Digital scales for baking at home

Lots of folks still are using volume measurement for bread dough formulas, judging from the vast number of volumetric recipes using cups available on the Internet. Since the years I first learned of baker’s percentages and weighing ingredients instead, first from Bread Baker’s Apprentice, I don’t think I’d ever go back to the older way of measuring by volume. One of the critical sets of tools used are balances or digital scales. When I got my first digital scale, I had no idea I’d be collecting a set of them for accurate weight measures.


I’ve actually had a few more than just those pictured, a few of them broke, a couple I keep around as spares should one of those pictured do the same. In that photo, for home baking, I’ve found the 5000 g x 1 g (capacity x digits resolution) scale probably the most used one, but it doesn’t weigh as accurately with weights below 100 g, below that weight, the potential error increases. The 500 g x 0.01 scale is a fairly new one, but so far seems to work well, I use it for weights as low as 1 gram, with only 1% error. For weighing ingredients below one gram, I use the 20 g x 0.001 g scale, it doesn’t have a large capacity, but seems excellent for measuring very small weights such as dry yeast.  For dry yeast, I always measure with this scale even if it’s over 1 g, as I can predict sponge fermentation times to an accuracy of < 10 minutes, something I’m not able to do when measuring with the 0.01 g accuracy scale.

As the accuracy of these inexpensive consumer scales increase, their capacity decreases.