The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's percentage

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saintdennis's picture
saintdennis

Baker's percentage

 Hi there,

  is someone there who can explain to me what is "baker's percentage"?? How to use cup,ounces,kilos,grams and etc. I was looking on the internet and those answers are wrong or I do not understand principles. Please, help me.

                       Thanks you Saintdennis

dolfs's picture
dolfs

Here are some links explaining things correctly:

As far as cup, ounces,kilos ec. goes, the rules are simple, but you will have to do some math. There are things for measuring volume, and others for measuring weight. In the US system we have fl oz/cup/tablespoon/teaspoon etc. for volume, and pounds and ounces for weight. In many/most other parts of the world the metric system is used which uses ml (milliliter) for volume, and grams for weight. In the metric system, 1 ml of water weighs 1 mg. This is only true for water. All other substances have a specific weight per unit of volume, characteristic of the substance (and how it was ground: coarse, fine etc.).

Baker's percentage gives a singular manner of describing a recipe for dough independent of the use of a specific measuring system. To convert a baker's percent formula to some specific dough you will have to choose your units of choice for measuring weight. That will then give you the weight of each ingredient and you should ideally use a scale to measure each. Many US home bakers like to use volume based measurements, which are quite imprecise, but if you insist you can use each ingredient's specific weight to convert the weight needed to a volume. There are also online resources available for this conversion.

Please get a scale (accurate to 1 gram) and you will find your baking more consistent, and easier. 

--dolf


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saintdennis's picture
saintdennis

 I'm looking if someone can explain to me what is "baker's percentage"and how its work. I was looking on the internet and every web page is different. I spend lot's of time on it but I still do not understend what is all about it. How to calculate; from cup, ounses,teaspoons,kilos,grams , liters and etc. Please, help me to explain the principles of it

                                 Thank  you     Saintdennis    

sphealey's picture
sphealey

The baker's percentage isn't a true percentage, but a way of expressing the formula that can be scaled up or down to any amount. The ingredients are shown as a percent of the weight of the flour.

The percentages for a very simple recipe such as Floyd's Daily Bread showing the sub-percentages of each step would be:

Poolish

150 g flour = 100%

236 g water = 157%

0.8 g yeast = 0.0053%

Note that for home baking quantites most people measure the yeast by volume because amounts that small are difficult to weigh and it is quite easy to multiply "1/4 tsp" by 2, 3, 4, or whatever

Final Dough

454 g flour = 100%

284 g water (10 oz) = 63%

3.2 g yeast = .007%

12 g salt = 2.6%

386 g poolish = 85%

Total

604 g flour = 100%

520 g water = 86%

4 g yeast = 0.66%

12 g salt = 2%

 

The 86% water in the total recipe is also known as the hydration percentage or just "the hydration" (86 is a high hydration!).

To make good use of baker's percentages you have to weigh your ingredients (whether you use metric, English, or US weights doesn't matter although most people find metric the easiest) and brush up on your 7th grade arithmetic (especially ratios). But once you do that you find that it is easy to read a new recipe and get a sense of how it will turn out, and also to scale recipes up and down.

One caution is that like everything in baking various regions, cultures, cookbook authors, web posters etc have slightly different methods of calculating the percents. And of course all will be quite firm that their method is THE CORRECT one ;-). So you have to do the arithmetic once or twice for each new cookbook to verify how that author is presenting the numbers.

HTH. If anyone spots an errors please post them as a new comment, not a reply to this comment, so that I will still be able to edit/fix.

sPh

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I can't improve on the explanations above.  Just a note about the volume measurements of cups, tablespoons, etc.  These vary from country to country. As an example, there are US, UK, and metric standards for tablespoons.  Though I've no idea why anyone needs a metric tablespoon! For cups, there are US, Canadian and metric.  All of these are very close, but not exactly the same.  

For me, this is just another reason to use weight measurements where possible.  Fortunately, a gram is the same the world over - at least as far as I know.