Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: How the Metric column works  (Read 2128 times)

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
How the Metric column works
« on: November 19, 2010, 03:16:49 AM »
Something I just 'twigged onto' as we say where I live....

The metric column in the formulae in Bread are all based on a 10 kg total weight of flour.  :doh: The US ones are all based on 20 pounds of flour. The home ones seem to give you somewhere between 3 - 4 lbs of dough or approx 1.5 kgs of dough.

Why didn’t I notice this before? Because I hadn’t stepped back from the page I guess.  I was reading the Brioche recipe last night and on the facing page P 252 there was a little note saying that the above principle didn’t apply to the breads in the Miscellaneous section. I still haven't quite worked out the relationship between the Metric and the Home columns. Sometimes I think the Home column is 10% of the Metric one but maybe not? Has anyone else worked it out?

Anyway, now I know! And you know something else? I think I am going to go back and read the beginning of the book again too. I read it all when I first got it, but I don’t refer back to it and I think now would be a good time to do that, things I skipped over or didn’t quite ‘get’ might make more sense now.  :)
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Jacqueline

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2010, 04:51:30 AM »
Excellent observation! I hadn't picked it up yet either. I have, however, worked out the relationship between the overall formula, preferments/levains and the final dough. (Finally- it's logical but I wouldn't say it's intuitive).

What I usually do is ignore the home column, work out everything as a percentage of the final dough weight in the metric column, and scale down from there. Generally speaking, I reckon if you multiply all the components of any given recipe in the metric column by .05, you end up with a dough weight somewhere between 750g and 1kg. That is, one 'home-sized' loaf is around 5% of the industrial metric quantity.

As I mentioned in an email to Joanna, I'm happy to provide excel spreadsheets of any of the 'Bread' breads- just ask!

Cheers, Jacqueline

Offline ostwestwind

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 294
    • Küchenlatein
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2010, 08:02:01 AM »
Normally home colum is 10% of the metric column, but not exactly because the metric pound has 500 grams and not 453 grams. I always use the metric colums
Ulrike aka ostwestwind at

Küchenlatein

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2010, 03:30:21 PM »
OK, one more question.... I'm feeling a bit challenged tonight.... I've just made the brioche dough and I divided everything in the Metric column by 10 and wrote the numbers down, but then you end up with 15grams of instant yeast and that doesn't compare/translate to what is happening in the home column.  So in the back of the book somewhere it says the ratio of instant yeast to fresh yeast is 1 : 3, so that makes 5 grams of instant yeast. I'm talking about the sort that gets added directly, not the sort that goes in the water first.   Does this make any sense to anyone?  I have always worked off the Home column before now and just written down gram translations as I went along, so this Metric one with fresh yeast has got me a tad confused.

Anyone got a picture of brioche sheeting by the way?  I mixed my dough forever and I think it's sheeting now, funny stuff that brioche dough.... :snicker:

Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Paul

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 733
  • Baking tons... but at work.
    • Yumarama Bread Blog
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2010, 05:07:55 PM »
You have the yeast issue down right. The US and Metric columns use fresh yeast which weighs three time the equivalent instant. Ergo that 15 g fresh ÷ 3 = 5 g IDY.
Paul
Yumarama Blog

I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

Offline ostwestwind

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 294
    • Küchenlatein
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2010, 09:35:41 AM »
We only have one sort of dry yeast in Germany, my recipe was 10 % of the metric column

I said:

15 Gramm    Frischhefe entsprechend 4,2 g Trockenhefe


that means 15 grams fresh yeast or 4.2 grams dry yeast. The sachet says: 25 g fresh yeast corresponds to 7 g dry yeast.

Ulrike aka ostwestwind at

Küchenlatein

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2010, 09:59:15 AM »
Thanks Paul and Ulrike

I'm glad to know I'm on the right track  ;D

I don't mind going under with the yeast, the prove just takes a bit longer, but I wouldn't like to use more than I need.
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2010, 04:50:25 PM »
I know I'm being a bit boring with this yeast business, but....

I made 10% of the metric column of the brioche the first time I did it, and I used the IDY as above. Tonight I have made the full home quantity, only I had fresh yeast in the house so I worked it out as 5% of the total flour weight using that home column, converting ounces to grams as I went and came out with 34 grams of fresh yeast.  The dough is so lively now after its hour at room temperature that I have practically had to sit on it, completely different from when I made the smaller quantity with the idy which was really slow and sedate.

If you look at the numbers in the recipe Hamelman says .16 oz instant dry, so to convert that back to fresh yeast do you reverse convert that to 0.16 x 3 = .48 oz ?  as in earlier posts on this thread.... now 0.48 oz = 13.6 grams, or do you use the BP which is  5 % of the total flour weight which comes out as 34 grams/1.19 ounces ......

Anyone tried using fresh yeast lately to make brioche? I'm totally puzzled by this.   
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline RobynNZ

  • On Board
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2010, 07:24:11 PM »
Hi Zeb

It isn't you!

The errata sheet includes Brioche and corrects IDY to .4oz

http://mellowbakers.com/ErrataSheetJune2010.pdf

.4oz = 11.34 grams IDY divide by .33 to get 34.36 grams fresh yeast

Cheers, Robyn

Offline Jacqueline

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 77
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2010, 07:39:56 PM »
Hey Zeb,

I agree, it's confusing. Your calculation of 34g based on 5% of flour weight is correct; however, Hamelman's .16oz (or 4.5g) in the home column, when multiplied by 3.03 to bring it up to fresh yeast, is 13.6g, less than half of 34g.

I had a look at other recipes that I have for brioche, and it's a mixed bag: a Michael Roux recipe has 3% fresh yeast, a Bertinet one also 3%. However, others call for 5%. Dan Lepards Buttery Brioche (from the Guardian) has 1.75% instant, which works out to around 5% if worked up to fresh.

I know there are lots of other factors at play- mostly the amount of butter- but it seems fairly consistent. I've made Dan's brioche with IDY as written at least 3 times and it was very reliable. I don't really know what to suggest- maybe chill the flour?

Interested to see how it turns out,

Jacqueline

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 03:05:53 AM »
Thank  you Robyn!  I had completely forgotten the errata sheet. I guess because the first time I made this I went via the metric column and divided by 10.  rofl

  And you too Jacqueline.  I'm soo glad I have made this a second time.  I went with the 5 % by weight anyway in the end - the 34 grams - it explains why the first time I made it, it was so very very slow to prove...edit, actually it doesn't, because I used the right amount of instant yeast that time..they still worked - brain like a sieve but I think it is lodged in there now.  I think the moral is to choose one column, check the errata EVERY TIME, and not flit from column to column like a demented pipistrelle  :snicker:

The brioche dough is turbocharged now, I've shaped some sort of brioche a tete and some balls with chocchips in the middle, like Natashya did, (I think!) and just waiting for them to prove....
« Last Edit: November 28, 2010, 05:12:35 AM by Zeb »
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Zeb

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
    • Zeb Bakes
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 05:13:48 AM »
I'm full of brioche and apricot jam and so off for a quick sprint with the dogs and I will post later tonight.  Don't skip the brioche (heaven on earth!)  - just cut back on your butter ration for the rest of the week   :laugh:
Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

Offline Abby

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
    • Stir it! Scrape it! Mix it! Bake it!
Re: How the Metric column works
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 07:10:49 PM »
Brioche with chocolate chips in the middle?!? I must've missed that previous post . . . Sign me up!!  :yumm: