“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.
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:
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;
|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 :
|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
|wholewheat flour||50 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
|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%|
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.
|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|
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