Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bread recipe conversions

Enough people have mentioned that they wished I'd posted conversions for the bread recipe that I'm going to do it. Most graduated cup measures have metric conversions, so you probably don't need mine.  I measured a kilogram of flour and it was roughly 8 cups. I've read so much about the imprecision of measuring by volume that I didn't want to mess with the perfect kilogram, but it will probably work fine. Just remember, the dough is supposed to be damp. 

1 kg flour -- about 8 cups
125 ml water -- slightly more than 1/2 cup (4.4 ounces.)
700 ml -- about 3 cups


  1. Ok that settles it, I'm making it today. I'll report back.

  2. I made the bread yesterday without seeing this additional post. The conversion chart I used said that a kilogram was approximately 4.25 cups! Big difference from 8! And yet the bread came out quite well...perhaps a bit soggy in the middle, and my initial thought was that perhaps I should add another quarter cup or so of flour and bake it 5 minutes longer. Mine looked pretty much identical to your picture (both before and after baking) so I can't imagine it with literally twice as much flour.

  3. I used the metric measurements and increased the salt by a bit.
    Some of the best bread I have made in ages! We had it with a great cheeseburger soup and the two were a perfect combo. Thank you!

  4. AC -- that's what I was worried about with the conversions! Shoot. I just poured a kg of flour into a giant measuring bowl and it filled 8 cups, but I know it can come out very differently if you, say, scoop the flour into the bowl. Based on my sister's experience using that conversion, it made a much dryer dough and needed more salt, which suggests 8 cups is too much. I guess you used one of the calculators where you plug in an ingredient and it does it for you? That was probably better.

  5. Actually, I've never tried to cook anything from a metric conversion before. I didn't even think about all the factors that might influence the type of ingredient, or how it was measured. I just found a conversion calculator and plugged in the numbers, and then rounded up or down to the nearest whole or half cup. So it's no wonder I was so far off. I'm just suprised that the bread turned out so well anyway!

    It must be a very forgiving recipe...and your description and pictures are an excellent guide. I think if I try it again with a little more flour, it will be perfect.

    I wonder if this recipe would lend itself well to one of those ratio formulations that you were talking about last summer?

  6. I made the bread on Sunday with the metric conversions. I thought it would be a fun change and a learning experience for my 7-year old. That part went great. The dough was so, so sticky! It stuck to the damp cloth I covered it with during the rising, rose over the top edge of the pans, and was a mess. But once it baked, all was forgiven! My family and I ate it in handfuls. What a wonderful bread! Thank you for the recipe.

    Any thoughts on substituting some whole wheat flour?

  7. AC -- Michael Ruhlman (ratio guy) is a scale evangelist, and I think to use ratios you need to use weight measures. I only bought my full-size digital scale when I started using this cookbook. I new that trying to convert from weight to volume measurements was going to make me too crazy.

    LAU -- The dough stuck to my towel too. I should have warned about that! I, too, have been wondering about using some whole wheat flour and will attempt and report.

  8. I kept the towel from sagging down onto the dough by laying a couple of chopsticks across the top of the breadpan first. But of course, if the dough rises over the top of the pan, it will still reach the towel.

    And I guess I'll be in the market for a kitchen scale soon.