The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's percentage question

ichadwick's picture

Baker's percentage question

Been working through recipes trying to convert them to percentages, but I have a question I need help with, please...

Salt and yeast percentages: are they calculated against the TOTAL weight (TW) or against the total FLOUR weight (TFW) like water?

For example, based on TFW: Flour 500g, therefore: water 75% (375g), Salt 1.5 (7.5g), yeast 1.5 (5g)

I'm trying to make a simple spreadsheet to help me calculate this stuff, since I can't find an easy one ready made.



yy's picture

All percentages are relative to total FLOUR weight.

500 g flour = 100%

375 g water = 75%

7.5 g salt = 1.5%

5 g yeast = 1.0%

ichadwick's picture

Thanks. That's what I thought, but wanted to be sure.

DavidEF's picture

With Bakers' Percents you are always measuring against total flour weight. Flour weight is your unit of measure. To find an easy spreadsheet, just ask. I have one that I got from Jeff Varasano's website. He uses it to make pizza dough, and only uses a couple of ingredients. I also made one specifically for converting from cups to weights. It includes several ingredients, with the weights figured from information I found on the web. You have been warned! I'd be happy to share it with you. You can change the weights to match what you use.

ichadwick's picture

Thanks, David. I've sent you a private message. I'd really appreciate the spreadsheet.

dmsnyder's picture

Most current good bread baking books have introductions to baker's math. Here are a couple links to tutorials I wrote up:

Baker's Math: A tutorial 

Converting starter hydrations: A Tutorial. Or through thick and thin and vice versa

Hope you find them useful.

Happy baking!


ichadwick's picture

Thanks, David. Interesting reading. I've printed your blog posts for late-night reading. I spent most of yesterday reading about percentages, but by the time I woke up this morning, they were all ajumble in my brain. I need a good spreadsheet - what Ive cobbled together is pretty basic so far.'s picture

I've found the Bread Bakers Guild of America's spreadsheet format extremely useful.  Here's a googledoc of my version, from a TFL post earlier this year.  You can download it as an .xlsx.  This is a more complex version than you might need, as it contains sections for multiple preferments plus milling.  But if you're at all handy with Excel, you can massage it as fits your needs.  I couldn't live (read: bake) without it.

Happy baking,