The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How much flour to use for a loaf of bread?

ntkt's picture

How much flour to use for a loaf of bread?

Hi I'm working off a rye bread recipe. The dough is going to be 80% hydration. I was wondering how much flour to use to make some bread in a 8.75in x 4.45 in loaf pan. Right now for the recipe, I only have the baker's percentages and this will be my first time making bread using the bakers percentages, so I was wondering what a good estimate would be for a 1 lb loaf. Or if you have any tips/advice to estimate what you're going to weigh out so you don't have to waste a lot of ingredients! 

the hadster's picture
the hadster

The great thing about baker's math is how reliable it is.

So, you want a 1 pound loaf.  Add up the WEIGHT of your flour and water - plus other ingredients such as egg and/or milk if you're using them - and when you hit 16 ounces, you know you're in the right ball park.

For a finished loaf to weigh 1 pound, you should make about 18 ounces of dough because some weight is lost during baking.

I have a stupid spreadsheet that I use.  I punched in 1 pound of dough at 80% hydration and you will need about 7 ounces of flour.  You can start with that number.

Get our your calculator and start making your bread!

Foodfuggery's picture

I figured out how to do this just last week.

Add up all your desired percentages. For this example I'll say that my totals add up to 265. This is all your ingredients, remember.

Now turn that total dough percentage into a multiple factor by moving the decimal point, or just by dividing it by 100. That gives us 2.65 in our example.

Now, divide your desired total loaf weight by this factor. Say you want a one pound loaf, or 450 grams. Divide 450 by 2.65, and you get 169.8, or round up to 170. This is your flour weight! From this point, I use the flour weight to figure out the rest of the ingredients weights.


I hope that all made sense!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My Q is how much rye is in the loaf?  That will determine how high the rise will be.  

7 oz or 200g of total flour isn't enough for a standard loaf pan and neither is 170g for total flour weight.  

One loaf would need about 3 to 4 cups or 400g or 14 oz total flour if there is less than 25% rye.

So a one pound loaf may be a bit too small for the pan.  But if you want to start with a one pound loaf...  try using 10 oz of total flour with 8 oz of total water.

IceDemeter's picture

really is critical - along with what type of other flours are in it, what adders are in it, what leavening is being used, and what style of result is desired.

For my 100% rye, using Mini Oven's favourite ratio, I aim for a total dough weight around 1500g for a tin that is 9" x 5" at the top (8-1/2" x 4-1/2" at the bottom).  I generally have about 750g rye flour, another 30g of rye malt flours, and usually another 60-80g of either scalded whole rye kernels or altus or fruit / nuts - along with 665g or so of water.  This gives me a nice loaf that has risen above the edge of the tin, but hasn't ballooned out or over.

I use the same approximate total dough weight when using 100% wholemeal (a mix of various wheat and spelt strains) with a toasted whole grain porridge.  Again, it does rise above the edge of the tin.

If you're using a high percentage of all purpose or bread flour, or are doing an enriched dough, then the amount of rise will be much greater, so you would need to use a lower dough / flour weight in the same size of tin.  For a 100% whole wheat enriched dough using tangzhong and a poolish and intensive kneading, the same tin uses a total dough weight of 944g, with 480g of flour.

While the math is helpful, there are a lot of other variables that go in to trying to size the dough to a specific pan!