Bread Boss FAQs
This post is going to be an FAQ and commentary with questions and answers from the various beta testers. I’m not going to identify anyone, but I feel that sharing the questions and answers will benefit all the testers and future customers. You can also add comments and I’ll incorporate them into the post as appropriate. So it’ll be a kind of ongoing state of the beta test, rather than just a one off post.
One comment I’d like to make for anyone who finds the format of the recipes unusual: if you are new and unfamiliar with bread baking methodologies then you should just try following some of the recipes till you get used to the work flow. My first thoughts when I was introduced to it was:
Why is it so complicated! I just want to add a cup of flour, water, tablespoon of salt etc
But after eating a few bricks of bread I learned that its easy to do, but it takes passion, discipline and training to do it properly. Stick to it and you’ll find the journey fun and tastier as it goes.
I did not see any way to change weight units to “oz”. In the US grams are not so popular. I did not enter any fermentation temperature ranges, so I am not sure if Fahrenheit is available?
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If you click on the menu button while on the main screen with the list of recipes, you’ll see there is a Settings… action. Click that and change the Units system to US Imperial Units.
In the “top section” with units etc. I wanted to enter the total flour, which I assume includes the flour from both the sourdough stage and the final dough stage. The number was 525 g, but it would not allow that entry. It always rounded to the nearest hundred. This number seems to be important, it seems to be used to compute all the weights from the baker’s percentages. Is this the way it should be?”
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If on the other hand you only have a certain amount of flour (as often happens with me) then you can enter that weight and it will use it to determine the dough yield and then reverse that to get a new unit size (it doesn’t modify the unit count). Remembering that when doing that dough yield calculation, it is based on the current formula and includes all ingredients, so it wont necessarily be a calculation you could do in your head, but it will ensure that you can make the bread you want with the amount of flour you have.
Of course if you have multiple flours it gets more complicated and you may have to fiddle with the unit sizes to get the values you want. What’s important is to allow Bread Boss to do all the heavy lifting – once a formula/recipe has been entered it is very easy to manipulate and tweak for a specific instance.
In many of my recipes the sour dough stage uses a flour that is not used in making up the final dough. In this particular recipe I use whole wheat, whole rye and white bread flour in the sour dough stage, but only add white bread flour when making up the final dough. Another favorite recipe uses only rye in the sourdough stage and only wheat bread flour in the dough make up. The app insisted that all the flours used in the sour dough stage be used in the final stage. Is there any way around this?
My starter is composed of 50/50 Bread flour/Wholewheat. I added the wholewheat flour in the sourdough section and as soon as I did that the app complained that Wholewheat was missing in the proceeding stage’s ingredients. I am not sure what it means but if I then add the Wholewheat into the Final dough section the warning disappears.
I got even more confused with the sourdough section. First, I am not sure why, but in the editing mode the sourdough section is after the final dough section. Then when you save the recipe the sections are swapped. Not sure why.
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The final dough formula represents the whole contents of the bread. Subsequent stages are made from the ingredients in the final dough or base formula and will be automatically subtracted from them, regardless of how many stages you have. So when you build a recipe you should start with the final dough or basic formula; you put into it a sourdough stage and the app will create a new stage in the display and so on. You think of it like this:
- You start creating your recipe by defining what the basic formula looks like.
- Having added all the ingredients including a sourdough stage you then move down the edit display to define the details of that next stage.
- You may have more stages and you keep going down till your ultimate stage just has a starter or yeast
When you are making the bread then you want to work in the reverse order, from the independent stage or the stage that needs to be done first up to the final dough. That is why the view mode shows the stages in the order in which you have to make them – taking into account the order that they are needed in subsequent stages and how long they take to ferment etc.
I originally had the two (edit and browse) going in the same order and found that either way you’d always be scrolling up and down in one of the views. With the way we have it now you will naturally progress your work from top to bottom – whether you are creating a recipe or making bread from a recipe.
Here is what it would look like in Bread Boss:
Usually my “sourdough stage” is made up of several stages. For instance I use a 3 stage Detmold process for fermenting the sour dough in making up some rye breads. I did not look hard, but I didn’t see an easy way to set this up in the app. I looked to add a sourdough ingredient to a sourdough stage, but did not find it.
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When you add an ingredient into a stage the dialog that opens has both an ingredient type and a name. The type is important for the app to know how to treat the ingredient in the calculations and for verifying that the recipe is sensible. Here is the screen shot:
If you add a sourdough ingredient then you’ll get a new stage where you add that stage’s ingredients, but you’ll always have to include all ingredients in the final/base formula. Boris has created another recipe that shows a similar bread to what you are possibly trying to input into the app. The following screen shots illustrate the recipe (I’ll replace this with something that the app can pickup when I have the time to figure out how to do it, but for now its images).
I am pretty comfortable with baker’s percentages, but I would guess a lot of people are not. I have a little excel spreadsheet that computes them from my weights. I could imagine a large class of bakers who would like the option of inputting the weights of flour, water, and other ingredients for each stage and have the app figure the percentages.
I have tried to create a new recipe by entering one of mine. I must admit I got a bit confused. I am not used to working in baker’s % for entering my recipe and feel it would be easier if both the % and the weight were editable.
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I initially wanted to do that in the app for the same reason, but when you think it through you need to know all the ingredients and their relationship to each other – ratios – in order to convert a weight to a percentage. The percentage is based on the flours total, so you’d have a chicken and egg situation and in the end all you’re really trying to achieve is a one off conversion of a single recipe instance into a formula that can handle any amounts and variation easily.
So we decided that it would actually end up being more complicated to make it work. Once you have the formula it is much easier to manipulate. I also started off with a spreadsheet and ended up getting frustrated with how much I’d needed to change from one recipe to another, Bread Boss was born of that frustration and the desire to do it better.
I’ve been the user of this app from its conception and my bread making has improved as well as the minimal amount of time I spend playing with numbers – most of the planning time is spend trying to figure out when the hell I can get some time to actually make some bread 😉
One thing I noticed which I find annoying is that the application is not making the best use of the screen space.
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I agree with you on this totally. I didn’t have a proper tablet to test on and all my work has been geared to the phone form factor (I only had a 7″ tablet). I only did some token changes for tablets. Now that the app is mostly done, I’ll start trying to get it to look better on tablets. I just need to get my hands on one – perhaps Santa (Karen?) will get me one for Christmas? You’ll see improvements on this front in the coming weeks.