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Michael Ohene

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Everything posted by Michael Ohene

  1. Liuzhou 1) "What method do you use?" The reasons you gave for not being specific enough are actually reasons for the question not applying to your baking style. 2) Thanks for letting me know this is nothing new. I was unaware there were better online baking tools. Every product/invention has a competitor/prior art so this would be a great point from which to learn. Would you mind sharing a link to any of the professional/more usable sites out there? 3) Potatoes are liquid, yes. Peanut Butter is a flour yes and no, Vinegar, definitely not a salt or sugar. Thanks, got to correct vinegar. 4) No mention of high gluten flours. No, I dont want to confuse people. The high gluten flour would not effect results of this tool since the tool deals with weight of flours only. There are multiple values for weight listed that can be used in place of high gluten flour. Therefore adding high gluten would functionally be redundant. 4) SAF yeast, I have to determine the weights for the different types. Thanks These are the tough, hard questions I was looking for.
  2. cakewalk, You seem to have missed the original question and actually the entire topic, "What method do you use?" The only other issue I am concerned about is any bad results that were produced from my tool. "People wont use it , Wont want it, etc. " - All I have to say is, Judgments say more about the people judging, than what is being judged.
  3. DianaB, very good point.. I need to understand the different cultures looking at the site in order not to be too harsh. My impression is that the British may take baking more seriously. In the US, the common person will just tell you "I want somethin good" and find it a miracle if they produce something decent. 1) The aim is to take the average person who eats baked goods but does not understand baked goods and give them a tool for recipes when they do decide to bake. In the US many things that are common place in England, e.g. scones, are exotic items and people are excited to make something English or Scottish. Many people here do not even know where to get started baking but are willing to try if it is kept simple. 2)Over the last 7 years there has been an ever growing demand in things like scones, kouign amann, and other ciabatta. 3) Over the past 7 years there has been an ever growing demand in baking science and recipe customization. e.g. Can I add extra eggs to my recipe? I think it is funny that you are concerned I will take criticism to heart. Thank you for being concerned. You remind me of the British librarian near London who once told me "We don't have internet, Im afraid". Here it have been "It aint workin'" Deryn, I was thinking about adding notes about why a recipe failed, but thought it might confuse people. I will revisit the notes option. 125% hydration is the hydration value of the starter for bread. It is just another ingredient. For example "100grams of 125% hydration starter" I have heard "I just throw things together" alot. This builds a case for adding more notes. Thanks
  4. .nice pbear, this seems to be a good cooking equivalents. Am I correct? I did not see wheat germ, almond paste, or different size of eggs. This is good to true up my equivalents. Also, I liked the fact you used a realistic figure for all purpose flour (132g/cup) as opposed to 120g/cup
  5. thanks liuzhou! by chanve, could you tell me how you got an error? pbear
  6. How does everyone create their unique recipes? Some people I know use the advice of food science books, but I find them hard to follow. Does anyone have a robust method of creating recipes for baking. I find baker's percentages are limited to butter and flour recipes and don translate well for ground almonds, melted chocolate, yogurt, etc. I tried my hand at creating a method and called it Recipe Genius . It's pretty good so far, but I am still waiting for someone to tell me it gave them something wrong. I included scaling, equivalents for baking ingredients,and a recipe checker (is your recipe good, for flour based recipes). You can enter your entire recipe without having to calculate anything. In the meantime please let me know what you rely on. Thanks.
  7. Thank you ElaineK, good points 1. Non-intuitive scaling. Partially Fixed: Yeah there are many boxes, so I bolded the "Scaling factor" box to highlight it. I also added arrows to show the conversion box. The correct way is to make header columns, but this will come later because it takes a lot of time. 2. Only converts core ingredients Fixed: This is fixed now. 3. Nutrition information Fixed: I have eliminated the nutrition information. The "richness" and "sweetness" give the same idea as calories and fat. 4. 12 hours problem Fixed: Really good point. Visitors probably won't test a time-consuming recipe until they build rapport with the site. 5. Non editable boxes Not Fixed: I would like to remove the confusing pulldown menus, but there are some technical issues. Once again, real nice critique. Michael
  8. Okay the first draft of the create-a-cookie web app is done, give it a spin and tell me what you think. And about the 50 Tbsp of butter output being a reason for using weight, I am not sure where people are going on this because the output is given in either volume OR weight, choose the one you like, coexist.Create-a-Cookie
  9. ElaineK 1. I got rid of the massive amounts of ingredients 2. I have implemented scaling 3. Saving recipes, is best done through bookmarking. I have a "save recipes" cookie jar but it is cleared after you close your browser. The "cookie jar" is also a little quirky, so bookmarking is your best bet. 4.This is a glitch in the printout of some values e.g. "1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp" is displayed as "tsp (0.625)". It's manageable but needs to be fixed later on. The app has cool features you'll like and its quite fun to use. cheers.
  10. All, Okay, I understand the grams argument. thank you. ElaineK, you have very good points, and I will definitely alter the app. 1) About the 8 eggs, I can definitely, eliminate those extreme cases. They existed because they produce unique recipes that can't be scaled down cleanly. I will curtail the emphasis on randomness, i.e. generated all recipes and focus on practical recipes. 2)You have a good point about the small batches. Okay. 3)Saving the values of the previous input is a great suggestion. This will take some reconfiguring, but I want this too. 4) Choosing the ingredients. Another great suggestion. I can change this. About the useless pull down menu, I have received another suggestion about the same topic. This is definitely a cornerstone of design, "only show the user what is necessary." I will fix this too. Michael
  11. Okay, you got me. Are you saying it is best to display the grams first instead of giving the option for conversion?
  12. Okay thanks for your input Lisa and Michaela, I think I will move on for the following reasons b/c there is definitely a misunderstanding. The thread has become conceptual and I don't believe it is possible to reach people on a conceptual level, it is only possible factually. 1.I don't want a weight vs. volume argument. If a reply is off topic it's better to prvate message me, rather than discuss a topic that is a facsimile of 10s of other threads. My original question: is your concern with the recipe format that the majority of Americans use or with something intrinsic in my app? Because I can't build an application for a minority of the population unless it's by request. 2. I think you feel I am an iconclast here to desecrate the standard of weight based measurements. Honestly, if we were to discuss the topic of weight, which I am not, I would say that density (grams per volume) matters the most(i.e. 120grams of flour is not 120grams of flour, it is precise but not accurate). 120grams can be 1 cup sifted or it can be 0.83 Cups unsifted, hence a 120g measurement could mean many different things, and would probably be unacceptable for making a biscuit. But will it result in a valid baked good is the only important question? 3.To Mjx: Actually the web app does deal with weight. There is actually no way to tell what standard(volume/weight) the app deals with since "cups" can simply be a conversion from grams. You would have to understand how it was programmed first. If you want to test it, you can generate a recipe and use the same app convert to grams, then scale up or down to compare it to one of your recipes. 4.You mentioned weight-based measurements are not invalidated by "minor variations", but earlier you held me to the higher standard of "duplication." I am not attempting duplication. It is actually impossible to say I don't meet the standards of validation unless you hasve test the app or you know the bounds of validation. No, a gas oven does not cook bread the same as a convection oven, the outside textures are completely different. This is why they carry differing cooking times for the same temperature. Again, this is a flaw with standard recipes. 5.Accuracy is important in the finished product. The way I did the calculations uses a method called products and another mathematical method called ensemble vs. time series. I did this first by establishing a characterization of baked goods. This allows one to group baked goods based on recipes; it also establishes a range and tolerances through the products procedure. It says if you have, say, a cookie you can add ingredients to a certain point and still have a cookie. Establishing the characterization/product was done through linear equations. Next, the ensemble. If a recipe given volumetrically is well-approved (say, 1200 reviews with 96% approval/3.67 rating) , that is a vindication that the recipe works. This can be interpretted as, despite the variations, the recipe worked. This situation where almost 1200 people make an acceptable baked good is mathematically equivalent to one person using differing measuring techniques, still yield, not a duplicate, but a satisfactory baked good. If 1000 people use a recipe and 962 love it, that's good. To verify this method, I had to make sure that all the recipes that were outside my ranges were given bad reviews, which they were. You probably can not replicate the study, because I used a text web browser, lynx, to acquire some of the ratings. But some sites have since blocked the rating from being displayed in the lynx browser. 6. There are other factors in a cookie? I whole heartly disagree. The slight variations from the chosen salt content is what mathematicians call negligible, the recipe may not have the same kick, but it will not become invalid. The sugar level is fairly constant, all chocolate cookies (or any specific variety of baked good) have a standard salt, sweetness range, i.e. large variations like unsweetened chocolate chip cookies, super salty butter cookies do not exist, therefore the sugar content can be considered a fixed ratio and eliminated. Example: For every passenger on a train, there are two shoes. Is it necessary to explicitly count the number of shoes given the number of passengers on a train? The answer is no. This is not so for butter, because there are different variations in richness within each group (e.g. chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies, brownies, etc.) bye. best, Michael
