Rounding Up Sourdough Ingredients and Materials

When I start reading bread recipes, I was intimidated by all the special tools baking required. A peel? Sounds like something that should be on an orange. A lame? Rude.

As it turns out, baking bread requires little more than flour, water, and salt. Plus all the fancy stuff can be replaced by things you probably already have in your kitchen.

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Baker’s Math Practice Problems

Now that your starter is bubbling away and you’ve learned how to write a recipe, let’s rest and take a day to practice some Baker’s Math. The answers and detailed explanations are at the bottom, so print out the worksheet, grab a pencil and a calculator, and see what you can figure out.

Inspired by practice problems from the Wild Yeast blog.

Problems

1. Convert each recipe to mass

A. Focaccia with 550 g Flour
100% Flour
73% Starter
86% Water
10 % Olive oil
1 % Salt

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Calculating Recipes with Baker’s Math

Last post, we talked about all about the science of starters. While you’re nurturing your culture, let’s take some time to talk about all the recipes you’re going to tackle once you’ve for a healthy starter going. Ladies and germs (or, I should say, lacto-bacteria), may I present: Baker’s Math.

If you’re a math person, get ready to learn a new kind of percentages that just might drive you crazy at first. If you hate math, consider this a chance to finally master something that wrecked your GPA in high school.

Recipes for bread (and beyond) are often written in “Baker’s Math,” “Baker’s Percentage,” or “Flour Weight.” While it initially looks baffling, it’s actually a great way to convert recipes between English and Metric mass systems (ounces and grams) and increase or reduce the amount of bread you’re making.

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Salted Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I’ll leave it to Gloria to tell you what salt does to chocolate:

Gloria: Who wants chocolate milk?
Manny: Sure, Mom.
Gloria: So how is it going?
Manny: Great, Kelly’s moving her stuff into my notebook.
Gloria: This is sudden.
Kelly: It just felt right. Oh, you know what you should do, put a pinch of salt in the chocolate milk, it really brings out the flavor.
Gloria: Salt is for the popcorn.
Manny: Sounds good.
Gloria: You wouldn’t like it.
Kelly: Maybe we should let Manny decide.
Gloria: Okay, here’s the salt. We’ll see what he likes.

saltmilk1 saltmilk2
saltmilk3 saltmilk4

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