Several calculations made by the Dough Calculator spreadsheet require it to know some attributes of a particular ingredient. The "Lookup" worksheet contains a (long) list of ingredients with the necessary attributes. I call this the ingredients database.
On the "Recipe" worksheet you find a characterization of your final dough ("slack", "firm", etc.). The "Lookup" worksheet contains a table that controls these characterizations:
Each row starts with the lowest percentage hydration that characterizes that dough. All percentages up to that in the next row are included. For example: Soft dough has a hydration between 67% and 72%. You may edit/expand this table, but keep it sorted in order of increasing hydration percentage.
When the dough calculator computes hydration of the final dough, it does not count just water. It counts the total water in any ingredient that contains more than a certain percentage water (such as milk, honey or eggs). This percentage is controlled by the "Water % threshold", which you may edit right below the dough characterization table. One might argue for a 0% threshold, but that would include ingredients that are traditionally not counted and you may get answers that are (slightly) different from what sources report.
A screenshot of the ingredient databaase, shown below, displays the beginning of this table. Currently the attributes are:
- H2O%: This is the percentage of the ingredient weight that is water. You will find that for water, this is 100%. For flour it is typically in the 10-12% range, eggs are 75% water (85% in the whites, 52% in the yolks), etc.
- Flour %: This is the percentage of the ingredient weight that is (or counts as) flour. Even though flour typically contains upwards of 10% water, we do not enter that here for true flours.
- SG: Specific gravity. An SG of 1 is assigned to water. Ingredients with an SG > 1 are "heavier" than water, and those with an SG < 1 are lighter. Flour is typically in the 0.52-0.68 range.
- $/lb: Price of ingredient per pound. Note that if you wish your formula calculations to compute correct price for generic flours, you must either enter the price for the brand flour you use in the generic entry (e.g. "Bread Flour"), or you must include a specific ingredient in your formula (e.g. "Bread Flour, KA").
The table also includes a remarks column. It is not used for any calculations and exists purely for reference.
I sort the table (remember to select all rows except the heading, and all columns, including "Remarks") first on the "S" column, and then on the "Ingredient" column. I label my "standard", or most often used ingredients "1" so that they will sort first. This makes it easier to modify the list for common ingredients.
Ingredient List Source
All of the data in the ingredient list was found somewhere on the Internet, and where possible, verified against multiple sources. Some information is from the USDA SR18 and SR19 food nutrition databases. Finally for some ingredients, such as Instant Dry Yeast, I applied measuring cups and a scale.
Prices as included in this table are for a Whole Foods in the San Fransisco Bay area during 2007.
You may edit the contents of the ingredients list as you wish, although some entries are "smart" (see below). Editing an existing entry is straight forward. If you wish to add an entry, either add a row in the appropriate (alphabetical) spot, or add it anywhere and then sort the table again. Do not forget this sort lest the Dough Calculator may come up with incorrect answers.
When you add rows the calculator automatically recognizes that the list became larger, except if you just typed below the last row. You should never do that, but add in another place instead and then sort again.
It would be my advise that if you add your own entries, you label them other than "1" so that you can find them back easily. If you ever receive an upgraded version of the dough calculator, don't replaces your old one, but open both and transfer your entries.
Some entries calculate their attributes. For example an entry for a white flour poolish (which is 50/50 by weight flour and water) calculates its H2O% and SG based on the 50/50 distribution. Thus, if the entry for the flour involved gets changed, the poolish entry changes along with it. Some other entries are "generic" but (for now) use the data of a specific ingredient. Here you will find the attributes containing formulas to lookup the attributes of the specific ingredient. In both cases you should feel free to edit/replace the attributes, but you may want to leave them alone.