The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ok here goes.....

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newgirlbaker's picture

ok here goes.....

ok, I have what I feel is a really dumb question that I should know but I am struggling with.

Please help me understand percentages.  What is 100% hydration starter?  How do you figure all of the percent I see being thrown around.  How do I know what % my starter is.  I feed it with 1 c flour 1 c water, it is kind of like thick pancake batter.  I am saving now to take a 5 day class at SFBI (I can't wait) I know it will help me tremendously with the math part of baking.


Thanks in advance.

davec's picture

Hi, Newgirl,

I had exactly the same confusion, until someone here set me straight.  They are using what they call bakers' percentages.  That means ingredients other than flour are expressed as a percentage of the total weight of flour in the recipe.  So, if your starter contains one cup of flour, and that flour weighs, let's say, 5 ounces, then a 100% hydration starter would also contain 5 ounces of water.  Since a cup of water is about 8 ounces, the starter you are using now is about 160% hydration.


LindyD's picture

Wild Yeast does an excellent job explaining the baker's percentage in her blog

Read the entire tutorial and you'll be good to go.