The Fresh Loaf

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Trouble with %

Itachi124578963's picture

Trouble with %

We're trying to make a pizza dough that is a 50lb bag of flour, has an end hydration of 61% that uses a poolish that is 25% of the end weight of the dough. The end weight of the original dough: 50lb flour, 61% hydration, no poolish is 81.65lbs. When I've tried to change to incorporate the poolish, the numbers I get are:

  • Flour: 39.8
  • Yeast: .3%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Water 48%


  • Poolish
  • Flour: 10.2lbs
  • Water: 10.2lbs

So have my spreadsheet set up in two columns, one for dough and one for poolish. In order to figure out the 48% hydration in the main dough I used:

(.75 * X) + (.25*100) = 61  this gave me X=48

The end weight I get when I change everything to the above numbers ls 85.35lbs. I'm not understanding of why this is happening. 

Screenshot of spreadsheet with poolish numbers


edit: so the difference between dough without a poolish and dough with a poolish is there's an extra 3.7lbs of water in the main dough. Is this to make up for the hydration being broken up between dough and poolish and the 75% main dough 25% poolish thing?

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

In bakers percentages the flour is always 100% and everything is a percentage to the flour. Yet in your formula you have the flour at 39.8(?)

And even if you are adding everything up to 100% your formula falls short. 

Something is not right.

Itachi124578963's picture

I have each ingredient in the left column taking to the flours in the left and right column and adding them together than taking that number and multiplying that by the percentage that each ingredient is of the flour. I.e. yeast is                        =(C2+M2)*0.003

DanAyo's picture

I took a stab at it. See if this looks correct, if not let me know what is off. The first sheet uses your weights for the polish. The second sheet calculates a 25% poolish.

Here is 25% Poolish

Boy, you hit us a right time. You've got a lot of great help working to help you out. This forum can not be beat!

If you like it and want the spreadsheet, let me know.


BreadBabies's picture

well done...   

mwilson's picture

The formula works. You have calculated the poolish weight as 25% of the dough weight and this is incompatible because the formula works on total flour weight.

48% hydration is correct if you pre-fermenting 25% of the flour. In this case the poolish should be 12.5lbs flour, 12.5lbs water. Main dough flour would then be 37.5lbs.

Itachi124578963's picture

Our client specifically would like the poolish to be 25% of the total dough weight. I assume I need to change my formula?

mwilson's picture

Just subtract the weight of water and the weight of flour in the poolish from the original formula.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Total Formula:

  • Flour 100%
  • Water 61%
  • Salt 2%
  • Yeast 0.003%


  • Flour 50 lbs
  • Water 30.5 lbs
  • Salt 1lb
  • Yeast 0.15 lbs

Total  Dough = 81.65 lbs

25% of 81.65 = 20.4125

Your poolish is 20.4125 lbs (50:50 flour and water taken from the total) = 10.20625 lbs flour + 10.20625 lbs water


The final recipe rearranged...

  • Flour 39.79375 lbs
  • Water 20.29375 lbs
  • Salt 1 lb
  • Yeast 0.15 lbs
  • Poolish 20.4125 lbs (10.20625 water + 10.20625 flour)
Itachi124578963's picture


suave's picture

Just make your poolish 10 and 10 and then your dough becomes 40 and 21.65.  No need for spreadsheets.