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baking ratios question

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Recently, I saw a website with baking ratios which seemed very convenient.


I took the recipes for pate a choux from Chefs Michel Roux and SherryYard.  Neither of the recipes followed the ratio from the chart, so I am baffled.


Also, the chart lists flour, liquid, egg, fat and sugar.

Isn't sugar classified as a liquid? Aren't eggs classified as liquid too?  If so, why would there be an extra column for sugar and eggs?


The pate a choux ratio in the chart is


1 part flour  2 parts liquid  2 parts egg  1 part  butter


Chef Roux's recipe is

125g milk  125g water  100g butter  150g flour  4 eggs


The chart states flour and butter are 1:1, the recipe has the amount of flour greater than the amount of butter which clearly is not 1:1.  I won't question Chef Roux's recipe.  I guess technically the 1 2 2 1 ratio might be ok but the result will not be as good as one would like?


This is confusing.


Do pastry chefs really bake with those ratios as the basic recipe and then improvise?

Is it safe to assume you learnt recipes from years of experience and not due to ratios.

Of course there are some basic ratios ex for mirepoix, vinaigrette, etc but these baking ratios don't add up.




post #2 of 2

Ruhlman wrote a book called Ratios. I would recommend you read it so you better understand what he is explaining with his chart.  The recipes you posted are not actually that far apart. 125g milk and 125g  of water is 250g. That is not exactly 2x the flour but close enough for what ruhlman explains. No, sugar and eggs are not classified as liquids. Roux's recipe has 50% more flour than butter. Clearly not equal but in terms of what the end result will be, it will work. 

     The overall idea of the book is that if you grasp a general understanding of how the ingredients work together and how the ingredients interact, memorizing individual recipes is no longer as necessary. Pancakes, cakes, muffins, choux paste, roux, etc. all have commonalities. Understanding those commonalities makes general baking easier. Roux has most likely experimented enough to have developed a particular recipe that will produce a product with the characteristics he is looking for. Ruhlman is providing you with the starting point. 

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