The Baker’s Percentage

March 30, 2011

The baker’s percentage or formula is very important for the professional baker, but it can be very helpful for the home baker to know and understand how to use it. A professional baker rarely would use a recipe, instead he would call it a formula because it is more exact and can be sized up or down easily. By understanding your bread’s formula you can have a better feel for what the outcome of the loaf will be which will in turn make your baking attempts more successful.

Math is not my strongest suit, but I just worked on committing a few formulas to memory. With baker’s math you need to first understand that the ingredients are viewed in relation to the total flour weight in your recipe. The flour is always equal to 100% and the other ingredients are viewed as a percentage against the flour’s total weight. In the next section I will show you different circumstances and how to use baker’s math.

To find out what percentage each ingredient is in your formula you would divide the Ingredient Weight by the Total Flour Weight then multiply that number by 100.

  Ingredient Percentage=Ingredient Weight/Total Flour x 100

To find out what the required weight of each ingredient you need you would take the Ingredient Percentage and multiply it by the Total Flour Weight.

  Ingredient Weight=Ingredient Percentage x Total Flour Weight

If you have a formula all worked out in percentages and you want to find the weight of each ingredient then you would take the total amount of bread you want to make and divide that by the total percentage of the formula. This will give you the total flour weight.

  Total Flour Weight=Total Weight/Total Percentage

Becoming very familiar with these ratios will make it very easy for you change your dough’s scale and its characteristics.

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