  13. Thanks Lisa, I received some great specific feedback last time on my previous webtool, so I definitely welcome the feedback. 1. Your question about mass vs. volume (or more appropriately mass vs. volume vs. density) is a question about standard recipes themselves which my differ due to types of butter,flour, eggs, oven, etc used. Your statement is very broad and opens up a big can of worms, but in short, I have checked the figures and they work. If you can find something specific that is wrong, that is intrinsic in my tool and not recipes in general, I am all ears. 2. I can't make a webtool for weight-based recipes for people who don't use recipes. Many people use recipes as guides, so to aim at the non-critical precision (not accuracy) you suggest would be moot. 3. What conversions will the converter be performing? You should read my website. 4. You are right about sweetness,so the question is whether the changes in sweetness given by my webtool are acceptable or not. -Michael
  14. Hello, I'm sure everyone has thought about this at one point in their life. A way to create cookie recipes based on sweetness and richness. I just finished writing an app create-a-cookie that lets novices create their own cookie recipes. The directions are in beta stage, meaning the information is correct but needs some polishing. I would like to know what you all think of the app. I know there will be plenty of criticisms. A few notes about the app: 1. I may include a small batch mode for creating small quantities (e.g. 0.75 cups flour vs. 1.5 cups). 2. The recipes are not geared towards standard recipes, (i.e. no pie crust with vodka) 3. The app has a built in converter Let me here from you, however intrigued or shocked you may be. best, Michael
  15. When I am exposed to different foods and people, I begin to see the links from different cultures to Louisiana food. West African okra/okro stew and gumbo, Spanish Rosca de Reyes and King Cake, West African Jollof and Jambalaya, Spanish empanadas and Natchitoches Meat Pie. Chef John Folse talks about colonial/plantation/West African influence on Louisiana cuisine but is there a definitive guide to Louisiana's culinary roots. I largely ask this because I have sometimes heard people in Louisiana blindly attribute everything to the French. And I am looking for explanations as opposed to statements on how foods traveled to Louisiana. Also, speaking of the French. French cakes often avoid using pure wheat flour and instead substitute wheat flour with almond flour or something else. In Louisiana we have lots of pecan meal/flour that's basically sold as trash for $2/lb (almond flour is $40/lb). Is anyone out there using pecan meal to make cakes or marketing its use in cakes or other baked goods? great loaves.
  16. Use sweet potatoes anywhere canned pumpkins are used, adjustments are needed though. Sweet potato pie for christmas and thanksgiving. sweet potato muffins -Michael
  17. Let me think about the conversion once again...This is a very icky issue. I think you are right, I know your point was that flour varies by grams, but it also proportionally varies by compaction. In a standard recipe, highly compacted flour is not recommended, neither is sifted flour. I used 140g/cup, but 160g/cup might be more accurate. Michael Ruhlman, had a weight ratio for biscuits, 321 biscuits, which I had as [0.499, 10.42%, 0E] with 140g/cup and [0.523, 11.8%, 0E] with 160g/cup. 0.50 is my low figure for biscuits The second group of numbers (0.523..) is more accurate. Someone also suggested that 160g/cup is the more common figure. Anyway the change to 160g should only effect conversions to grams for flour and recipes with flour/starter given in mass. It should not affect the analysis of volumetric recipes. I should have everything fixed by the end of the day. Someone also suggested, letting the user choose the grams/cup for flour. I haven't figured out a clean way to do that yet. -Michael
  18. First, if you have questions about volume to weight conversions. Email me or message me privately. A brief justification for using volume, flour can weigh 99g per cup, true. When it does it is called sifted flour. If you look at my calculator I have a separate entry for sifted flour, so the 3.5 oz to 6 oz range quickly narrows. The chart is also not trying to replicate the exact recipe made by the author, it is instead grouping recipes into baked goods with the same qualities as the original recipe. Understand "good, bad, robust" bad - is defined as receiving bad reviews, based on approval good - is receiving good reviews "robust", is a bad word, "accurate" is better verify - are there results that are obviously wrong, is there an error in the chart/calculator, I have made tons of improvements made from peoples suggestions. Hydration is something I am sure needs work. great loaves, Michael
  19. Hello all, I am trying to develop a way to determine how recipes will turn out. Right now, the calculator is able to determine which recipes are good and which are bad based on whether a recipe falls in its pre-labeled place on a chart. The calculator input takes about 20 seconds at most. What I did: Using a math formula, I plotted 100's of recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet Magazine. The result was a clearly defined pattern. The formula is basically the traditional wet to dry ingredient ratio, but instead of considering all wet ingredients to be proportional to their weight, I give each wet and dry ingredient a pre-defined weighting (weighted sum). In order of importance... The highly-recommended chart is at: plot of baked goods. The calculations are performed by a calculator: Baking Calculator. And the calculations are in the excel file at : calculation spreadsheet. Some people like recipes in grams so I programmed the calculator to convert from weight to volume and vice versa. Hydrations are also covered. I am not sure if I provided enough information for people to verify things. What more would you all suggest to have this procedure to be more robust? My hope is that this procedure can be used to diagnose problems with recipes and aid in the creation of recipes. If you don't get this, just look at the chart. Thanks. great loaves, ohene
