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Thirties 05-22-2008 08:50 AM

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?

.

gjbingham 05-22-2008 10:58 AM

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.

Dutchoven 05-22-2008 12:36 PM

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

Thirties 05-22-2008 01:51 PM

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.

gjbingham 05-22-2008 06:17 PM

Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?
 
Good observations though Thirties. Thanks for posting. Somedays bread and dough can be very frustrating.

Thirties 05-23-2008 05:30 AM

Re: bread flour: measure by weight or by volume?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gjbingham (Post 33136)
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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