The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need advice on bread recipes aand ratio of ingredients

danielsuh25's picture

Need advice on bread recipes aand ratio of ingredients

So I've done some research online trying to find a good ratio for flour, water/milk, yeast, and sugar. Basically what I found was that the flour:water/milk and sugar:yeast ratio should be 3:1. So I'm theorizing, after looking at many recipes online, that a good recipe for 1 9x5 inch loaf bread should be about 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of water/milk, 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast, and 6 3/4 teaspoons of sugar. I'm also wondering how much salt and oil would be good for this recipe? Any suggestions and words of advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

yy's picture

That depends on what kind of result you're aiming for. Do you want a fluffy sandwich loaf? I don't think there is necessarily an "ideal ratio," although there are optimal ranges for certain parameters, such as fat content and hydration level.

Also, do you have those ingredient quantities in weight units (grams or ounces?). It's much easier to talk about formulas in terms of baker's percentages (use the TFL search bar for lots of good forum entries on this topic). It would help people answer your question.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Starts with the flour amount and then adding ingredients to get toward your goal.

Start with 3 cups of flour.  Dry measure cup, filled and with a straight edge the top scraped off.

Milk has 10% less water than water so depending on which you choose you may need a few Tbs. more milk than water.  

And lets say you would like some salt anywhere from 1.5% - 2%  (use the flour weight to figure.) 

Salt is roughly for cups a little less than 1/2 teaspoon of heavy table salt per cup of flour. It work for one and two loaf recipes but it is a whole lot easier to figure accurately with a scale. The relationships and ratios become a lot more obvious.  Flake and sea salt weigh less so you tend to use more.  Butter can also contain salt.   Leave oil and fats out on your first loaf (perhaps only to oil a bowl) and then when you've baked a few loaves, add oil or butter to your dough and see if that is what you want the texture change.  

Sugar is optional.  I don't use sugar.  You can reduce it if you like, the yeast doesn't need it.  A teaspoon of sugar is all one needs to help crust color but so does reducing yeast and/or baking longer.

Have fun!   :)

richkaimd's picture

I recommend that you not try to reinvent the wheel.  It's been done already!  All the information about bread baking you need to start with is in the experience of experts and they've written textbooks for use in baking courses.  Reading such a book from cover to cover will not only educate you faster than your own efforts to understand from your own chosen sources, but it will teach you things you'd never thought of at all.  It will also prepare you to know whether the folks who answer your questions here are educated or not. 

Look into buying and studying from a textbook (not a bread cook book).  Here are two to examine (before buying).  Both are often available online used in pretty good condition.  (Try Alibris or Powell's Books.)  They are quite different from each other.  You may find them in your local library system to examine before you buy.

DiMuzio's Bread Baking and Hamelman's Bread