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Weight vs Volums

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  • Weight vs Volums

    Usually weigh my ingredients when baking bread due to differences in type of flour used varies from volume measurement - by cups

    Does anyone have a measurement in grams for what a cup of Italian 00 flour weighs.

    Thanking you in advance

  • #2
    I just did some math, using 4 cups of bread or all purpose flour = 18 oz. That translates to 510 grams.

    I think I'm going to buy a scale and double check.

    For all the bakers out there -- do you measure by volume or by weight?

    Pizza Ovens
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    • #3
      By weight...

      I always measure by weight, and in fact use the baker's percentage system for my dough recipe (used in most/all commercial recipes). I measure by weight because the problem with volume is consistent packing of the flour. AFAIK, to measure flour accurately each time, you have to sift it into the cup measure, and then scrape the top off with a knife. I'm just too lazy to do all that sifting, and I make pretty large batches of dough (80+ oz.)

      With the baker's percentage system, the weight of flour that you use is considered 100%, and all other ingredients are expressed as a percentage of the flour weight; to illustrate, here's my current dough recipe:

      50 oz. flour (King Arthur bread flour, blue/white bag) = 100%
      7 oz. vitamin C water*
      3 oz. yeast water
      20 oz. ice water
      -> Total 30 oz. water = 60% (30 / 50 * 100)
      1 oz. salt = 2%
      1 oz. sugar = 2%
      2 oz. ext. virg. olive oil = 4%
      2 tsp. yeast = ~0.5% (this weighs too little to measure by weight, but is easy to measure by volume)

      * I put 1 gram vitamin c crystals in 1000 grams of water to make a solution of 1mg/g water; 7oz VCW gives about 200 mg of vitamin C. The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps the dough survive the freezing process.

      Now of course, the processes, mixing, etc. needs to be added; once I get this up on my website, I'll post a link in the dough recipes forum.

      FYI, PMQ Magazine has tons of great information on making pizza dough, and has been invaluable in developing my own dough recipe.


      • #4
        Nice posting. Thanks.

        Have you tried the Caputo 00 for pizza? I used King Arthur bread flour before, and you can definitely see, feel and taste the difference with the Italian flour.

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        • #5
          Alternative to Caputo?

          No, I've never gotten my hands on any OO flour. I know I've read that's what's used in real Italian pizzerias, but I believe it's pretty low in protein. I mainly enjoy slapping and spinning my pizza dough, and a little googling turned this up:

          In my experience, a pliable dough made with "00 for pizza" is too weak to be twirled or stretched in the air. Almost all the stretching of the dough happens on the bench. This accords with what I have observed in Italian pizzerie. As a result, I came up with the idea of using around 25% (highly refined and low in gluten) cake or pastry flour to mimic the "00 for pizza" dough and have been happy with the results.
          I found that here.

          Funny, I always procrastinate on publishing my pizza dough recipe online - mainly because I never make the same dough twice - always experimenting. I think my next experiment will be trying 25% pastry flour mixed w/ my King Arthur. I'll be sure and post how that goes.

          By the way, I'm just thrilled to find this forum, not just for the oven stuff, but finding a group of people as fanatic about pizza making as I am.


          • #6
            Glad you are enjoying yourself -- and bringing up good topics.

            Italian flour (Tipo 0, Tipo 00) is graded by how fine it is milled, not by gluten. So you have Tipo 00 for biscotti and Tipo 00 made for pizza, which are complete different. If you just bought Barilla Tipo 00 flour in the Coop in Florence, you would get a single digit gluten flour that isn't good for pizza (and really bad for bread). There is also a slot on the shelf for pizza flour, which is higher in gluten, though not has high as American bread flour.

            When you get to Caputo Tipo 00 flour, that is something different again. They make a flour that is selected and milled specifically for pizza. You don't have to blend it, and because they have a constrant stream of flour going through the mill year round, you don't even have to make very many modifications to your recipe for the temperature. Their business to allow the pizzerias in Naples crank out great pizza, the same way day after day -- without making the pizzaiolo mess around.

            The gluten is 11-12%. Higher than general purpose, lower than bread flour. But what makes the difference is the "quality" of the gluten. Not the quantity. They say they can select grains that, among other things, give you an extensive gluten (it doesn't snap back). It also hydrates well, giving you the moist pizza you see in Naples.

            It's true that the dough is softer, and a little harder to throw, but pizzaiolos still work the dough in the air and only lightly finish it on the bench. That goes back to Mike's comment that throw the perfect pizza is like hitting the perfect backhand.

            If a pizza made with general purpose flour is sagyy, limp and insipid, and a pizza made with American bread flour is chewy and dough -- Caputo sits right in the middle. Perfetto.

            Welcome aboard again. It's great having somewho who likes to experiment.
            Pizza Ovens
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            • #7
              Caputo / Finally put my recipe up...

              Well, phooey - based on your description, I guess I have no choice but to try Caputo. Thanks for the excellent info on OO flour - that's much more than I've read elsewhere. I'll have to quote that on my 'Pizza Flour' page. Caputo is expensive stuff, though - I'll have to wait 'till our tax return comes back.

