BPA 105 Day 7: Baker's Math and Chocolate Chip Cookies

BPA 105
Day 7, Thursday

Lesson 7: Using Baker’s Math to calculate recipes for Chocolate Chip drop cookies

We were given the recipe for the chocolate chip cookies in the form of percentages. Baker’s math is an important and useful tool in the kitchen, as in our case we had a specific number of cookies we wanted to make. Using the percentages to calculate the weights of our desired ingredients allowed for the perfect amount of dough to be made with little or no waste. It is a cost and time effective thing to remember. Today’s lesson also included ingredient functions, looking at the way final products are altered by varying ingredients such as flour and sugar. We broke off into five groups, each with a variance to the recipe. There was a group using the standard recipe, one with bread flour, one using granulated sugar instead of brown, one omitting the baking soda, and the group I was in used cake flour.

There are 26 students and we wanted 1 cookie per person. We are using our #20 scoops so each cookie will weigh 2 oz. Therefore we need 52 oz of dough. 26 x 2 oz= 52 oz

Chocolate Chip cookies
butter 50%
brown sugar 10%
eggs 30%
pastry flour 100%
chocolate chips 100%
salt 12%
vanilla 1.6%
baking soda 1.2%

By adding up all of these percentages we find the yield of the recipe. In this case it is 354%. Since we want only 52 oz of dough we divide this by the yield to find the conversion factor. Each percentage is then multiplied by the conversion factor; this is now your new recipe in ounces. We converted ours further into grams which made weighing of the small amounts easier. 1 oz is 28.35g, so each oz amount was then multiplied by 28.35.

butter 7.3 oz/ 208.01g
brown sugar 1.46 oz/ 292 g
eggs 4.38 oz/ 125 g
Cake flour 14.6 oz/ 417 g
Chocolate chips 14.6 oz/ 417 g
Salt .175 oz/ 5 g
Vanilla .233 oz/ 7g
Baking soda .1752 oz/ 5 g

We scaled out our ingredients and kept them on one sheet tray, an easy way to see if you are missing anything and that everything went in when you are done. The station was set up with the Kitchen Aid and the tools we were going to use.

The butter is first into the bowl, mixing at speed 1. When it is soft the sugar can go in all at one time. Scrape the bowl to make sure all the butter and sugar incorporates, and then increase to speed 2. You want to cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy and have a pale color. Slowly add the eggs, a little bit at a time, letting them incorporate before adding more. Add the vanilla. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt on a parchment sheet. Adding the chocolate chips to the flour will prevent them from clumping together or falling to the bottom of the dough. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients as it is still mixing. You don’t want to over mix once the flour is added; it will make the dough tougher.

Using the #20 scoop, scoop out the dough, scraping the top flat along the edge of the bowl, and drop the cookies onto a parchment lined sheet tray. We wanted all the cookies to be the same size so it was important they have an even amount of dough. To ensure even baking we patted the tops down with our fingers. The cookies baked for about 15 minutes.

When they were done baking it was interesting to see the differences between the various recipes. We talked about all of the visible differences and then tasted the differences.

The standard recipe cookies looked perfect, better than home made. It was moist and had a nice crumble.

The granulated sugar cookie was lighter in color, because of the sugar used; it spread out more when baking, due to the grain size of the sugar. It was also much crispier.

My group’s cookie, the cake flour dough, had a finer crumble and was soft. Even the dough was smooth because of the softness of cake flour. The cookies had a pretty brown color and they tasted very good, my favorite of the day.

The cookies without the baking soda were lighter in color, baking soda aids in the browning of the cookie. They too were dense because of the lack of leavening agent.

The cookies made with bread flour were dryer looking, kind of heavy, and had a very dense interior. They tasted ok, but were heavy in your mouth.

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