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portioning out dough

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
what is the best way to portion out dough for rolls or little breads or pastries?

weighing must be the best method right?

is this feasible for mass quantity/speed?
post #2 of 6
Define mass quantity and speed. For some people 4 to 6 dozen is a mass quantity. For others it could be 18 to 24 dozen and for others it could be 100's of dozens.

The higher the numbers the more likely machines are involved.

Weight is the best method for consistency although I have seen people achieve incredible accuracy by eye and feel.

How is an accurate weight acheive with machines without weighing each piece? It starts with accurate scaling of the formula. The dough is then machine rolled out to a specific thickness and then another machine cuts, to a specific size, and shapes the dough.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
no more than 10 dozen at once

probably less. (small scale food stand)
post #4 of 6
For this amount of production;
1.) Good rolling pin skills; able to get consistent, even, correct dough thickness with each production run. This is simply a matter of practice.
2.) Good skills cutting by hand. In some cases efficient use of a biscuit cutter will suffice. In others you will need to be good with a pizza cutter. There are adjustable multi wheel cutters that might be of benefit to you, but practice with a single wheel pizza cutter will yield good results. In still other cases you may want to just use the bench scraper to cut smaller chunks from the main dough piece. Start out using a scale for each piece you cut and with a little practice you will be able to cut chunks by eye and feel as noted earlier, using the scale to quickly verify consistency.

One baker I worked with would hand cut donuts one at a time. His speed was incredible. The sound of the cutter hitting the bench sounded like a M-60 machine gun going off. The donuts would go over his thumb and two of his fingers(6 donuts each). He cut 18 donuts and placed them on a fry screen in about 8 seconds. I never could achieve his speed but ran around 12 to 14 seconds.
post #5 of 6
jbd -- you use a rolling pin to make rolls? If a lot of forming is necessary, as for croissant, yes. Otherwise, why bother? Not being sarcastic, just asking.

Chalkdust -- The only roll baking I did in quantity was when still catering. The best method for me was punching down the dough, cutting it into sizes small enough to control with one hand, grabbing one, and squeezing off "golf balls." After the first six or seven hundred, I got consistent enough to carry on a conversation while doing it. Another method would be to use a (well floured) portioning scoop in the dough, which ought to work pretty well.

Weighing, I think, would be incredibly time consuming. You'd have to form the ball, weigh it, then add or subtract and reweigh.

Is scale level consistency really that important to you?

post #6 of 6
BDL-- in most cases no I didn't use a rolling pin for rolls. I was just trying to cover all of the items chalkdust mentioned in the OP.
There were two rolls that I made that I did roll out. Everything else was done much the way you described. Scaling of dough for breads was done with a bench scraper and the Mark 7 calibrated eyeball ;) with a quick toss on the scale to verify reasonable accuracy. With practice as you noted by eye and by feel on gets very good at knowing whether the dough piece is the correct weight or not.

Initially for chalkdust I think scale level consistency should be important with idea that he/she use it to develope the eye and feel for the correct weight.
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