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Recipe management (and the metric issue)

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Dorie, I've enjoyed your writing through the two Pierre Herme books and look forward to reading more of your books. I especially appreciate how you've taken the time to respond in the Herme thread and the thread about your latest book. I have a multi-part question about recipe management.

1. What do you use to track recipes during the development process? Do you keep copious handwritten notes and/or record everything you bake? Or do you use some sort of software to track recipe changes?

2. Do you have your own personal system for recipe management? Or do you rely on commercial software for this?

3. The topic of metric units (specifically weights) came up in the thread about your latest book. Do you actually bake using volumes, or do you mostly rely on metric weights? Or does it just depend on the situation?

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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Sanrensho, I have a very old-fashioned way of keeping track of the recipes I'm working on -- I just keep filling notebooks with handwritten recipes and testing notes.

It's not the most efficient way to do things nor the neatest, but it's the way I start work.

When a recipe is tested enough so that I know I'll include it in a book, I transcribe it from my notebook to a computer file. When I do subsequent tests, I'll staple the printed recipe into my notebook and make handwritten changes and comments on it, then update the version of the recipe that I have in my computer.

At some point during the process, I develop lists of the recipes in each chapter and lists of what still needs to be done. I make master lists, usually by hand (although I keep meaning to learn to do this on Excel) of what has been tested and written, what needs a headnote and what needs to be retested.

I'm probably not doing a good job of explaining this, in which case, I'm sorry. It's not the sleekest, coolest, most hi-tech way of doing things, but so far it has worked.

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