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Gram to Ounce Conversion Questions - Page 3

post #61 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

The real point, it seems to me, is that those who rely on precise measures cannot conceive of a possibility that experience can substitute for the precision they rely on. 

 

I would go one step further: for some things experience doesn't merely substitute for the precision of a scale, it gives you more precision:

 

If you learn to make pie dough using a scale, you'll never learn why you're using those amounts, or what happens if you use different amounts, or why your recipe no longer works now that you're buying this new butter, or different size eggs, or if the weather is more humid, etc etc...

 

If you learn to make pie dough with someone explaining what roles the flour, the eggs and the butter play in the final dough, and showing you what kind of texture you're going for, and how to rectify your dough if the texture is a bit too crumbly or if it's a bit too sticky, with a bit of experience you'll be able to make a perfect pie dough in any conditions, with or without a scale, with any quality butter, any size eggs, in any weather, at any altitude, etc. And chances are your pie dough will taste better. 


Edited by French Fries - 8/3/12 at 3:40pm
post #62 of 66

Foodpump, you write:

Ehh..... Scales were around about the same time people figured out how to grind grain. Like I said, teh Egyptians had hyroglyphics(sp?) depicting bakrs using scales and unloading loaves from ovens.

 

Yes, using scales, but what scales? and used for what? 

 

Can you attach a picture of one of these scales?  I can't find any online that are not handheld scales that wouldn't be able to weigh more than a pound or two..   

 

As professional bakers, how much flour would a baker have used for a day's bread?  20 pounds?  50 pounds?  more?  What kind of scale would he need to weigh that amount?  certainly not the handheld scales usually used.   I know they used scales to weigh the bread when they sold it, as they still do here.  But for making bread?  I found no images of scales except the hand held variety.  I did see a picture from a tomb showing grain being measured by one of the officials of the pharaoh - and it was measured by volume.  In a warehouse you;d expect a big scale if they had big scales.   I guess the pharaoh didn;t have them for his tax collection and tributes, i doubt the bakers did. 

 

French fries, yes, thanks.  The thing is that people invented recipes and then others tried to write down the quantities.  Not the other way around!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #63 of 66

Beam scales.  A beam resting on a pivot with a pan on either end, one pan has a known weight, the other not. These are dead simple to make

 

The only country left that still uses pounds is the U.S.  Every bakery here has flour in 20 kg bags, and bread recipies are scaled to a bag.  So are Pizza dough recipies....

 

Production bakeries use a spiral mixer, commonly known as "one bag" or  larger "Two bag" mixers.  Water, salt and yeast are scaled out, the flour isn't--it was done at the mill--hence the 20 kg bags.  The larger bakeries have storage silos, flour is scaled out with an auger

 

For French fries, every Kitchen I've worked in, the key word was consistency.  Same brand of flour with the same ash content and hardness, same brand of butter with the same m.f. content, pasteurized liquid egg (most hotels mandate, by pain of death that no shell eggs be used except for breakfast eggs) which is scaled out.  Anyone can invent a recipie, but in order to ensure consistency with rotating cooks and bakers, you have to use a scale. 

 

Then again, I've known Chefs who lost  their jobs and reputations because  they didn't portion thier proteins (meat cheese, etc) properly--didn't use a scale

 

When cooks and bakers have a thorough understanding of ingredients and the properties they have, the baker/cook has an enormous potential for creativity.  This understanding is best done by reading or through oral communication, as experimenting can become costly.

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #64 of 66

That "Gastronomie..." book appears to be a good buy at Amazon.  Recently I read something along the lines that it was Fannie Farmer who was the first person to precisely measure ingredients for a cookbook of recipes(and I'm paraphrasing).

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #65 of 66

Yeah, Cocopuffs, Fannie Farmer did that in the States.  She standardized the cup into a specific number of liquid ounces.   In Italy, they still don't always indicate precise measures in the cookbooks, sometimes there is a q.b. (quanto basta - enough) after an ingredient like flour or salt.  But when they do specify, they use grams.  Most families, i can attest, don;t have a scale, but use a beaker measured with lines for grams of flour, water, oil, etc, which are obviously different.  In the end they;ve taken the weight and transformed it into volume. 

 

On the bread, i did some research.  I found the following, translated from the middle english from a fourteenth century source, quoted in To the King's Taste, put out by the Metropolitan museum of art..  This is a recipe for Manchets, a fine bread from white flour, for rich people. 

 

  • First your meal[flour], ground and bolted [sifted] through the finest cloth, you shall put into a clean kimmel (kneading tub) and, opening the flour hollow in the middle, put into it the best ale barme [the live yeast from brewing], three pints to a bushel of meal. and some salt to season it with.  Then put in your liquid reasonably warm and knead it through the brake (dough hook) or put it in a cloth and with your feet tread it a good space together.  Then let it lie an hour or so as to swell.  take it forth and mould it into manchets, round and flat.  Score it about the waist to give it leave to rise and prick it with your knife on the top, and so put it into your oven and bake it with gentle heat. 

 

Note the measures in bushels and pints, all volumetric.  It only makes sense that they wouldn't be weighing that large a quantity of flour in those days.  The scale would be used to sell the loaves.  The flour, anyway, was so variable, without the same controls over growing season, watering, and the breeding of the wheat varieties, which were many more then than now and more cross pollination. Not to mention the quantities of alien ingredients added by the very notoriously corrupt and hated millers. 

 

I know bread today is all about consistency and the product always looking the same.  It's not so true here in Italy, i notice,  where the variability - larger, smaller holes, darker or lighter crust from one loaf to another - are signs people look for to know the bread is not industrially produced.   Though certainly they now weigh the ingredients.   If some of the loaves are darker than others, or a loaf is darker on one side, it means it was in a wood oven, which can;t be as easily controlled.  That kind of bread is always more expensive.  Not everyone wants each loaf to be identical to the other.  And in the end, even if you buy a whole loaf, which is not at all obligatory, the storekeeper weighs it and gives you the price, which is by kilo.  This is even in supermarkets.  Thus the scales used from ancient times in bakeries, to prevent shortchanging the customer with a lighter loaf.


Edited by siduri - 8/4/12 at 3:39am
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #66 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

For French fries, every Kitchen I've worked in, the key word was consistency.  Same brand of flour with the same ash content and hardness, same brand of butter with the same m.f. content, pasteurized liquid egg (most hotels mandate, by pain of death that no shell eggs be used except for breakfast eggs) which is scaled out.  Anyone can invent a recipie, but in order to ensure consistency with rotating cooks and bakers, you have to use a scale. 

Yeah I was thinking about home cooking here. 

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