“The Baker’s percentage expresses each ingredient in parts per hundred as a ratio of the ingredient’s mass to the total flour mass”

You may ask yourself: As a home baker, do I really need this baker’s percentage stuff to make a good loaf of bread? The answer is no, you don’t. But, if you are fond of numbers and want to know what others are talking about do read on!

In a recipe based on baker’s percentage all ingredients are calculated in relation to the total amount of flour within the recipe. This means, to start with we always denominate **the total amount of flour as 100%**. This total amount includes all the flour used in a recipe so must also include different types of flour and the flour in a preferment if this is part of the recipe.

## HELPFUL EXAMPLES

With this example you can perform a lot of helpful calculations, quickly calculating the right amounts for all ingredients. A typical straightforward recipe may look like this:

Ingredient | Percentage |
---|---|

flour | 100% |

water | 63% |

salt | 1.8% |

dry yeast | 1.4% |

butter | 4% |

total dough |
170.2% |

## Example 1 : You want to make 6 loaves of 750 g each

When you want to make 6 loaves of bread weighing 750 g each, you can easily calculate all ingredients. For 6 loaves you need 6 x 750 = 4500 g of dough.

**The first step is to calculate the amount which represent 1%**. For this example recipe the total combined percentage figure for 4500 g is 170.2% (see above in table: all the percentages of all ingredients added up).

Now to get to 1% you need to divide 4500 by 170.2 = 26.44 g. So each 1% represents 26.44 g, and by multiplying all percentages by 26.44 g we get the following recipe;

Ingredient | Percentage | Total |
---|---|---|

flour | 100% x 26.44 | 2644 g |

water | 63% x 26.44 | 1666 g |

salt | 1.8% x 26.44 | 48 g |

dry yeast | 1.4% x 26.44 | 37 g |

butter | 4% x 26.44 | 106 g |

total dough |
170.2% x 26.44 | 4500 g |

## Example 2 : Now you want to make 12 loaves of 250 g each

As with our first example we need to **calculate the weight of the total dough**, which is 12 x 250 g = 3000 g. With this we can **again calculate 1%** = 3000 / 170.2% = 17.62 g. This gives us the following recipe with a total dough batch of 2999 g which is close enough of course :

Ingredient | Percentage | Total |
---|---|---|

flour | 100% x 17.62 | 1762 g |

water | 63% x 17.62 | 1110 g |

salt | 1.8% x 17.62 | 32 g |

dry yeast | 1.4% x 17.62 | 25 g |

butter | 4% x 17.62 | 70 g |

total dough | 170.2% x 17.62 | 2999 g |

## Example 3 ; You want to bake 4 loaves of 500 g

You have found a nice recipe in a bread book. However instead of using the amounts given in the recipe, you want to make 4 loaves of 500 g each.

*Recipe from book you want to use*

Ingredient | Amount |
---|---|

wholewheat flour | 50 g |

flour | 400 g |

water | 298 g |

salt | 8 g |

dry yeast | 6 g |

First of all you need to **calculate the the total amount of flour** (50 + 400 = 450 g). With this number you can now calculate all the bakers percentages of the recipe. **First take 1% of the total amount of flour** which is 450 ÷ 100 = 4.5 g. Now you need to divide all the amounts of the recipe by 4.5 to calculate the baker’s percentages.

*Recipe turned into baker’s percentages*

Ingredient | Amount | Percentage |
---|---|---|

wholewheat flour | 50 g | 50 ÷ 4.5 = 11% |

flour | 400 g | 400 ÷ 4.5 = 89% |

water | 298 g | 298 ÷ 4.5 = 66% |

salt | 6 g | 8 ÷ 4.5 = 1.77% |

dry yeast | 6 g | 6 ÷ 4.5 = 1.33% |

total | 169.1% |

With this table you scale the recipe to bake 4 loaves like we did in example 1 and 2. The total amount of dough needed is 4 * 500 g = 2000 g. The total percentage of this recipe is 169.1%, now take 1% = 2000 / 169.1 = 11.82 g.

Ingredient | Percentage | Amount |
---|---|---|

wholewheat flour | 11% x 11.82 g | 130 g |

flour | 89% x 11.82 g | 1051 g |

water | 66% x 11.82 g | 780 g |

salt | 1.77% x 11.82 g | 21 g |

dry yeast | 1.33% x 11.82 g | 16 g |

total | 169.1% x 11.82 g | 1998 g |

## Using the WKB dough calculator

To a lot of recipes on our website we added our **WKB dough calculator**. With this calculator you can scale our recipes with just a few simple clicks. The WKB dough calculator also uses baking percentages behind the scenes to do the calculations. Give the calculator a try by first clicking on ‘Open WKB Dough Calculator’. Now you can change amounts, change the hydration of the dough, number of batches, the amount of flour etc. The calculator will help you to scale the basic recipe. Click on the button below and give it a try.

