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bread flour: measure by weight or by volume? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

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  • bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

    For almost a year I have been happily and successfully making delicious pain l'ancienne loaves and rolls using volume measurements for flour (cups). But I recently thought it would be more consistent and faster to use a scale to measure out my flour.

    In Reinhardt's book he says to use 6 cups or 27 oz. of bread flour. I'm now thinking that is a typographical error. Twenty-seven ounces by weight is about 800 grams, but six cups of King Arthur bread flour actually weighs about 1,100 grams (numbers rounded a bit).

    I am now waiting to shape and bake my first batch of scale-weighed bread flour bread. For this batch I used my regular half-recipe ancienne based on 3 cups of flour (more than that doesn't fit on my pizza stone). It weighed 550 grams (19 oz) on the scale.

    I'll let you know tomorrow how it came out.

    Wondering if any of you have thoughts on the volume/weight subject?

    .

  • #2
    Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

    I've noticed the same thing in Reinhart's book. His recipe for a firm starter for sourdough calls for 2/3ds of a cup (4 oz) barm. 2/3rds of a cup of my barm weighs about 7 oz. I either use all volume or all weight measures when baking bread. I don't mix the two. Results don't seem to vary too much.

    Changing types of flour causes more problems for me. Also, our humidity levels here in the NW are all over the scale so hydration rates seem to vary enormously. If the hydration of the dough seems way out of wack, I free-wheel it with more flour or water until I get back to the consistency I'm looking for.
    GJBingham
    -----------------------------------
    Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

    -

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    • #3
      Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

      Different flours by volume will weigh out differently as will other ingredients, such as salt, for a wide variety of reasons...relative humidity for one...coarseness of grind for another...think of the mozzarella...4 ounces cut from a block will not take up as much space in a bowl as will 4 ounces of shredded...your advice to not mix methods during one batch is very good...whatever you do be consistent...besides...unless you have to have someone else measuring your cups and tablespoons you will likely be very consistent anyway.
      All the best!
      Dutch
      "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
      "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

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      • #4
        Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

        Well, my batch of rolls is springing up in the oven and look to be perfect through the glass as I write this. So I guess my calculations are in the ballpark.

        I understand about humidity and hygroscopic ingredients, but 400 grams of flour ain't anywhere near 550 grams.

        I was just sharing a little experience as it happened to me.

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        • #5
          Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

          Good observations though Thirties. Thanks for posting. Somedays bread and dough can be very frustrating.
          GJBingham
          -----------------------------------
          Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make mistakes when nobody is looking.

          -

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?

            Originally posted by gjbingham View Post
            Some days bread and dough can be very frustrating.
            Maybe so, but when you get it right, it surely is satisfying -- the staff of life, eh!

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