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Moisture meters for making pie dough

 
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cozumelito



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Moisture meters for making pie dough Reply with quote

I'm starting a business making all butter crust pies. While I can successfully combine the flour butter,sugar, salt, and water, my employees have a lot of problems with adding either not enough water or too much water. It seems some (most?) people aren't able to feel when the moisture content is correct. What makes it difficult, of course, is that depending on atmospheric and other conditions, the amount of water needed to be added varies all the time. At any rate, I've been doing some research on moisture meters and wonder if they could be used to establish when the correct level of moisture has been reached. I'm wondering if the butter, being mostly fat, would prevent the moisture meter from functioning properly. Or if some other factor makes them unuseable for this.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Moisture meters for making pie dough Reply with quote

cozumelito wrote:
I'm starting a business making all butter crust pies. While I can successfully combine the flour butter,sugar, salt, and water, my employees have a lot of problems with adding either not enough water or too much water. It seems some (most?) people aren't able to feel when the moisture content is correct. What makes it difficult, of course, is that depending on atmospheric and other conditions, the amount of water needed to be added varies all the time. At any rate, I've been doing some research on moisture meters and wonder if they could be used to establish when the correct level of moisture has been reached. I'm wondering if the butter, being mostly fat, would prevent the moisture meter from functioning properly. Or if some other factor makes them unuseable for this.


I believe you've answered your own question. You have no standard to base your experiment on. If you're unable to measure 0, it makes it kinda tough. We have the same problem in the industry I work in. Engineers & Architects ask for the testing and specifications to base their decisions and plans on. I can't do it, there is no "standard" piece of wood. Old, new, hard, soft, oily, wet, kiln dried and/or seasoned, there is no standard.

People can feel when the moisture content in the dough is correct. You just need to find the right people or train someone who has the capacity.

Biggles
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 971
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

first, I hope you are measuring things by weight, not volume.
and that means everything - flour, water, butter, salt, <whatever>

one assistant pastry chef's "cup" is not the same as the next.

the "need" for +/- flour is indeed a long standing variable with the environment. consider storing the flour in a controlled environment - walk in freeze works nicely - pretty dang low humidity _all the time_.

you will need to provide a "conditioning" time - with good circulation around a 'sack" I'd try a week in the freezer prior to use for consistent results.

oh, those "stick in" moisture meters for plants depend on electrical current / flow and yes, I would expect "fat" to affect their accuracy / readings. neat idea tho.....
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