I did early on was to use a kitchen scale that I set to work in grams. At first it was a consistent way of getting my hydration right for pizza dough, and then it slowly evolved into my bread baking — and it led to the Forno Bravo “Perfect Pizza Dough by Weight” formula, and my constant advice to friends, “weigh the water”. But as a think-outside-the-box kind of person, I have always thought that there was a inconsistency between “weigh the water” and “do your own thing”.

Now, if I was a talented baker, and I could get my dough right every time using experience and feel, I could get the best of both worlds. But I’m not. haha. I know my limits — though I try to push out against them all of the time.

But recently, I’ve been thinking about a new approach. Thinking about whole wheat, whole grain bread, there are some basic rules that you need to stick with — probably most importantly is hydration in the low to mid 80%. My dense loaves with less water reinforced that in my mind. Also, I have been adding about 30% fun stuff (nuts, seeds, whole grains) and about 12% moist stuff (olive oil, honey, molasses).

So within these guides lines, I can totally mess around. One thing I will be trying to do is continually get difference in flavors and textures — to not make the same loaf of bread twice in a row to keep things interesting. There’s nothing worse than boring.

Up for today — 30% muesli. It should be interesting.