  20. Thanks for your input guys. I didn't add the cake yeast because most of the existing items in the current calculator have some bearing on the overall weight. Heavy cream, is still on the sidelines. I did receive other suggestions and have now added baker's percentages and hydration calculations with their conversions. How is this calculator different than the gagillion calculators out there so far? 1. Has an accurate method for spotting good AND bad recipes for all baked goods. For example, you can determine whether a recipe you saw in a magazine will turn out without baking it. 2. It converts multiple ingredients at a time with the press of a button. 3. You can calculate hydration from items with different units (e.g grams flours and dl water) 4. Built-in conversion calculator with hydration calculations. For example, you can specify 25% of 100% hydration starter, 400 grams bread flour, and 1 cups water Why hasn't this been done before? Take the 100% hydration starter option, integrating this into a program requires tons of calculations and programming, so does every thing else. I would like to hear what you think about this once again. I have not tested everything so tell me about all the glitches. Michael O. Baking Calculator
  21. Correct, no yeast. Are you talking about adding dry yeast. And in what capacity? How would adding yeast as an option help? What calculations do people need to perform on yeast? Converting from ounce to grams? As far as yeast's exclusion from the recipe analyzer, that was done because I couldn't justify adding an ingredient with such a little weight/mass contribution to the menu. As far as heavy cream, I can definitely add that. -Michael O.
  22. Hey guys, Some of you may remember me...Briefly, I just finished a chart that intuitively and concisely maps all baked goods (cookies, bread, brownies, etc.) and I also wrote a calculator to calculate hydrations, perform conversions, and basically any procedure you would ever want to perform on a recipe and then some. The chart can be used to pre-screen recipes instead of relying on reviews. I know...heresy, but that's why I do these things, to be unorthodox. Anyway, I would love to get some constructive feedback on this. The web tool is located at: http://www.whatsthesequency.com/cakey.php Enjoy it, bookmark it, tell your spouse and colleagues about it. Best, Michael O.
  23. Hello Chris. First let me restate that the purpose of this formula is for analysis to determine what went wrong with a baked product and to review written recipes, this does not require one to cook anything. This cannot be performed by weights, unless there is a general (accounting for all types of cakes) cake formula based on weights. In summary the formula defines when a cake can be a cake, coffee cake can be a coffee cake, etc, but it is not a design tool. Croissants and puff pastries are not handled by this formula. I think the fat contents for butter can drop about 12% from Imported butter to Organic US butter. I disagree. Scientific formulas often have a validity range and routinely omit what are considered negligible factors (i.e. factors that can be ignored, e.g. the energy consumed by the lighting by a residence compared to the overall energy consumed at the residence). For salt and sugar? I assume all cakes,coffee cakes,yeast breads will have the around the same amounts of respective saltiness and sweetness (it is within a small range for each baked good type), therefore they can be ignored, remember I give ranges so variability does not necessarily discount my formula. The formula also assumes a lot of things like a standard/appropriate pan/temperature for each baked good. As far as moisture and altitude. I agree these factors can change results, but if you want to consider this level of analysis then there would be almost no standard recipe as we all have varying fats in our butters, different proteins in our flour, different water for our sourdough starters, thus the use of weight and mass would cease making sense, because we'd have to more closely examine composition. If one says, composition is not that big of a factor then you are saying they are negligible. The formula is not for creating baked goods per se (I did state that it can be used to correct recipes) . It is primarily for analysis and review so you won't have to spend time actually baking a cake to see whether it is too dry or soggy. With a calculator it will take about 45 seconds to check, given you have a recipe with the ingredient values I listed. -Michael
  24. I wouldn't call my formula a theory. But I agree you offered constructive criticism. My bad
  25. Thanks for your comments. They are welcomed. But you misquoted me, I also asked for people to actually try my formula, because I knew people would just deny my formula was valid without testing it. That's the world we live in. And theory is theory until it is proven wrong by experimentation which is why I wanted people to tell me where I was wrong based on experimentation. I understand a recipe will not work for every altitude, every flour type, but I can only know this if people tell me specifically when my formula did not work. ←
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