The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need help doubling recipe

aafaraguna's picture

Need help doubling recipe

I have a great recipe for Italian bread, but when I double it the dough is to wet.  I have tried the bakers percentage, but something goes really wrong.

Here is the recipe


2 cups bread flour

8oz water

1/4 tsp yeast

Kneed and put in fridge over night.

 The next morning take starter out and mix dough


3 cups bread flour

10.7 oz water

1 tsp yeast

Mix dough and starter with 2 tsp salt.  Let rise one hour, stretch and fold.  Continue with until 3 rises have completed.  Shape for final rise of one hour.  Bake at 500degrees for 10 minutes, then lower overn to 400 degress and bake and additional 30-35 minutes.

This bread tastes awesome, yet when I double the recipe I run into all kinds of problems.  Anyone have any ideas?  Thanks

pmccool's picture

That way you'd have a good notion of the hydration level and doubling the quantities would be a breeze.

As it stands, assuming that a cup of flour as you measure it is 4 oz., the overall hydration is (8+10.7)/(8+12)=0.935, or 93.5%.  That's a very wet, pourable dough; in the ciabatta or focaccia range.

If we assume that a cup of flour as you measure it is 5 oz., the overall hydration becomes (8+10.7)/(10+15)=0.748, or 74.8%.  It's still a loose, moist dough but much more manageable.

The question becomes, then, how much does a cup of flour weigh when you measure it out?

I suspect that there is some inconsistency from one cup to another as you measure the flour, which is typical for most of us.  However, it sounds as though the tendency is toward the lighter weight, which becomes much more noticeable as you double the recipe.

Since you are already weighing the water, go ahead and weigh the flour, too.  Then you will know the ratio, by weight, of how much water and flour are required to make the bread the way you want it.  And you can scale that up or down to your heart's content.


DavidEF's picture

I agree with Paul RE: weighing the ingredients. You should decide what one cup of flour weighs when the bread is made "right", then convert the entire recipe to weight measurements. I have a spreadsheet I use, and if something looks outta whack, I change it in the spreadsheet before I attempt to make bread with the recipe. Weight really is the only way to accurately upscale/downscale a recipe, although most recipes are a little forgiving. Let us know how it turns out.

aafaraguna's picture

You guys just know so much about bread.  Wish I had you in my kitchen.  Anyway, I have weighed the flour.  I have Peter Reinharts book BBA, so I did 9oz for the 2 cups, and13 1/2 oz for the three cups.  I tried a double batch with 18 oz of flour in my starter, and 27 oz in the dough.  It just seems that when I double it, the dough is stickier, and doesn't spring up as much in the oven.  I had to make 30 loaves last weekend for a farmers market, and people loved it.  Now I have to do 40.  My kitchen looks a little ridiculous with 15 bowls of starter all over.  I live in the South, and I wonder if the rain we have been getting is making the dough stickier.  Is that possible?

hanseata's picture

definitely has an influence, so the humidity of the air could contribute to the stickiness of your dough.

But I agree with Paul and David, if you make one loaf for yourself you might get by with volume measures, but not if you are baking a whole batch for a farmers' market.

I weighed all my organic flours (I get them in bulk), and made a list. But I did notice that the weight/volume ratio can differ from one delivery to the next, since I can't always order the exact same brand of flour. And my weights already differ quite a bit from those volume/weight conversions you find in baking books, cooking magazines, or in the internet.

I sell my breads, too, and consistency in measuring is very important, though you can always adjust with water or flour in the final dough (and then weigh how much more water or flour was needed.) If you do that you will eventually get to the exact right amount you need for your ingredients and your environment.

Happy Baking,


aafaraguna's picture

Thank you Karin

I did find that when I tried to save some money and ordered a 50lb bag of bread flour from Sysco, it changed my bread.  No one else noticed, but I thought it was very doughy tasting.  (I know it is dough, but the bread wasn't lite and airy)  Had to go back to the more expensive flour.