The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

i need help with working out formula's help anyone?

cankramme's picture

i need help with working out formula's help anyone?

hey im having trouble working out formulas,

these are the formulas i have to work out,

ingredients                %formula               1kilo                   weigh up

bakers flour                 50           

semolina                     50               

salt                             2

bread improver               MRU

compressed yeast         3.5

water                        +/-60

so how do i get my weights out of that? anybody know what my weigh up weights would be?

formula 2

ingredients                 %formula                  1kilo              weigh up

Bakers flour                     90        

semolina                          10

salt                                 2

compressed yeast              2

fat                                  1

improver                           MRU

water                               56+/-

total                               126


and what would my weights be for this one? 

when it says MRU for improver what does that mean?

cheers :)        

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, cankramme.

I could do the calculations for you, but you would be better off, in my opinion, learning to do it yourself.

The numbers you have use "Baker's math" also called "Baker's percentages." King Arthur Flour has a nice introduction on their web site. Here's a link:

Most good bread baking books also have instructions for translating a formula into specific ingredient weights.

I suggest you consult a book like Hamelman's "Bread" or Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" or read the linked web page above. If you need any further help, please ask again.

I have no idea what "MRU" means.


mrfrost's picture

Also a little intro here in Fresh Loaf Handbook link, at top of each page:

jj1109's picture

first, add all your baker's % together.

for the first one, you get 50+50+2+3.5+60 = 165.5

then, divide each bakers % by the total you calculated. so for you that is

50/165.5 = 0.3

2/165.5 = 0.012

3.5/165.5 = 0.021

60/165.5 = 0.363

then multiply those actual % by the total dough weight you want. for example, 1000g

300g of each flour

12g salt

21g compressed yeast

363g water


You can try it for the second formula ;) I have no idea what MRU means for your improver.

Edit: heh, beaten to the punch whilst I was typing.

cankramme's picture

thanks guys for all your help, and the math links.

i think i may be slowly getting it......maybe ha ha.

the second dough i think i may have worked out,but not sure,is this right?


1 press @ 2.400kg

4 units @ .400

INGREDIENTS                       %FORMULA                1KILO          WEIGH UP

Bakers flour                            90                           .900           2.554

semolina                                10                           .100            .255

salt                                        2                             .002           .005

yeast                                      2                             .002           .005

fat                                          1                             .001           .002

improver                                 1                              .001          .002

water                                      56+/-                        .560          1.430

TOTAL                                    126                           1.566        4.253


is this right at all? or have i got it all messed up?


jj1109's picture

your total for the % column needs to be 162 : 90+10+2+2+1+1+56

the % column isn't total percent but baker's % - the total flour in the dough will equal 100%, and everything else is a percentage of the total flour. in your formula, this means that the salt and yeast are two percent relative to the flour, not two percent of the total amount.

what you have in the "1 kilo" column is correct. but only if your total dough weight is 1566g.

on a "per kilo" basis, I get the following (weights in g) using your formula

  • flour: 556
  • semolina: 62
  • salt: 12
  • yeast: 12
  • fat: 6
  • improver: 6
  • water: 346

you can see your total flour weight is 618g (556+62). your water weight is 56% of that ie. 346g

the total dough weight there is 1000g. you can now scale it to whatever size you like by multiplying it out. I hope that explanation helps a bit :) keep practicing! once you get your head around it it will come easily

ehanner's picture

There are at least two ways to use Bakers Percent Math. The example that jj1109 is showing you is a way to arrive at he amounts to make a certain size loaf by totaling the percents of each item.

The other way to use this method I think is easier to start with and is a more simple process. This method assumes that the flours in total equal 100%. Everything else is measured or calculated from the reference of the 100% of the flour. So the first thing you need to do is add the flours up. In your second example, you have 90% and 10% of two flours. So if you want to make a dough that uses say 600 grams of flour in total, multiply .90 X 600 =540g and .10 X 600=60g. The same applies to all other ingredients. For example the salt is shown as 2%. So multiply 600 X .02=12g.

Once you use this system a few times I'm sure you will find it very helpful. When you want or need to make a formula to make a loaf or batch of an exact size, the other example is used but for now it's probably easier to wait for that one. Hope this helps.


punainenkettu's picture

This seems awfully complicated. I thought I might be ready to tackle formula but now I'm not so sure. 

LindyD's picture

Susan makes it quite less complicated than it sounds and even breaks it up into three parts.

ananda's picture


Your % column adds up to 162!

If your flour plus semolina is 1000, then the multiplier is 10

Therefore your metric recipe in the second column is 162 x 10 = 1620

In that case if you want to make 4253 g of dough, your multiplier is as follows:

4253/ 1620 = 2.63

So you multiply all the metric ingredients in the second column by 2.63, and, hey presto, that is your recipe.'s all been developed from the original formula using simple multiplication and division.

Best of luck with the maths


cankramme's picture

thanks heaps everyone! :) i appreciate it! im finally starting to learn how to do it,

so in my simple words i have to .....add all the percentages together..then divide them with the required yield....then times all my ingredients with that number?

i gave it a go on the two formulas,hopefully these are right?

formula 1

2.222kg flour

.246 semolina

.049 salt

.049 yeast

.024 fat

.024 improver

1.382 water.

and formula 2

1.486 flour

1.486 semolina

.005 salt

.002 improver

.906 yeast

1.783 water

im hoping these are right! haha. it took my brain ages to try and work it out lol.

but thenks again every one for your comments they are much appreciated :)