On Day 1 of my hands on baking class I always ask my students if they already have a weighing scale. A digital one to be exact. If they don't have one, I give out a few basic rules on choosing and buying a better digital scale. Better because there are so many brands out there and this isn't a baking gadget that you pick up on a whim. After all, you will be weighing your precious ingredients on this thing. A 2 to 5 gram difference on the flour, sugar, water and milk will not be disastrous. But it will ruin the formula if it is salt.
Salt should not be more than 1.8% if the fat you're using is salted butter or margarine. It would be fine if the fat is oil or shortening because both are bland in flavor. If the salt is lower than 1.6%, the flavor of the bread will not be balanced (although some people prefer reduced salt in their bread). Still, we're talking about a properly made bread and not a diet restricted formula. Although some breads in New York are really salty to my taste, 1.9-2% salt (baguettes for example), an additional 2 or 5 grams or vice versa will really put your recipe off balanced so that's why you need a really accurate scale down to the last 1 gram.
My first rule, don't buy anything less than P1500.00. Most of my digital scales that lasted for more than 3 yrs are at this price range, about $32-$35.00. The ones that didn't last are about P800.00 to P1000.00 ($25.00), such a waste of money and I have about 3 of these that went to the bin.
Second, read the reviews if you have the luxury of buying from Amazon or any stores online. I like the fact that I can get help from people I don't even know. Sometimes I spend days looking for the best deal. I'm not parting with my precious dollars just like that. Heck no.
If you are buying from a local store, department store or hardware store, bring 1 kilo of sugar with you. Get one that is branded like Hermanos or SM Bonus. Ask the store if you can test the scale by weighing the sugar. If it's accurate, then your good to go. Why? I had students who end up with falsely calibrated scales with a weight difference of up to 75 grams!!! That's why.
Basically that's it. Cross your fingers and hope you get the brand you will keep using for the next 10 yrs. What's my favorite brand?
My winner is the round black Ozeri, with 2 AA batteries. Not the ones operated by those hard to find watch batteries. Grrr!
My P4000.00 Tanita that I've been using for years got damaged when someone placed books on top of it. 😣 After that, the numbers went wild, up down and wouldn't sit still.
I'm not an authority on digital scales, I am only sharing my experience working with them. If you have any horror stories about your digital scales, please do share them here. If you are one of those who are lucky to be baking with a dinosaur scale like my Ozeri Black, tell us so we can share your joy. To the world..
November 21 24 28 Bread Making class. Hands on.
*** will keep on updating this so stay with me..
Update: December 8, 2019
Was able to find my 2nd box of this scale with the electric cord. I seem to have misplaced the other and I'm sure I will find it when I dig into my other stuff.
It's really convenient just in case you ran out of batteries.
This last one is not digital bit old school weighing scale.
The trick is to keep pressing the bowl until the arrow sets at 0. I like using this when I make a big batch.
The increments is in 10s and can weigh up to 5 kgs. Pretty neat! The bowl is large so I guess it can take in 1 kg of flour and 3 kgs of meat. Still the accuracy of a digital scale is a must for commercial baking.
January schedule is 16 19 22. See you in class!
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