Ingredients for a bread | |||
---|---|---|---|

makes 1 loaves | |||

500 | g | wheat (bread) flour | |

315 | g | water | |

9 | g | (sea) salt | |

7 | g | instant yeast | |

20 | g | butter |

Check out some of our favorite bread recipes with added dough calculator:

– Pain Rustique – a hybrid version with sourdough preferment

– 80% hydration baguettes

– Baguette boules – a fun and delicious take on a baguette recipe yielding wonderful sandwiches

– Semolina and sesame loaf – a yeast based bread that can easily be adapted to give it your own twist

– Our version of a Tartine style loaf – probably the best tasting sourdough bread we ever made

Magda says

Hi there, I love your website. I’ve learnt a lot from you, and so far I followed your recipes scrupulously and with great results!!! Thank you for all that. Now the time has come to try things on my own :O. And here is my question – if you use baker’s percentage with sourdough bread, do you add to the amount of water the water from the starter, and to the amount of flour the flour from the starter?

Thanks, Magda

Yuva says

Hello,

Very useful information! Learned a lot. But when I tried this recipe, the outer crust in my bread is very hard and crusty. Is there any tip to achieve softer crust ?

Thanks, Yuva

Albert Willems says

After hours of searching I have not been able to find a site, where the amount of flour indicates the final dough weight and the size of bread tin that is needed. The size of a bread tin can easily be found by filling it with water and see how many ML of water it holds, which is the volume in grams. A sheet of kitchen wrap inside the tin will stop the tin from leaking, while filling it with water. Seven decades ago my father, a professional European baker, already used percentages, but I never asked him, how the dough weight and the bread tin sizes were related.

Weekend Bakers says

Hello Albert,

Thank you for adding your comment and sharing your method and information. The size of tin needed also depends on the type of loaf and its volume of course. For example a whole wheat loaf will be much more compact than a fluffy white milk bread, though both would have the same amount of flour. Bakers would know when making a white loaf of say the standard 800 grams weight after baking, what tin with what volume to use to get the right shape and height. So for instance a whole wheat loaf would need a 28 cm tin and a white loaf a 32 cm tin.

venus gargavite says

thanks for the info..

S. Pingel pingel says

Excellent tool

Weekend Bakers says

Thank you mr. Pingel 🙂

Kati says

Best explanation ever. Easy to follow and understand. Thank you for this.

Weekend Bakers says

Thank you Kati!

Gabriela says

Wonderful tool ! THANK you. Merry Christmas.

Weekend Bakers says

Thank you Gabriela and Merry Christmas too!

omer seyfi salur says

I adored these examples and also learned a lot thank you very much

Weekend Bakers says

Glad you found it useful mr. Salur!

Paul says

Sorry to bother, but how do you calculate the percentage using a starter?

Paul says

Never mind, I think I figured it out. I was trying to triple the “Sourdough mini boules” recipe, and you don’t have your handy calculator on that recipe. but I went to one of your others and saw how it was done. You just use the flour and water content from the starter as % in the recipe, correct? Anyway, I LOVE your site and thank you for helping all of us beginners out here! Cheers!

Weekend Bakers says

Hello Paul,

Yes, that is correct. Although if you only want to make more of a given recipe you do not have to recalculate but just multiply the ingredients (by 3 in your case) and that is it!

Happy boules baking and thank you for the LOVE!

Marieke

luiz domaszak says

Good morning.

Wonderful site with lot of information so useful, recipes, tips thanks everybody.

Best regards.

Weekend Bakers says

Thank you Luiz for your kind comment.

happy baking!

Ed & Marieke

Barry Walker says

Thanks for sharing.

Weekend Bakers says

Happy to!

Joy Roxborough says

Hello Ed and Marieke,

Thanks for this useful post about Bakers percentages. I’m a bit confused though. You see that example where . . . LOL. No worries, I just answered my own question. Let me cut a long story short and just say thanks for a great post. I make your pain naturel almost every week. Sometimes I make it in te evening and say I will have it for breakfast but I often end up eating the lot before bed!

Weekend Bakers says

Hi Joy,

We’re impressed! And thank you for your kind words.

Happy baking and eating,

Ed & Marieke