Introduction: Weighing Out Ingredients
Congratulations on deciding to became a baker! You may be thinking to yourself, "Oh gosh, that sounds a lot more serious than I expected this class to be." But in all honesty, baking is about making simple ingredients shine, and giving them the time they need to develop flavor. So remember, keep it simple, and be patient, when you master those skills, you're truly a baker.
This lesson goes over the basics of how we will measure ingredients and prepare them to be mixed together. Along the way, we will learn a bit about the food science that makes breadmaking feel a little like chemistry class. Moreover, you will learn to start honing your baker's intuition. Your first loaf is only the beginning.
Tools and Ingredients
To follow along in this lesson you will need the following:
Tools (if you want to know more about the tools used in this class, check out the Appendix for this class)
- Bowls for mixing
- Bowl scraper
- Probe thermometer
- Dough whisk (optional)
- Bread lame or super sharp knife
- Baking pan, preferably a loaf pan, but a cookie sheet works in a pinch.
- Parchment Paper
- 500 grams white bread flour + additional flour for dusting, so keep a dish of flour nearby.
- 325 grams water, at 110 degrees.
- 12 grams dry active yeast
- 12 grams salt
Weighing Out Your Amounts
Baking and accuracy go hand in hand. We measure ingredients in weights to assure that we are consistently adding the same amount of ingredients. Measuring the volume of flour is much more inaccurate than measuring its weight, since different flours compress differently, and one cup of whole wheat flour weighs more than one cup of white bread flour. If you need equal weights of those ingredients, it is important to use a scale and not a measuring cup.
We will need to determine weights of ingredients with a bowl on our scale for every lesson in this class. This means we have to tare the scale. When we tare the scale, we reset the scale to zero so that we may add ingredients incrementally, without having to use any other measuring tools besides a scoop or water pitcher. To tare your scale:
- Place your bowl on the scale
- Find and depress the 'tare' or 'zero' button on your scale.
You may tare the scale between adding each ingredient. For example:
- Place your bowl onto the scale and tare to zero.
- Measure your water in grams or milliliters into a bowl and tare the scale back to zero.
- Measure your flour into the same bowl until you have your desired weight in grams
- and so on and so forth :)
One tool for all your measuring needs! How cool is that?!