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    A Tale of Two Measurements

    I recently had the importance of measurements brought home to me in two unrelated events.

    The first was a poster on a discussion board I frequent. He had made a bread and it had turned out to have a thick, whitish crust and to be really icky. I posted a few comments and asked some questions and it turned out that the recipe was in cups of flour and he had used the “scoop and dump” method of measuring. He had too much flour by, probably, a lot. Compounding the problem was the fact that he used all purpose flour in a French baguette recipe that was written for bread flour. Now you can make good baguettes with all purpose flour, but it requires a bit of extra care and some adjustments to the recipes.

    The other instance was an email I received from a reader of the blog who described his travails making Pani di Como Antico. In fact, he titled his email Pain di Como Antico, as pain in the you-know-what.

    He described two trials of the bread, one turned out a good crust and a dense, soggy interior, while the dough was dry and easy to handle. His second attempt had no oomph at all, the dough just spread out and did nothing.

    After a bit of back and forth, it turned out that his scale was out of whack by 10-20% and that he was making a dough at 60% that should have been in the mid 60s.

    Two instances where inaccurate measurements led to problems.

    Bottom line is that for most of us, it pays to use accurate measurements.

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