The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baker's scale. Am I getting this right?

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

Baker's scale. Am I getting this right?

This is an example. Trying to wrap my head around this.

Let's say there is a recipe that makes one 15 inch loaf. Calls for 5 cups of flour. 20 oz water.

I would like to make this recipe fit two nine inch pans. Estimate seven cups of flour.


1 cup of flour = 5.5 oz

1 oz water = both weight and volume.

They call for five cups of flour and 20 oz water. Flour = 100% ( 27.5 oz = 100% ) The water would be 75% of the 100% flour. To get this to fill two nine inch pans I want to use seven cups of flour. Flour =100% ( 38.5 oz =100% ) The amount of water at 75% would then be roughly 34 oz. Or 75% of the new 100%. Yeast and salt treated the same. 

Am I getting this right?


colinm's picture

You just have to multiply everything by the flour ratio: 7 cups/ 5 cups = 1.4. So the water becomes 1.4 x 20 oz = 28 oz, to keep the same hydration of about 73%.

jimbtv's picture

First have a look at this chart:

Next convert everything to grams and work in the decimal system.

Think about it, we have inches, cups and ounces. If you make your conversions to grams and figure the average pan loaf will weigh around 800 - 900 grams (there's your 9 inch loaf), then scale the gram measurements up or down to accommodate the change.

Once you do this and get used to it, you'll never look at a formula in inches, cups and ounces again.

MichaelLily's picture

Yes. You are correct.

Colin’s way also works for scaling a set recipe.

I agree with Jimbtv in that grams are much, much easier to work with.

Bread rat.'s picture
Bread rat.

Decided to try an experiment. I scooped out 6 different cups of flour and measured each one. Then averaged them out. My scooping creates cups that equal to 4.85 oz. Not the 4.25 on the King Author web site scaling. So in a recipe that calls for seven cups of flour I have over 3/4 of a cup in weight. 

So I decided to make bread using wights only. This is a new recipe for me. Already made four loaves of my usual yesterday. But there was a difference. First I used all the flour called for in the recipe. Not my usual 1/2 to one cup left out. Second the dough was very easy to knead and got to the window pane after only working it for eight minuets. Not my usual kneading for 20+ without results. I'm looking forward to trying this with my usual weekly bread recipe. 

Thanks for the advice on converting to grams. To be honest I really don't need to be that precise. I'm wanting to make the bread great, not perfect. I'll never be an artist at this. The only bread I like is white. So I will forever be the Bland Baker of the bunch.  You will probably never see anything exciting from me. Unless I catch the kitchen on fire. : ) 

Thanks again for the help everyone.