Sourdough: How to Use a Gram Scale + YouTube Video

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

Sourdough Starter on a gram scale

I grew up using measuring cups and teaspoons for baking and cooking so when I got started with sourdough, I was a little bit hesitant to switch and learn a whole new system in the midst of learning that already new skill. Turns out using a gram scale is easier than it seems. That is why I wanted this information to have a spot on TheFarmChicken. Sourdough: How to Use a Gram Scale + YouTube Video; step-by-step instructions. Now you can easily use a digital kitchen scale to make your sourdough baked goods. A worthwhile skill for your sourdough journey!

In this post we are going to look at how to use a digital gram scale in your sourdough baking. Note that the process is virtually the same for anything you bake in the kitchen with a gram scale, but we are specifically going to look at using it while making TheFarmChicken Sourdough Bread recipe. The first time you use a digital kitchen scale will be a little overwhelming but that goes away quickly as you learn how easy it really is to use!

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Let’s get started.

Here is the recipe if you want to reference it through the process.

We will look at the process of using the gram scale from start (feeding the starter) to finish (measuring the last ingredient). The first thing we’ll look at though is how a digital kitchen scale is used in general.

Do you still need to make a sourdough starter?

Start here and Agnes can teach you all about it! The use of sourdough starter can completely replace the need for commercial yeast. All you need to make it is flour, water, and some patience.

Greater Goods Kitchen Scale

Best Kitchen Scale for the price:

My favorite reasonably priced digital kitchen scale: Greater Goods Gram Scale

Using a Gram Scale (digital kitchen scale):

  1. First, take your digital scale and place it on a clean, flat work surface.
  2. Next, press the power button to turn it on.
  3. Once the scale is on make sure it is on the correct unit of measure. (Most gram scales have g increments, lbs., etc.) You want g or grams.
  4. Next, place a large bowl on the scale and press the Zero button or Tare button. This zeroes the weight of the bowl.
    1. The zero button is known as the tare function this zeros the weight on the scale so you can measure the next thing.
  5. Next add your ingredient to the bowl and press zero (tare) after each ingredient addition to the bowl you will press zero (tare).
  6. Once you have everything measured in your recipe you will turn your digital scale off.
  7. You have successfully measured ingredients with a digital scale!

Now let’s look at the process more specifically with TheFarmChicken Sourdough Bread Recipe. This sourdough recipe is a higher hydration than some but is still manageable.

Measuring for TheFarmChicken Sourdough Bread recipe.

Feeding your starter using a digital kitchen scale and equal parts ratios:

  1. Say you have 140 grams of starter in your jar. (It is helpful to write down your jar weight for easy reference and math.)
  2. Take your gram scale, turn it on and set your sourdough starter jar on the scale.
  3. Tare or zero the scale and add 280 grams of all-purpose flour, bread flour or whole wheat flour.
  4. Tare or zero the scale again and add 280 grams of room temperature water.
  5. Then stir your starter together set aside with the lid lightly placed on top of the jar or a tea towel (flour sack towels).
  6. Let double in size. This can take anywhere from 4-10 hours.

Making TheFarmChicken Sourdough Bread Digital Gram Scale How To:

  1. Your starter has doubled and is ready to use.
  2. Take your gram scale, place it on a level, clean, work surface and turn it on.
  3. Place the mixing bowl on the digital scale and zero or tare the scale.
  4. Add the 280 grams of active sourdough starter, the amount of starter for the recipe, and tare or zero the scale.
  5. Add the 550 grams of water and tare or zero the scale.
  6. Mix this until it is combined.
  7. Add the 900 grams of bread flour and tare or zero the scale.
  8. Mix until shaggy.
  9. With the scale at zero again place a small dish on the scale and tare or zero the scale.
  10. Measure the 20g of kosher salt. Set to the side.
  11. You have now successfully used a gram scale to measure your homemade sourdough bread!

How to Use a Gram Scale | YouTube Video

More tips and perks with using a gram scale:

  • Using a gram scale, you have less dishes which is such a perk! No need to use or dirty a measuring cup or measuring spoons. Less dishes means more time to do things you want!
  • The accuracy of a gram scale is a good enough reason all on its own to learn how to use one. A digital kitchen scale provides you with a precise measurement in weight whereas using measuring cups (volume measurements) the exact amount can vary especially for flour. Having accuracy in your measurements means consistent results and consistent results means delicious sourdough and a perfect loaf!
  • You maybe haven’t ever checked into the price of a gram scale. If you are like me, you may be assuming that they are spendy. Well after I looked, I was so surprised. This is the gram scale I use, and it is usually $15 or less depending on sales. Very reasonable and has worked well for me these past 4 years. It’s a good thing to invest in a gram scale if you can.
  • The tare feature is really the best invention for the kitchen scale. With this you are able to keep adding the ingredients to the recipe you are making, and you don’t have to do the math. It comes in handy in other ways too! On this digital scale it is labeled as the “Zero” button.

More helpful Sourdough Resources on TheFarmChicken:

Learning Sourdough with Agnes

How to Use a Sourdough Starter: A Complete Guide

Sourdough Bread Tools

What is Sourdough Starter Discard and How to Use it

FAQ:

How do you weigh in grams?

Really the best way and only way to get an accurate measurement in grams is to use a gram scale. If you use measuring cups and spoon it really is only a rough measurement and doesn’t leave you with the best results.

What is 1 gram equal to in teaspoons?

A gram is equal to roughly 0.2 teaspoons. This is really just a rough estimate as most things have different densities.

Why is sourdough measured in grams?

Sourdough is measured in grams because of the accuracy. Flour can vary easily if measured with measuring cups and spoons. You will get more consistent results with your sourdough baking using a digital kitchen scale. It is easy to get too much flour or too little measuring with measuring cups and spoons.

Can I feed my sourdough starter without a scale?

Yes! Actually, as I have gotten more comfortable with my starter this is what I usually do. I add roughly the amount of flour I need and then add water to reach the consistency that I am used to. I would recommend feeding your sourdough starter with a scale when you are first starting out.

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Leave any questions or comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for reading Sourdough: How to Use a Gram Scale + YouTube Video.

Mariah N | TheFarmChicken.com

More Sourdough Recipes to use a Gram Scale with:

Sourdough Cinnamon Raisin Bread Recipe with a Swirl

New York Style Sourdough Bagels: A Recipe from the Farm

Sourdough French Style Bread: A Recipe from the Farm

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
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