We love, love, LOVE our kitchen scale for making bread. We find that a kitchen scale is especially helpful when using Natural Leavening.
Why use a scale?
When using volume measurements (ie. cups and teaspoons) your flour amounts can vary drastically. If possible, we recommend using a kitchen scale. We still use a kitchen scale after all these years of making naturally leavened breads because our breads turn out consistent and we are always experimenting with different recipes and ratios.
A kitchen scale helps greatly to reduce the learning curve. Natural leavening is very new to most people and they don’t know how their starter should turn out. Should it be thick and pasty or thin and runny or airy and bubbly? We can give you a flour to water ratio in cups that works well for us, but measuring by volume can vary drastically with several variables. Freshness of flour, coarseness of flour and type of flour ground can greatly change how much flour is in a cup. All of these variables are eliminated when you measure by weight. With a kitchen scale you can get your leaven going and make breads just as instructed. If something goes wrong it is much easier to figure the problem if you don’t have the extra variables of volume measurements.
Do I always have to use a scale?
Once you become proficient in baking naturally leavened breads and know how your flour and recipes work you can switch to measuring by volume or texture. However, professional bakers don’t measure. We don’t need to make naturally leavened break making harder than it already is.
Which scale should I choose?
You want a scale that is accurate. One that can measure small amounts, even the small amounts of salt added to recipes when poured in slowly. One that can hold enough weight for several loaves of dough. Usually about 11 pounds unless you are only making one loaf at a time. A scale that is large enough to hold your mixing bowl and still be able to see the display. A scale that has a long enough timer so that it does not turn off while you are in the middle of adding ingredients.
Here are a few good scales which we recommend depending on whether you want to store your scale on the counter or put it away in a drawer. They each have good reviews and stellar points. Let us know what scales you like.
Dr. Matt McClean “Dr. Dough” & Amy McClean, R.D.