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Zero Tare Scale Tip

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Now here is a case where I may just be slow and I am the last person to pick up on this capability of a zero tare scale. But in case I am not, here is a way to make quick work out of measuring out ingredients for a recipe where you have the weights for the main ingredients. A couple of clarifications first. A zero tare digital scale has the ability to ignore the weight of the items on the scale’s platform and reset itself to zero. This allows you to put a plate or a bowl on the platform. The scale is zeroed out so it ignores the bowl and just weighs the content you add. As you may have noticed, I tend to pre-measure my ingredients into bowls. Baking recipes often have the measurements by volume and weight. I like to use weight because it is more accurate than volume. The zero tare feature made it easy: I would put the bowl for that ingredient on the scale, zero it out and add the ingredient. I would do this for each ingredient and then add them to a large bowl to mix together. This was a fairly fast and accurate way to work for sure, but today I found a better way.
As mentioned in my blog ARTISAN BREAD IN 5 MINUTES A DAY, I have started making batches of starter bread dough. I’ll be involved with making 4 pound (1 3/4 Kg) batches of bread dough and will do so several times a week. The author’s recommended a technique called scoop and sweep to measure by volume. Without getting into what that is, lets just say that the bread baking classes I have taken make me want to measure by weight. In simple terms you can compress the flour so a cup can hold more or less depending on how much you compress it. In the past I would have found a large stainless steel bowl and measured out the flour into the bowl after zeroing out the scale. The dough I am making quite a bit involves 3 different flours. Where this is an ongoing process, t would be nice to be able to just work in the dough rise pail and not have bowls to clean. After watching a video on the author’s web site, I now know a way to do it. I felt pretty stupid when I saw how easy it was, but I’ll get over it.

So what is the technique? It is easy. Add the dough rise pail to the scale and add the salt and the yeast. Once it is time to start adding the items you want to measure by weight, zero out the scale. Add the first flour in until you get the weight you are looking for, then zero out the scale. Add in the proper weight of the second flour and zero out the scale. Repeat until done. It simple all your work is done in the one pail and there are no intermediate bowls required to measure out the ingredients you are measuring out by weight. Todays batch of English Peasant Dough starter went very quickly and the only cleanup was two measuring spoons and a wooden spoon. The process went faster too. So if you have a scale with a “zero tare” feature, here is a way to use it to it’s fullest.


Put the pail or bowl on the scale you intend to mix everything in. When it comes time to add in an ingredient by weight, zero out the scale.


Add in the ingredient until the scale reads the proper amount.


Once the scale reads the right amount, zero it out so you can add the next ingredient.


Add the next ingredient until the scale reads the right amount for the second ingredient. Zero out and repeat as many times as necessary to finish.


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