              In the meantime, I've finally gone and put my current pizza dough recipe up on my website. I've put more work into my methods and processes than ingredients so far; it'll be fun trying some new stuff with flour.

              Thanks again for the great forum.


              • #8
                Flour scale

                Any recommendations on which scale to buy? Is there a good on-line supplier?

                On a related topic, I how do folks store their flour? Do you re-pack it in plastic containers, or us it from the bag?

                I have flour storage containers with a measuring cup left inside -- but if I start baking by weight I won't need the cup.

                Pizza Ovens
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                • #9
                  Kitchen Scale

                  I found these on


                  The second one is digital, and has some good user reviews. It goes to 11lbs, and costs $59. It seems like going digital is a good idea.

                  What do you think?
                  Last edited by james; 03-17-2006, 06:34 PM.
                  Pizza Ovens
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                  • #10
                    More on Kitchen Scales

                    Here's a Kitchen Scale article from eGullet. Very thorough.


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                    • #11
                      Escali Vitra scale

                      I like the aesthetics of this one, which is only about $45 shipped:

                      I found this searching for "digital scale" at (which is where I start all my online shopping). I think I just picked mine up at Wal-mart for < $20. It only weighs to 5 lbs, but that's plenty for my mixer capacity.


                      • #12
                        Digital Scale

                        Wow. I should have done this years ago. I bought a digital scale from Walmart ($29). It goes up to 5lbs and does both pounds/oz and grams. It is easy to use, and you get much more accurate control over your dough -- both for bread and pizza dough. I've always thought of recipes a rough guidelines and I never really follow them anyway, but bread is different. Getting the ratio exactly right really help.

                        The first thing I found is that you can control hydration down to a few drops water in order to get it just right for the flour you are using and the feel that you want. My first experiment was a basic pizza dough.

                        500 grams Tipo 00 flour (about 1.1 lbs)
                        325 grams water
                        plus about 2 tsp yeast and 2 tsp salt (those weren't as accurate).

                        In the Baker's percentage, this is

                        100% flour
                        65% water

                        It worked great and was fast and easy. This is a basic 65% hydration dough, and it worked perfectly. I like to go fast with my baking because I do a lot of it, and work it into the rest of my day, and this works really well.

                        I have since made whole wheat bread and have two side-by-side recipes of Pane l'ancienne straight out of The Breadbaker's Apprentice. I'm using the same hydration and two different flours (Caputo and Giustos bread flour) to see how they work.

                        Lot's of fun.

                        Thanks to everyone who recommended baking by volume. I would recommend it very highly.

                        Pizza Ovens
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                        • #13
                          Kitchen Scales


                          I use a Salton Model 1006 electronic scale that goes to 22 lbs. After working with mechanical scales in the past, I'd have to say that digital is the only way, because of accuracy and the ability to measure very small quantities to fairly large quantities in either grams or kilograms, ounces or pounds. That way no error-prone conversion is necessary if you want to try a metric recipe. One of the essential features is that you can put on your container, zero the scale, then add what you're weighing. The scale simply ignores the weight of the empty container, no matter how heavy. I've found this cuts down on a lot of washing up. It will go as low as an eighth of an ounce, Imperial, or one gram, metric. The fineness of division should be a factor in judging any scale, as well as the zeroing ability. Mine uses two largish flat batteries, the kind that power the clock in a computer. These are fairly expensive to replace, but my scale is three years old and I've never had to do it.

                          Peter Reinhart, in The Bread Baker's Apprentice, has a very interesting list of ingredients by weight on page 28. Light bulb ; coarse sea salt by measurement is a lot lighter than table grind salt. Only by weight am I able to get the correct amount, and believe me, an ounce of coarse salt looks like too much but isn't. Made enough of a difference to justify the cost of the scale.

                          I go through flour fairly quickly in 25 pound bags, but I do transfer about ten pounds to large, food safe plastic containers for immediate use. Keeps it fresher, I think. Also, I store all flour in a dark and fairly cool pantry.

                          Hope that's some help. By the way, Salton is an English company that's been in business for about a zillion years; lifetime warranty and all that. Stiff upper lip.

                          One more note. Recently, I picked up a sheet of corian at a yard sale. Until my baker's table makes it out of my woodshop, I've been using it on top of the kitchen table for dough prep. Absolutely fabulous--for five bucks, too.

                          "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                          • #14
                            Accuracy of scales

                            I've been using a Soehnle brand scale to measure my flour and water--it's accurate to point .05. I just bought another scale to measure yeast, salt etc. that is accurate to point .001. My goal was to try and make an authentic N.Y. pizza. My wife who hated pizza before we had the oven, now has become a big fan. --- Mel


                            • #15
                              Hi Mel,

                              Do you think it is ever going to stop raining (Napa/Sonoma)? We're coming up on 45" this winter. Ouch.

                              What % hydration are you using with your Caputo Pizza flour? The more I think about this, I am concluding that getting the perfect hydration with a scale is the way to make consistently excellent dough. Much less hit-and-miss.

                              Pizza Ovens
                              Outdoor Fireplaces