Measuring

Most bread baking books will tell you how important it is to get your measurements right. They will recommend weighing your ingredients, instead of using measuring cups. Here’s what Daniel Leader and Judith Blahnik say in their book Bread Alone:

A scale is vital. I like the ultra-precise Pelouze Balance Beam, but home bakers will do fine with a small spring scale. Bakers are incredibly precise about their ingredients. They weigh everything. It’s more reliable and specific than a measuring cup…

Well, I have to admit that I have yet to invest in a Pelouze Balance Beam scale. πŸ™‚ It’s true, though, with so many environmental variables surrounding the baking of bread in a home kitchen, it helps to have consistency at least in your ingredients and measurements. One trick I’ve developed comes with the measuring of salt and yeast.

I’ve converted old baking powder containers into spice and salt containers.

This allows me to get fairly accurate measurements from one batch of bread to the next so that I know how to better make adjustments. I’ve converted some other spices to these containers, too. Spices that are potent and whose quantities need to be monitored carefully.

Plus, the wide mouths allow little bakers easy access to the ingredients.

And there’s no way to measure my delight when little–or big helpers–join me when I’m baking.

Nope, no scale, Pelouze or not,

that measures delight…

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4 thoughts on “Measuring

  1. My Granny wasn’t really a bread baker- other than cornbread and hoecake- but she was a wonderful Southern baker and cook. And I don’t recall her ever even using measuring cups. It was a scoop of this, a pinch of that…

    • Adriane–yes, many of the best bakers and cooks, like my husband, have an inner sense of measuring and are able to pull off flavors and taste by instinct. Love that. Salt is the one thing when making bread that I try to be very careful with. Salt retards dough, so too much not only changes the flavor but also changes the actual leavening. I’m not hyper precise when it comes to exact flour and water measurements, and when I’m adding ingredients, like grated cheese, chopped rosemary or olive oil I simply put in as much as I feel like at the moment. In the end, dough is a changeable thing, and you learn to adjust just by looking at or feeling it. Love that about baking–how it’s a bit different every time.

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