The New Bakers Dozen
Help with recipe conversion please

The The Bakers Dozen: Help with recipe conversion please
By Pepsiholic (Pepsiholic) on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 07:18 am: Edit

I have acquired hundreds of recipes from my brother who was a professional baker. The problem is that I have no idea of how to convert the recipes to something I can use. They are in weights instead of the common kitchen measurements, such as 10 lbs of flour and 6 lbs of water. Is there a place on the web where I can go to convert these recipes, not just in size but to more convenient measurements? Thanks so much.


By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 01:36 pm: Edit

You can find weight/volume conversions for various ingredients in many good all-purpose cookbooks. The Cake Bible has many conversions for baking ingredients, but my best advice would be to buy a scale so you don't have to convert. Just divide the weights by the factor you want to reduce by. For example, if the professional recipe is for 50 cake layers and you want 2, divide each ingredient weight by 25. If you get a reasonably accurate scale that will read in decimals you'll have it even easier.

I think there are some types of recipes that might not scale down well, and you'll have to beware of recipes that require equipment not found in your kitchen. you'll probably have to experiment with the procedure on those. Or come back to this forum with specific questions!

By jeee2 on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 01:51 pm: Edit

Buy a scale ?

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 10:09 pm: Edit

Yes, buy a scale. Do you have some other suggestions?

By Yankee on Sunday, April 16, 2000 - 10:43 pm: Edit

I have little Peloze scale that I picked up at Office Max for about 70 bucks. It goes to 11# or 5 Kilos in .2oz or 5 gr. increments. Best thing I ever bought. Worthless for drug dealing (so I'm told, ha, ha) but great if most of your "stuff" falls into that range.

I'd also convert over to metric first, then drop down. (Jimmy Carter had it right: "Go Metric, baby!") Make sure you are always using the same set of conversions: 28.8 gr. per oz. or 30 gr. per oz. will add up fast if you are up in the 25# range. I use the conversion table in the back of "The French Cookie Book" by Chef Bruce Healy.

Also remember your salt, seasoning, baking soda, and baking powder conversions are not straight across. Check "The Cake Bible" for info on how to do it.

Have fun.

By biretta40 on Thursday, May 04, 2000 - 09:37 pm: Edit

Might anyone know why increasing a home-scaled recipe (drop cookie) eight-fold would necessitate adjusting proportions of the formula? (The original recipe calls for 1 # 3 oz. flour.) I increased a cookie recipe 8-fold--it did not work properly. The ratio of butter and sugar to flour was too high. If I multiplied all ingredients by the same variable, 8, (this was by weight, of course) why didn't it work? I haven't tried it again, but I think I may need a higher proportion of flour next time.

By CountryBaker on Sunday, May 07, 2000 - 11:04 pm: Edit

I increase recipes by 4 and don't have any problems. I have never increased by eight. Have you tried the recipe in its original state? The recipe just might not be any good. Also you could have made a mistake in your flour measurement without realizing it. Try again and see what happens. You might want to try it on a smaller scale to keep from wasting a lot of ingredients.

By W.DeBord on Monday, May 08, 2000 - 08:56 am: Edit

Biretta40 multiplying by 8 isn't going to affect the recipe so it won't work. After you do it by 50 or so then you might be talking about problems. We might make slight adjustments as we multiply but those affect flavor or texture not weather the recipe worked or not. At 8x it would be rare that you'd need to adjust.

So I would have to say somewhere along the way you made a math or ingred. mistake. Refigure your recipe and if you still don't see your mistake post your recipe here and we can look at it.

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